1797, Doges of Venice, Ludovico Manin. Silver Tallero “per il Levante” Coin.
Mint year: 1797
Doge: Ludovico Manin (1789-1797)
Assayer: Alessandro Semitecolo (AS)
Reference: Davenport 1575, KM-C#136.
Denomination: Tallero (Venetian Thaler, "Tallero per il Levante")
Obverse: Female diademed bust right (imitating the design of the back then widely accepted Maria Theresia Thaler!).
Legend: * RESPUBLICA VENETA * § *
Reverse:Winged and nimbate lion of St. Mark holding book of gospels.
Legend: * LUDO VICO MANIN DUCE * § *
Exergue: * 1796 *
For your consideration a beautiful example of a silver tallero (venetian thaler), also known as "Tallero per il Levante", which means thaler for the Levant. The obverse design is imitating the back then preferred Maria Theresia Thaler, which was very popular trade currency. Therefore, this silver trade coin eased the trade transactions of the Venetians, which were crucial for the small state, which depended on the income of its trade operations. A wonderful and rare early trade dollar coin and a great addition!
Historically, the “trade on the Levant” between Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire was of great economic importance.
The term Levant, which first appeared in English in 1497, originally meant a wider sense of “Mediterranean lands east of Venetia”, as in French soleil levant “rising Sun” — from the verb lever, “to rise”, from Latin levare “to raise”. It thus referred to the Eastern direction of the rising Sun from the perspective of those who first used it and has analogues in other languages, notably morgenland – or a closely related word meaning morning land – in most Germanic languages.
Ludovico Manin (May 14, 1725—October 24, 1802) was the last Doge of Venice. He governed Venice from March 9, 1789 to 1797 when he was forced to abdicate by general Napoleon Bonaparte.
Manin was born on May 14, 1725, the eldest of five sons of Lodovico Alvise and Maria Basadonna, the great-granddaughter of a cardinal.
He attended the University of Bologna. In 1787 he met Pope Pius VI. He had married Elisabetta Grimani, receiving a dowry of 45,001 ducats.
He was elected Doge of Venice on March 9, 1789, approximately one month before the start of the French Revolution, on the first ballot (the electoral assembly was composed of 41 members). His traditional coronation ceremony required him to throw coins to the Venetians, which cost more than 458,197 Lira, less than a quarter of which was paid from the funds of the Republic of Venice, the rest coming out of his own pocket. By the year 1792, he had allowed the once great Venetian merchant fleet to decline to a mere 309 merchantmen.
When Napoleon invaded Italy, Venice, along with Genoa, did not initially join the coalition of Italian states formed in 1795, instead maintaining neutrality. On April 15, 1797, Jean-Andoche Junot gave the Doge an ultimatum which was not accepted. A secret addition to the Treaty of Leoben, signed on April 17, 1797, gave Venice—as well as Istria and Dalmatia— to Austria. On April 25, 1797, the French fleet arrived at the Lido. Venetian cannons sank one of the ships, but did not succeed in repelling the invasion since the Venetian war fleet numbered only 4 galleys and 7 galliots. The Doge surrendered on May 12, 1797 and left the Doge’s Palace two days later.
On May 16, French troops entered Piazza San Marco and the surrender contract was officially signed, submitting Venice to French rule, and incorporating it into the Kingdom of Italy.