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Lot 708

Estimate: 4'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 4'000 CHF Price realized: 3'600 CHF
The Knights of St. John in Rhodes. Antonio Fluviano de la Rivière, 35th Grand Master, 1421-1437. Ducato, n.d. AV 3.54 g. F.ANTONIVS - S/P/R/O/D/I The Grand Master kneeling l., receiving from St. John, nimbate and standing r., staff with the flag of the Order; below flag, D/V/X. Rev. SIT T DAT QTV.-RªGIS ISTª DVCA Within mandorla, Christ, nimbate, standing facing, holding Book of Gospels in his l. hand, his r. hand raised in benediction; in field l., three stars, r. five stars. Fr. 534, 3var. (S.M.VENET on obv.); H.E. Ives and P. Grierson, The Venetian Gold Ducat and its Imitations, ANS NNM 128 (1954) pl. IX, B; Schlumberger, Orient not.
Extremely rare variant. Obv. Good very fine. Rev. Extremely fine
John J. Slocum Coll., privately bought from A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., London
Auction Sotheby's, London March 6/7, 1997, 971
Grand Master Antonio de Fluvian (1421-1437).
Antoine de Fluvian (or Fluviano or de la Rivière) was from a noble Catalan family and had been administrating the Order during the long absence of the previous Grand Mas­ter. At the time of his election, the possessions of the Order in and around Rhodes were threatened by the Sultan’s troops, led by Bayazit, who after his victory over the Chris­tians in 1396, felt it was time to evict the Order of St. John once and for all from the eastern Mediterranean. The finances of the Order were in bad shape, mainly because of the lack of income due to the Hundred Years War, but also because wealthy possessions in Bohemia and Moravia had been devastated by the Hussites. In 1426 the Turks defea­ted a Cypriot army, led by King Janus, where also a large number of knights of St. John had participated. The King was taken prisoner, the capital Nicosia and most of the island were devastated. The Grand Master died in October 1437. In his testament he had or­dered that all his possessions, valued at 200.000 ducats, were to be sold and the pro­ceeds turned over to the Order of St. John.

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