1918, Eritrea (Italian Colony). Large Silver Tallero Dollar Coin.
Imitating the famous Eighteen Century Venetian Tallero.
Mint Year: 1918
Mintage: 510,000 pcs.
Mint Mark: R (Rome, Italy)
Denomination: Tallero (Trade Dollar).
Reference: Pagani 956, Davenport 28, KM-5.
Material: Silver (.835)
Obverse: Diademed female bust right with brooch in hair. Engraver´s name below (A. MOTTI).
Legend: § * REGNUM ITALICUM * 1918
Reverse: Crown above heraldic eagle with large italian shield at chest. Mint mark ® below, between feathers.
Legend: AD. NEGOT. ERYTHR. COMMOD. ARG. SIGN.
Expanded: AD NEGOTIORVM ERYTHRæORVM COMMODITATEM ARGENTVM
Edge Legend: § * § FERT § * § FERT § * §
Italy struck Talleros for its African colony Eritrea, dated 1918, in a crude attempt to supplant the Maria Theresa Thaler. The bust used on the Eritrean Tallero closely resembles the Eighteen Century Venetian Tallero. This one year type resulted. Obviously the venture was not a success. Here we have a wonderful XF example, of the type which usually comes well worn.
Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The history of the land that is now called Eritrea, in one way or another, is associated with its coastline on the Red Sea, which extends more than 1000 km. From across the seas came various invaders (and colonizers) such as the South Arabians hailing from the present-day Yemen area, the Ottoman Turks, the Portugese from Goa (India), the Egyptians, the British and, in the 19th century, the Italians. Over the centuries, invaders also came from the neighboring countries of Africa to the south (Ethiopia) and to the west (Sudan). However, present-day Eritrea was largely impacted by the Italian invaders in the 19th century.
Italian colonisation began arguably with the purchase of the locality of Assab by a Roman Catholic priest by the name of Giuseppe Sapetto acting on behalf of a Genovese shipping company called “Rubattino” who bought the land from the Afar Sultan of Obock (a vassal of the Ottomans) in 1869. This happened in the same year as the opening of the Suez Canal.18 With the approval of the Italian parliament and King Umberto I of Italy (later succeeded by his son Victor Emmanuel III), the government of Italy bought the Rubattino company’s holdings and expanded its possessions northward along the Red Sea coast toward and beyond Massawa, encroaching on and quickly expelling previous ‘Egyptian’ possessions but meeting stiffer resistance in the Eritrean highlands from the invading army of the Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia.