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Lot 716

Estimate: 1'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 1'000 CHF Price realized: 2'500 CHF
The Knights of St. John in Malta. Jean Levesque de la Cassière, 51st Grand Master, 1572-1581. Zecchino, n.d. AV 3.42 g. F.IO.LEVESQVE. DE - LA.CASSIERE. The Grand Master kneeling l., receiving from St. John, nimbate and standing r., staff with the flag of the Order; below flag, M/I and rosette. Rev.DA MICHI VIRTVTEM - CONTRA HOSTES TVO Within mandorla, Christ, nimbate, standing facing, holding Book of Gospels in his l. hand, his r. hand raised in benediction, in field l., four stars, r. five stars. Azzopardi, Malta 702; Fr. 7; Restelli-Sammut 62, 1 and pl. XV, 1; Schembri 57, 1 and pl. 8, 5.
Scarce. Good very fine
Provenance: Auction Helga P.R. Blaser-Frey, Freiburg XIII (1964), 155.
Grand Master Jean Levesque de la Cassière, 1572-1581.
The great victory of 1565 attracted many young and adventurous aristocrats into the Order and this slowly led to real problems of discipline since these young men were far more boisterous than earlier knights. Cassière’s attempts at reining them in resulted in a revolt against him that was only suppressed by Papal pressure and the appointment of an Inquisitor for the island. This, in turn, enraged most members of the Order because they were very much against all forms of outside interference in the way the Order was run, especially if the interference came from the Pope. These troubles within the Order continued for the rest of the 16th century, only ending with the long reign of Alof de Wignacourt (1601-1622). Cassière’s reign saw no innovations in the coinage.

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