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Lot 707

Estimate: 400 CHF   |   Starting price: 400 CHF Price realized: 450 CHF
The Knights of St. John in Rhodes. Philibert de Naillac, 34th Grand Master, 1396-1421. Gigliato, n.d. AR 3.90 g. +F.Rª FILIBRª (!)TVS m QSI Within dotted circle Grand Master kneeling l. before patriarchal cross on base and two steps; in field r. shield with arms of the Grand Master. Rev. +I SAn.T.A: C:R.O:Sª:R... Within dotted border ross fleury with shield of the Order at the end of each limb. Schlumberger, Orient cf. pl. 10, 11 (same types, different inscriptions)
Rare. Good very fine
Provenance: Auction Bank Leu AG, Zurich 32 (1982), 661.
Grand Master Philibert de Naillac (1396-1421).
Philibert de Naillac, was the descendant of an old French family, holding at one time the position of prior of the Order of Aquitaine. When news of his election reached him, de Naillac was actually fighting the Turks. He took part at the disastrous battle of Nikolopis on 28th September 1396, where King Sigismund of Hungary was beaten by a Turkish army under Bayazid and where the flower of French and German knighthood was almost totally annihilated. At the Grand Master’s arrival in Rhodes, the Order of St. John was presented with an opportunity to purchase large possessions in Morea and to establish a strong state there. Negotiations failed, mainly because the local Greek leaders objected violently, opposing any plan of being annexed by the Order. After the final loss of Smyrna in 1402, the knights built a strong castle near the ancient town of Halikarnassus, which they dedicated to St Peter, naming it Petronio (modern Bodrum). From here the Order hoped to control large parts of the mainland and the straits.
In 1409 the Grand Master attended the Council of Pisa, where Pope Alexander V had been elected (he died soon afterwards) and from where he was sent on a diplomatic mission to mediate between France and England. De Naillac was using all this influence and prestige in the hope that both countries end their conflict and direct their energies to combat the Turkish advance into Europe. In 1417 he played an active role at the Council of Constance, where Pope Martin V was elected, putting a final end to the Grand
Schism of the Church. The Grand Master returned to Rhodes after an absence of eleven years. In the meantime the fort of St. Nicholas (it can still admired today) had been con­structed at the extremity of the mole. It was dominated by the „Naillac“ tower, for centuries the most striking landmark of Rhodes, but destroyed by an earthquake in 1863. Grand Master de Naillac died suddenly in June 1421 at the age of 81.

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