start page Charles V TOUR :   Saluzzo

The Renaissance began in Italy in the Mid-Fourteenth Century, long before the time of Emperor Charles V.
Duchy of Savoy

Map of Italy 1499

Carlo I the Warrior, 1482-1490.   (5th Duke of Savoy)
Charles I, son of Duke Amadeus IX. and his wife Jolanda of France, was educated at the French court and followed his brother Philibert I as Duke of Savoy at the age of 15. He acquired the title 'King of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia' in 1485 when Charlotte of Cyprus, titular Queen of Armenia and Jerusalem, surrendered her rights to Charles, her next legitimate heir. This is the origin of Savoy's claim on Jerusalem in the title and emblem of their coins. Charles I, "the Warrior", temporarily won supremacy over the neighboring Margraviate of Saluzzo in 1487. Saluzzo fell to France in 1543 before eventually joining Savoy in 1601.
Charles I died at the age of 22. He was the first Duke of Savoy to issue coins in the Renaissance style.


Ducato n.d. (1484-88), Turin.   ō 22 mm, 3,28 g.   CNI 99/18; RM 121/2; Biaggi 195A; Friedb.1027.
Obv.:   +KAROLVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑MA'∑CT     CT = Bartolomeo Caccia (mintmaster 1484-88)
Rev.:   ∑SIT∑NOMEN∑DOMINI∑BENEDITVM     "The name of the Lord be praised"
obliquely positioned arms of Savoy, toped by helmet with crest between two love knots.


Ducato n. d., Turin?     ō 22 mm, 3,49 g.   CNI 99/19; RM 122/3; Sim.4; Biaggi 197; Friedb.1028.
Obv.:  +KAROLVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑PRINC'∑M (M=mintmark)  -  armored effigy with cap to the right.
Rev.:   + DominuS mIChI ADIVTOR Z(et)∑EGO∑DESPICIAm INIMICOS MEOS
"God is my helper and I shall despise my enemies"
Coat of arms of Savoy between FE - RT, a love knot on top, all enclosed in a pearled quatrefoil.
The central dot in the middle is not part of the image.
The coat of arms of the House of Savoy - white cross on a red background - is accompanied by the Savoyard knot (love knot or figure-eight knot) and FERT, the special motto of the house of Savoy. It has been been taken to stand for "foedere et religione tenerum" = "Through unity and religion are we sustained". Many other interpretations have been proposed, e.g. "Fides Est Regni Tutela" (Faith is the protector of [our] Kingdom) and "Fortitudo Eius Rhodum Tenuit" (His strength conquered Rhodes).


Testone n.d., Corvarin (Geneva).   ō 29 mm, 9,55 g.   CNI 100/24; RM 123/4; Sim.5; Biaggi 198.
Obv.:  +KAROLVS∑Dux∑SABAVDIaE∑MARchio∑In∑ITAlia∑GG   (GG = Nicola Gatti, mintmaster in Corvarin)
Rev.:  +XPS∑VINCIT∑XPS∑REGNAT∑XPS∑INPERat   "Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands"
The quatrefoil on the revers is a gothic reminiscence on this otherwise Renaissance coin.
The Antiqua capital letters of the obverse legend were damaged by a double strike.
FERT incorrectly written as "fr - rt" in gothic letters; compare the correct "fe - rt" on the ducat above.


Mezzo testone n. d., Corvarin.    ō 27 mm, 4,81 g.   CNI 102/48; RM 124/5; Sim.7; Biaggi 200.
+KAROLVS∑DVX∑SABAUDIaE∑:G∑:G   //   XPS∑RES[x]∑VENI - T∑IN∑PACE∑DEVs

Carlo Giovanni Amedeo, 1490-1496   (6th Duke of Savoy)
- later named Carlo II -
At the death of Charles I, his wife Blanche of Montferrat acted as regent for their nearly two years old son Charles John Amadeus. The boy died at age 9 (after falling out of bed).
In his time the first French invasion of Italy took place, with Naples as target.

The teston (CNI 119/1 fig. 8/1) from 1490/91 carries the effigy and title of his father on the obverse (see above). Only the legend of the reverse changed in order to include his title: +KAROLVS∑IO∑AME∑DVX∑SABAVDIE .

Filippo II the Landless, 1496-1497   (7th Duke of Savoy)
- uncle of Carlo I -
Philip II was Count of Bresse, the westernmost part of Savoy, and the youngest uncle of Charles I. He was surnamed Philipp "Lackland" when he lost the county. When the boy Charles John Amadeus died Philip was next of kin to become Duke of Savoy, Prince Piedmont and Count of Aosta, but he died only a year later.


Testone, Cornavin (Geneve).   ō 31 mm, 9,60 g.   CNI 122/6var; RM 126/2; Sim.2.
Obv.:   + PHILIPVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑VII∑GG   GG = mintmaster Nicola Gatti in Geneve  -   Bust r.
Rev.:   + A DomiNO∑FACTVM∑EST∑ISTVD∑   "This is the Lord's doing"
Coat of arms of Savoy between FE - RT ("fr - rt"), a love knot on top, all enclosed in a pearled quatrefoil.
Compare the portraits in profile and half to the left
(from www.flickriver.com "the lost gallery", unfortunately without indication of the source).

Filiberto II the Handsome, 1497-1504   (8th Duke of Savoy)
- son of Filippo II -
Philibert II succeeded his father Philip II as Duke of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont, Count of Aosta, Maurienne and Nice. When the French King Louis XII - Savoy's neighbour in the west - conquered the Duchy of Milan - Savoy's neighbour in the east, Philibert felt pressured by France and sought friendly relations to Habsburg. In 1501, he married Margaret of Austria, daughter of Emperor Maximilian, in second marriage. Philibert engaged the young Mercurino Gattinara as legal advisor. Gattinara later served Emperor Charles V as chancellor and became his most influential advisor.
Philibert and Margaret of Austria had a happy but brief marriage. Philibert died young after a hunting excursion. Margaret expanded the Monastery of Brou into an abbey and had monumental tombs erected for Philibert and his mother. She was buried there herself.
Philibert died childless and was succeeded by his young half-brother Charles II (III).


    first marriage to Yolande Louise of Savoy (1496)    


4 Testoni n. d. (1497-99), Chambťry.     ō 43 mm, 38,22 g.
CNI 135/3; RM 132/9; Sim.23; Biaggi 258; Dav.8368.

Obv.:   ✠ PHILIBERTVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑OCTAVVS∑   "... 8th Duke of Savoy"
Effigy of Philibert to the right, armoured and with hat.

Rev.:   (arms) IOLANT∑LVDOVICHA∑DVCISA∑SABAVDIE
Effigy of Jolanda to the left, with wedding dress and pearl necklace.
Philibert was married to his 9 year old cousin Jolande in 1496, but she died in 1499.
Chambťry - located half way between Grenoble and Geneva - was the capital of Savoy since 1295. When Savoy became French for the first time (1536-59), the capital was relocated to Turin.


Ducato n.d., Cornavin.   ō 23 mm, 3,42 g.   CNI 127/2-6; RM 128/2; Sim.1; Biaggi 257; Friedb.1031.
Obv.:   ✠ PHILIBerTVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑VIII   "... 8th Duke of Savoy"
Rev.:   ✠ IN∑TE∑DOMINE∑CONFIDO∑G∑R   "In you, o Lord, I confide"
G∑R stands for Geneve (Cornavin) and Rodolphe Aigente, mintmaster 1505-05.
Coat of arms of Savoy between FE - RT, a love knot on top, all enclosed in a pearled quatrefoil.


1/2 Testone, n. d. (ca.1500), Turin.     ō 26 mm, ca.4,5 g.   CNI 130/31; RM 131/7; Sim.5.
Obv.:   ✠ PHILIBerTVS∑Dux∑SABAVDIE∑VIII
Rev.:   ✠ - IN∑TE∑DNE∑ - ∑CONFIDO∑T∑     T stands for mint Turin.

Compare with the portraits:
painting on wood, 29,5x19,5 cm, ca. 1500, anonymous Dutch artist, with
  tape on the neck: PALMA.(?) IO DE HERTOGE VA SOVOIEN LAET OVC. (KHM Vienna)
painting half to the right, 30x45 cm, ca. 1516 by unknown artist / Jan Mostaert
  (Musťes Royaux des Beaux-Arts der Belgique, Bruxelles. © KIK-IRPA)
miniature portrait, 13,6x10 cm on wood, KHM, one of the many miniature portraits
  the Archduke Ferdinand (1529-1595) assembled in his palace in Ambras near Innsbruck.
  Some are now exhibited in the coin cabinet of Vienna.

    second marriage to Margaret of Austria (1501)    
© The British Museum, London
Medal, 1502, Bourg-en-Bresse.    cast by Jean Marende.   ō 98 mm   Mazerolle 3/11-12 (1904)
Obv.:   PHiLiBERTVS∑DVX∑SABAVDiE∑VIII∑MaRGVArita∑MAXImiliani∑CAEsaris∑AVGusti∑ FIlia∑Ducissa∑SAbaudiae:
"Philibert, eighth duke of Savoy, Margaret, daughter of Maximilian, Caesar Augustus, duchess of Savoy"
Busts of Philibert the Handsome and Margaret of Austria. Savoyard knots and marguerites in the field.
Rev.:   GLORiA IN ALTiSsiMiS∑DEO ET IN TERRA PAX∑HOMINIBVS : BVRGVS:
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men : Bourg"
Coat of arms of Savoy (cross) and Habsburg: Austria, Burgundy (old and modern), Brabant and Flanders (lions). At the top the "love knot", a symbol of true friendship and unfailing devotion.
On both sides knots and marguerites and the letters FE-RT .
The medal is a wedding gift of Bourg-en-Bresse, a city located in the western most region of Savoy, in the western outlet of the Jura mountains between Geneva and Lyon. Bresse came to France in 1601.


Testone n.d.(1497-1500), Cornavin.     ō 30 mm, 9,60 g.   CNI 129/17; RM 129/4; Sim.2.
Obv.:   + PHILIBTVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑VIII
Rev.:  IN∑TE∑DOMINE∑CONFIDO∑G∑G   "In you, o Lord, I confide"
GG = Nicola Gatti, mintmaster in Geneve.
Coat of arms of Savoy between FE - RT, a love knot on top, all enclosed in a pearled quatrefoil.


Testone n. d. (1500-06), Turin.     ō 29 mm, 9,53 g.   CNI 129/22?; RM 130/5; Sim.2.
Obv.:   + PHILIBTVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑VIII
Rev.:   IN∑TE∑DOMINE∑CONFIDO∑T∑CAS     "In you, o Lord, I confide"
T = mint Turin,     CAS = mintmaster Giacomo Cassino.
A rare variant of this Teston (RM n.6) differs only in the legend of the revers:
A DomiNO FACTVM EST ISTVD     "This is the Lord's doing".

Carlo II (III) the Good, 1504-1536/53   (9th Duke of Savoy)
- half-brother of Filiberto II the Handsome -
now called Carlo III if Carlo Giovanni Amedeo (1490-96) is called Carlo II
Charles succeeded his half-brother Philibert II. In the wars between King Francis I and Emperor Charles V for supremacy in northern Italy, Charles sided with the Emperor. He married Beatrice of Portugal in 1521, a younger sister of Isabella of Portugal, who would later marry the Emperor. The French occupied a large part of the Duchy from 1536 until 1559. Charles II retained only Nice, Aosta and Vercelli, where he resided until his death in 1553. He was succeeded by Emanuele Filiberto, his only surviving child.


Testone n. d., Bourg.     ō 28 mm, 9,37 g.   CNI 142/47; RM 136/8var; Sim.18; MIR 340/339.
Obv.:   ∑CAROLVS - DVX∑SABaudiae∑II   with crescent moon as separator
Effigy to the right, armoured and with biretta.

Rev.:   ✥NIhiL DEEST∑TIMENTIBVS∑DEVM∑B∑B∑   "The pious are not short of anything"
B∑B = mint Bourg and mintmaster Benedetto Bacod.
Coat of arms of Savoy between FE - RT, a love knot on top.
Central dots near the ear and near the center of the cross.


Testone n. d., Vercelli.     ō 30 mm, 9,23 g.   CNI 146/77; RM 137/9; Sim.23.
Obv.:   +CAROLVS∑II∑DVX∑SABBAVDIE∑IX   "... 9th Duke of Savoy"  -  effigy as before.
Rev.:   +NhiIL∑DE∑EST∑TIMEnTIBus∑DEVm   -   crowned arms of Savoy.


Testone 1552, Aosta.     ō 30 mm, 9,22 g.   CNI 148/92; RM 138/11; Sim.32; MIR 343a.
Obv.:   +KaROLVS∑II∑DVX∑⚭∑SABAVDIE∑IX   with Savoyard love knot in the legend,
bearded effigy with biretta.

Rev.: +NIhiL∑DEeST∑TIMENTIbus∑DEVM∑AVG∑P∑N∑V
AVG∑P = Augusta Pretoria = Aosta     N∑V = NicolÚ Vialardo, mintmaster 1549-54,
crowned arms between FE - RT.   Exergue: date 1552.


Testone n. d. (1528-32) Bourg.     ō 30 mm, 8,88 g.   CNI 147/84; RM 141/20var; Sim.24.
Obv.:   +CAROLVS∑II∑DVX∑SABAVDIE∑IX   "... 9th Duke"  -   bearded effigy with biretta.
Rev.:  +MARCHIO∑IN∑ITALIA∑PRINceps∑B∑HP   -   crowned arms between FE - RT.
B = Bourg,   ligated HP = Henri Pugniet, mintmaster 1528-32.


1/2 Testone n. d., Bourg.     ō 27 mm, ca.4,6 g.   RM 143/23; Sim.35; MIR 357.
Obv.:   +CAROLUS∑DUX∑SABAUDaE∑SECONDus   -   burt to the right, a ring behind.
Rev.:   +NIhiL DEEST∑TIM - ENTIBbus'∑DEVM∑B   "The pious are not short of anything"
Helmet with winged crest and mantling over the inclined shield of Savoy.

Compare with the painting by the French court painter Jean Clouet (1480-1541) [Wikipedia].

Emanuele Filiberto 'Testa di Ferro', 1553-1580   (10th Duke of Savoy)
- son of Charles II (III), the Good -
Emmanuel Philibert distinguished himself as military leader in the army of Charles V in the Schmalkalden war (1546/47) and during the siege of Metz (1552). He also served Philipp II of Spain as governor of the Netherlands (1555-59). In the war against Henry II, he led the Spanish troops to a triumphant victory over the French king in the battle of Saint-Quentin (in northern France, 1557). This earned him the byname "Ironhead" (Testa di Ferro). The ensuing Peace of Cateau-Cambrťsis (1559) secured him the restitution of most of the lands his father had lost to France and Spain and guaranteed Savoy's independence. His marriage to Margaret of France, sister of King Henry II, was part of the treaty which ended the wars between the emperor and the French kings.
Emmanuel Philibert was also a clever politician and competent administrator. He recovered Savoyard territory, increased the duchy's domain, and straightened up its economic situation. He made Italian the duchy's official language and moved the capital to the city of Turin in 1561. (On the unification of Italy in 1861, Turin became the Italian capital and the last Duke of Savoy, Victor Emmanuel II, became King of Italy.)


Talero 1558, Aosta or Vercelli.   ō 41 mm, 27,59 g.   CNI 191/39; RM 47/5; Sim.29; Biaggi 422; Dav.8370.
Obv.:   ✥EMANVEL:PHILIBertus:DVX:SABAVdiae*Sacri*Romani*IMPerii*Princeps
Half length effigy to the left, armored and with baton in the right hand.
Rev.:   ✥AVXILIVM:MEVM:A DOMINO:I558   "My help comes from God"
Arms of Savoy in the angles of a floral cross:
Imperial eagle, Monferrato, Saxonia (!) and Jerusalem/Armenia/Cyprus/Lusignan.
The design of the taler parallels the Thaler 1549 of Albrecht Alcibiades von Brandenburg-Bayreuth.


Lira 1562, Chambťry.     ō 35 mm, 12,39 g.   CNI 199/101; RM 148/7; Sim.32; MIR 506d.
Obv.:   ✥EManuel FILIBertus Dei Gratia DVX SABaudiae Princeps PEDemontis 1562
Rev.:   Foliage wreath, below P, in the field: INSTAR OMNIVM   "the basis for all"
Emanuele Filiberto started to reform and unify the monetary system of Savoy and Piedmont. In his edict from 13th March 1561 he introduced the Lira, which was only a currency of account up to then. The worth relation was: 1 Lira (pound) = 20 soldi (shillings) = 240 denari (pennies) = 1/3 scudo d'oro.
The motto on the revers of this first Lira-issue was program of the monetary reform.
Medalist Alessandro Cesati "il Grechetto" engraved the dies with the Renaissance-portrait.
This coin were produced in: Aosta, Asti (A), Bourg en Bresse (P and 4 triangles at the cross), Chambery (P and VP), Nizza (N), Turin (T), Vercelli (V).


Testone 1559, Vercelli.     ō 31 mm, 8,97 g.   CNI 192/48; RM 149/8; Sim.33.
Obv.:   E∑PHILIBERT∑DVX∑SABAVDIE   -   Bust to the left. Ribon with Golden Fleece on the breast.
Emanuele Filiberto received the Orden of the Golden Fleece in 1546.
Rev.:  +AVXILIVM∑ME - VM∑A∑DOMINO  -  crowned shield, below: V (=Vercelli). Date in the exergue.
Shield: Low Saxony (horse), Chablais, Aosta (lion) and Saxony; Savoy superimposed in the center.


Testone 1561, Asti.     ō 29 mm, 9,31 g.   CNI 196/83; RM 151/10; Sim.36; MIR 510.
∑+∑E∑PHILIBERTVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE   //   AVXILIVM∑MEVM∑A∑DOMONO   exergue: ∑15∑A∑61∑


Testone 1578, Bourg.     ō 30 mm, 9,42 g.   CNI -?; RM 152/12var; Sim.38?; MIR 513.
Obv.:   EM∑PHILIBERTVS∑DVX∑SABAVDIE  -  armored bust to the right.
Rev.:  ∑AVXILIVM∑MEVM∑A∑DOMINO∑B∑D∑    BD = ED = Emanuele Diano, mintmaster 1577-83
crowned shield placed on the Cross of the Order of St. Maurice and Lazarus;
under the cross: B = Bourg,   exergue: 1578.
Emanuele Filiberto had renewed this Order for the House of Savoy in 1572.


Dopia 1571, Turin.   (2 Ducats)     ō 26 mm, 6,49 g.  CNI 212/212; RM 146/4; Sim.19; Biaggi 412b; Friedb.1042.
Obv.:   ∑EManuel∑FILIBertus∑Dei∑Gratia∑DVX∑SABaudiae∑Priceps∑PEDemontii
armoured bust with drapery to the right.
Rev.:   IN∑TE∑DOMINE∑CONFIDO∑1571∑T∑   "In you, o Lord, I confide"   T = Turin
Crowned and quartered shield: Saxonia | lion with background (Chablais) and without background (Aosta); arms of Savoy superimposed at the intersection.
The Saxon coat of arms is supplemented with the prancing horse of Lower Saxony and the three heart-shaped leaves of county Brehna in Saxony-Anhalt. The House of Savoy claimed to descend from Widukind, a Saxon leader and opponent of Charlemange in the Saxon Wars 777-785. Though without any historic evidence, the claim seems to have been widely accepted, e.g.:
'Ed in fatti, secondo le Storie dei piý antichi accreditati scrittori, ebbe la Casa di Savuoia il suo origine da gli antichissimi Regi della Sassonia ...' ['And in fact, according to the stories of the oldest accredited writers, the House Savoy origins from the ancient Saxony.] Giovanni Andrea Pauletti, Storia di Torino con una succinta descrizione di tutti li Stati di Casa Savoia, 1676.     quoted in Wikipedia https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ducato_di_Savoia#cite_note-13
The Savoians reaffirmed their German origin throughout the ancien regime. Their supposedly imperial background allowed them to claim a leading position in Italy and to hamper potential ambitions of France.     [ see http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/i/I19505.php ]

Compare the painting by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz (1553-1608) in the Escorial.

Emanuele Filiberto and his wife Margherita di Valois
Emanuele Filiberto married Margherita (1523-74), daughter of King Francis I of France, in 1559. The marriage had been agreed in the Peace of Cateau-Cambrťsis (1559). In the same treaty France agreed to finish the occupation of Savoy and to renounce all claims in Italy.
Their son became Duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy.


Scudo 1569, Turin.  (3 lire)     ō 43 mm, ca.37 g.   CNI 246/501; RM 154/16; Sim.86; Dav.8373.
Obv.:   ∑EM∑FILIBERTVS∑D∑G∑DVX∑SAB∑Princeps∑PEDemontii∑1569 T
Rev.:   MARGARITA∑DE∑FRANTIA∑D∑SABAVDIAE
Minted in Vercelli (V) and Turin (T) with dates 1566, 1569 und 1570.

Ref.:   [CNI and RM: page & No. eg. 83/7 = p.83 n.7]
Corpus Nummorum Italicorum [CNI], vol.I: Casa Savoia.   -   CNI-Index vol.I
Ravegnani Morosini, Mario [RM]: Signorie e principati - monete italiane con ritratto, 1450-1796. 1984
    Savoia: vol.III, p.111 ff.
• Simonetti, Luigi [Sim]: Monete italiane medioevali e moderne. Vol.1/1: Casa Savoia 1056-1630. 1967
• Cudazzo, Sergio [MIR]: Monete Italiane Regionali (MIR-5) - Casa Savoia. Ed. Varesi, 2005
• Biaggi, Elio: Monete e Zecche Medioevali Italiane dal sec. VIII al sec.XV. Torino 1992
• Davenport, John S. [Dav]: European Crowns 1484-1600. Frankfurt 1977
• Friedberg, Arthur and Ira: Cold Coins of the World. 8th edition, 2009
• lamoneta.it: I Quaderni di laMoneta, Casa Savoia
• piergi00: Lira "Instar Omnium" 1562 Zecca di Torino Emanuele Filiberto Duca (1559-1580)

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