1918, Kingdom of Italy, Victor Emanuel III. Nice Copper 5 Centesimi Coin. XF+
Mint Place: Rome Reference: KM-42. Denomination: 5 Centissimi Designers: Pietro Canonica / L. Giorgi Material: Copper Diameter: 25mm Weight: 4.82gm
Obverse: Uniformed bust of Victor Emanuel III left. Legend: VITTORIO . EMANVELE . III . RE . D’ITALIA
Reverse: Italia (personification of Italy) standing inside boat at sea. Mint initial ® and designer´s names (P. CANONICA / L. GIORGI) on boat parts.
Victor Emmanuel III (11 November 1869, Naples, Campania – 28 December 1947) was a member of the House of Savoy and King of Italy (29 July 1900 – 9 May 1946). In addition, he claimed the crowns of Ethiopia and Albania and claimed the titles Emperor of Ethiopia (1936–41) and King of Albania (1939–43) which were unrecognised by the great powers in 1937 and 1939, respectively. During his long reign, Victor Emmanuel III saw two world wars and the birth, rise, and fall of Fascism in the Kingdom of Italy.
He has been seldom treated sympathetically by historians. His almost forced abdication on the eve of a referendum on the future of the Italian monarchy achieved nothing — being too little, far too late. At worst, it reminded undecided voters of the role the monarchy and the King’s own actions (or inactions) had played during the Fascist period, at precisely the moment when monarchists were hoping that voters would focus on the positive impression created by Crown Prince Umberto and Princess Maria José as the de facto king and queen of Italy since 1944. The ‘May’ King and Queen, Umberto and Maria José, in their brief, month-long reign, were unable to shift the burden of recent history and opinion. (Some present-day historians have speculated that, had Victor Emmanuel abdicated in favour of Umberto shortly after the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, Umberto’s relative popularity might have saved the monarchy.)