1817, Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel I. Gold 20 Lire Coin
Mint Place: Torino
Denominations: 20 Lire
Material: Gold (.900)
Obverse: Bust of Victor Emmanuel I left. Date (1817) below.
Legend: VIC . EM . D . G . REX SAR . CYP . ET IER .
Reverse: Crowned coat-of-arms within foliage. Value (SOL . 20) below.
Legend: DVX SAB IANVAE ET MONTISF PRINC PED & . (privy mark Eagle) L. 20 . (privy letter: L)
Kingdom of Sardinia, also known as Piedmont-Sardinia or Sardinia-Piedmont, was the name given to the possessions of the House of Savoy in 1723 (or in 1720 according to the international law), when the crown of Sardinia was awarded by the Treaty of The Hague to King Victor Amadeus II of Savoy to compensate him for the loss of the crown of Sicily to Austria, retaining in that way the title of king. Besides Sardinia, the new kingdom included Savoy, Piedmont, and Nice; Liguria, including Genoa, was added by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Officially, the nation’s name became Kingdom of Sardinia, Cyprus and Jerusalem, the House of Savoy maintaining a national claim to the thrones of Cyprus and Jerusalem, but both had long been under Ottoman rule. During most of the 18th and 19th centuries, the political and economic capital of the kingdom was Turin in Piedmont on the Italian mainland. In 1860, Nice and Savoy were ceded to France as a price paid for French consensus and help to unify Italy. In 1861, the Kingdom of Sardinia became the founding state of the new Kingdom of Italy, annexing all other Italian states. The Kingdom so continued in perfect legal continuity with the actual Italian state, to which it transferred all its institutions.
Victor Emanuel I (24 July 1759 – 10 January 1824) was the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia (1802–1821).
He was the second son of King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Spain, daughter of King Philip V of Spain and Elisabeth Farnese.
Victor Emanuel was known from birth as the Duke of Aosta. From 1792 to 1796, Aosta’s father had taken an active part in the struggle of the old powers against the French Revolutionary forces, but were defeated and forced to make peace. The old king died shortly thereafter; and, in December 1798, his eldest son and successor, Charles Emanuel IV, was faced with a French occupation and, eventually, annexation, of his mainland territories.
Charles Emanuel and his family were forced to withdraw to Sardinia, which was the only part of his domains not conquered by the French. Charles Emanuel himself took little interest in the rule of Sardinia, living with his wife on the mainland in Naples and Rome until his wife’s death in 1802, which led the childless Charles Emanuel to abdicate the throne in favor of his younger brother. Aosta took the throne on 4 June 1802 as Victor Emanuel I. He ruled Sardinia from Cagliari for the next twelve years, during which time he constituted the Carabinieri, a Gendarmerie corps, still existing as one of the main branches of the military of Italy.
Victor Emanuel could return to Turin only in 1814, his realm reconstituted by the Congress of Vienna with the addition of the territories of the former Republic of Genoa. The latter became the seat of the Sardinian Navy. Victor Emanuel abolished all the freedoms granted by the Napoleonic Codices and restored a fiercely oppressive rule: He refused any concession of a constitution, entrusted the instruction to the Church and reintroduced the persecutions against Jews and Waldensians.
After the death of his brother in 1819, he also became the heir-general of the Jacobite succession to the British thrones, although he, like his brother, did not make any public claims to this effect. When Victor Emanuel died, Lord Liverpool, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, wrote to his ministerial colleague George Canning that there should be public mourning in Britain, as a significant number of Britons had regarded Victor Emanuel as their rightful king.
After the outbreak of the liberal revolution in his lands in 1821, he abdicated in favour of his brother, Charles Felix. Victor Emanuel died in the Castle of Moncalieri. He is buried in the Basilica of Superga.