Grasping history Jan/Feb 2015

Zecchino of Ludovico Manin

No date (1789 – 1797) / Venice
St. Marc handing banner to kneeling doge.
Reverse: Christ in Mandorla.

Ludovico Manin (1789 – 1797) was the last Doge of Venice. Like his predecessors he minted golden coins denominated as “Zecchino” (called “Ducat” until the middle of the 16th century). Since its introduction in the year 1268 the appearance of this nominal remained virtually unchanged. Only the names of the doges allow assigning the coins to a certain ruler.


The economically thriving and mighty sea republic of Venice caused the spread of its currency simultaneously with its political engagement in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus the “Zecchino” became an important trade coin in this area, respectively a proper trade mark. Once accepted and appreciated by merchants and clients the gold piece of Venice was deliberately not modified any more. This resulted in the odd fact, that still shortly before the Napoleonic Conquest coins were minted in Venice still keeping accurately the anachronistic features of a Late Medieval coin.

3,51 g / diameter 20,5 mm