1789, Doges of Venice, Ludovico Manin. Gold Zecchino Ducat Coin.
Doge: Ludovico Manin
Mint period: 1789-1797
Denomination: Zecchino (Venetian Ducat)
Reference: Friedberg 1445, Gamberini 1926, Paolucci p. 131/14, KM-140.
Obverse: St. Mark standing right, presenting cross-topped banner to kneeling Doge.
Legend: S . M . VENET / DVX (vertical along banner) LVDOV . MANIN
Reverse: Christ standing facing, raising hand in benediction and holding Gospels, surrounded by elliptical halo of 16 stars (mandorla).
Legend: SIT . T . XPE . DAT . Q . TV . REGIS . ISTE . DVCA
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.