Highly Desirable Proof-Like Cisalpine Republic Scudo

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries official world coin auction of Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo contains a wide variety of exceptional numismatic collectibles. The coin we feature here hails from northern Italy during the Napoleonic era, a silver Scudo di Lire Sei (Scudo of 6 Lire) from an exciting if tumultuous period in history. Napoleon formed this client state in 1797, though it fell to an invading Austro-Russian Army just two years later. The Russian General Suvorov occupied the territory for about a month, and fled before Napoleon soundly defeated him in the Battle of Marengo. With control of the region firmly in French hands again the resident French government, operating out of Milan the capital for the territory, promptly restored the Cisalpine Republic. Days later, the Milanese struck these commemorative coins to express their gratitude for their French Liberators. Seen by modern historians as a blatant propaganda piece, it nonetheless is of the highest artistic caliber.

The obverse depicts Minerva seated facing right as the personification of the French Republic. The choice of Minerva is a not so subtle assessment of Napoleon’s battlefield and command prowess. The Cisalpine Republic is represented by the woman at right standing facing left with a cornucopia and stork at her feet, seemingly thanking the French for the aid provided. The reverse of the coin displays the denomination and the date and year of “restoration” within an oak wreath. This coin bears the distinction of being the only example certified as “Proof-like” by either NGC or PCGS. It is certainly easy to see why, as this piece has a beautiful nearly all-white appearance. Some faint traces of handling are present though it retains “as-struck” appeal. This coin combines a stunning appearance, interesting historical background and scarcity (in this grade condition). This coin should be a centerpiece in the next collection it calls home.

Look for this and other world numismatic rarities in our upcoming Baltimore Auction, November 5-8. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at We are now accepting consignments of world and ancient coins for our January New York International Auction as well as Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our December 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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