Italy, Milano, Louis XII, King of France and Duke of Milan, Doppio Ducato, 1500-1512
AV (g 7,00; mm 26; h 2)
LVDOVIC D G FRANCOR REX, bust r., in soft cap or berretta, with lis on breast, Rv. MEDIOLANI DVX, St. Ambrose galloping r., holding whip and reins, over small shield of France. Fr. 704; CNI 7, pl. X.16; Gnecchi 3; MIR 234; Crippa 1.
Extremely rare and among the finest of very few specimens known: a superb portrait of beautiful renaissance style; slightly creased as normal, virtually as struck and fdc.
Under the Sforza Duke Ludovico called il Moro, Milan enjoyed a golden age of Renaissance art and culture before being swept up in the wars of foreign intervention. French armies under Louis, Duc d'Orleans took Milan and captured Ludovico in 1499. Louis became King of France in 1500 and ruled Milan while Ludovico died a prisoner in 1508. The Sforza returned in due course but the family died out in 1535 and the Duchy passed to Emperor Charles V. Although struck under a French ruler, this splendid softly lustrous coin personifies the exquisite Renaissance art perfected under the now-captive Ludovico il Moro.