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Lot 712

Estimate: 3'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 3'000 CHF Price realized: 4'000 CHF
The Knights of St. John in Malta. Juan de Homedes, 47th Grand Master, 1536-1553. 30 Tari, 1552 or 1553. AR 10.06 g. .IO.HOMEDES.M. HOS.HIERL.M. Within linear circle arms of the Grand Master quartered with those of the Order; above Maltese cross. Rev. ECCE.AGNVS.D.QVI.TOLLIT.P. Within linear circle nimbate Paschal lamb standing l., head turned r., holding banner; in exergue, date 1553; above, Maltese cross. Restelli-Sammut 34, 5 or 6 and pl. II, 3 or 4; Schembri 32, 1 or 3 and pl. 2, 2 or 3.
Very rare. Very fine
Provenance: Bought in 1970 from Maison Florange, Paris in private treaty.
Grand Master Juan de Homedes, 1536-1553.
The Spanish Juan de Homedes had a reign that was beset by controversy, in part because of the political rivalries between France and the Empire in Europe (Italy was basically anti-Spanish and the French even made an alliance with the Ottomans). Homedes began building the important fortress of St. Elmo, at the tip of the Sciberras peninsula, across the great harbor from Borgo, fortified the promontory of l’Isola that paralleled Borgo, and greatly strengthened Fort Sant’Angelo (all these works were completed under his successor Claude de la Sengle – the new town on l’Isola being named Senglea in his honor). Hospitaller support of Charles V’s attacks on the north-African coast provoked retaliatory attacks from the Turks, especially from Dragut, a powerful commander of corsairs who had succeeded Barbarossa. The Order suffered the loss of Tripoli, which they had garrisoned at heavy expense for many years at the behest of Charles V and, in 1551, Dragut sacked Gozo taking 6000 prisoners to be sold as slaves. De Homedes’ reign was notable for the inauguration of an abundant coinage of silver, much of it being dated (from 1538 on).

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