Cisalpine Republic silver coin marks restoration after liberation

Brief Napoleonic nation is recorded in coins
By , Coin World
Published : 10/26/15
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Maps no longer feature a place by the name of the Cisalpine Republic, but metallic mementoes reflect the tiny nation’s turbulent times.

A silver scudo di lire sei (“scudo of 6 lire”) from Year VIII (1800) is one highlight from Stack’s Bowers & Ponterio’s Nov. 5 and 6 Baltimore world coin auction.

Graded Mint State 64 Prooflike by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., the example in the sale is the only Prooflike example from either NGC or Professional Coin Grading Service, according to the auction firm.

Originally formed in 1797 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Cisalpine Republic was dissolved by conquering Russian and Austrian forces in April of 1799. Russian Gen. Alexander Suvorov’s occupation endured until May 30, 1800, before Napoleon defeated him June 14 at the Battle of Marengo, according to Stack’s Bowers & Ponterio.

Meanwhile, back in Milan, the French immediately restored the Cisalpine Republic on 15 Pratile, Anno VIII (June 4, 1800) upon the departure of the Austrian and Russian occupying forces. Napoleon’s First Consul appointed an “Extraordinary Commission of Government” some 12 days later, on 27 Pratile, the date on the reverse of the coin presented here (June 16 of 1800).

Soon after that date, individuals in Milan struck this commemorative coin to express their gratitude for the French “liberation.” 

“Essentially a propaganda piece of stupefying proportions but with fabulous artistic qualities, the coin is an integral part of Northern Italian history from this era,” according to the firm.

The piece is nearly as-struck with the “faintest trace of handling.”

It has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.

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