by Hadrien Rambach
Apostolo Zeno, born in an important Venetian family of Cretan Greek origin, was a journalist who co-founded the Giornale de’ letterati d’Italia. He was also a poet and a librettist, founder of the Accademia degli Animosi. Zeno lived in Vienna from 1718 until 1729, where he was poet laureate to the Imperial court, before returning to Venice to study and collect.
When he brought his coin collection back to Austria, it comprised some 10,766 coins – of which 433 were in gold. He offered them in 1747 to the Augustinian monastery of St. Florian in Upper Austria. The collection was sold by Dorotheum in three auctions 1955-1957. Zeno was a great letter writer, and many of his letters survive. Several coins from Zeno’s collection were described – and occasionally illustrated – as early as 1767.
- Jean Foy Vaillant, Numismata impp. roman. a J. Caesare ad Postumum et … ad Commenos, opera Jos. Khell, Vienna 1767;
- Friedrich Kenner, Die Münzsammlung des Stiftes St-Florian in Ober-Oesterreich in einer Auswahl ihrer wichtigsten Stücke, Vienna 1871, pp. VII sqq.;
- François de Callataÿ‘s ‘Fontes Ineditae Numismaticae Antiquae’ ( FINA) project.
- Hadrien Rambach, “Provenance glossary”, in Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 91: the George W. La Borde collection of Roman aurei – part I, Zurich, 23 May 2016, pp. -.
- Hadrien Rambach, “Provenance glossary”, in Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 99: the George W. La Borde collection of Roman aurei – part II, Zurich, 29 May 2017, pp. 47-63.
- Hadrien Rambach, “Provenance glossary”, in Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 105: the George W. La Borde collection of Roman aurei – part III, Zurich, 9 May 2018, pp. 82-105.
This article was first published in a catalogue of auction house Numismatica Ars Classica.