This gold double ducat from c.1475 depicts Gian Galeazzo Maria Sforza. In name – and in name only – the youth was Duke of Milan as he was under constant guardianship until his early death. What remains are coins minted for him depicting splendid Renaissance portraits.
This fiorino d’oro from around 1430 depicts Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, tearing along on his horse. The animal’s saddlecloth features the coat of arms (the “biscione”). It became the symbol of the whole of Lombardy – and also of car manufacturer Alfa Romeo.
As a sign of their power, the abbesses of the Fraumünster in Zurich had the right to mint coins. But by the time they decided to depict themselves on their issues, as on this late 13th-century pfennig, they had already had to surrender much of their power to the citizens of the town.