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HM32989

Switzerland Solothurn 1796 Half Duplone MS61

Regular price £1,500
Regular price Sale price £1,500

Switzerland, Solothurn, Avoyer Republic Period (1760-98), gold Half Duplone, 1796, crowned coat of arms with garland centre dividing inscription RESPUBLICA SOLODORNENSIS, rev. Saint Ursus of Solothurn standing centre holding flag, slanted sword behind, date below groundline, inscription S·URSUS MARTYR surrounding, edge reeded, 3.82g (KM 59; Fr. 392; HMZ 2-841b). An attractive example with lustrous, almost prooflike, fields, particularly on the reverse, graded by NGC as MS61.

NGC Certification 5789836-011

The Latin inscriptions translates as on obverse as "Saint Ursus, Martyr," and on the reverse as "The Republic of Solothurn."

Despite being one of the smaller Swiss Cantons, Solothurn has a rich and varied numismatic history. A common feature on their later coinage during the Old Confederacy was the depiction of Saint Ursus, one of the two dual Patron Saints of Solothurn Cathedral, along with Saint Victor. The Life of Ursus was written by Saint Eucherius of Lyon in the 5th century. The story recounts that Ursus was tortured and beheaded in Solothurn under the Roman Emperor Maximian and Provincial Governor Hyrtacus for refusing to worship pagan idols around 286 AD. Urus thus became one of the most prominent members of the Martyrs of Agaunum, and one of the earliest Swiss Christians to be canonised by the Catholic Church.

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