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Stephen Album Rare Coins > Auction 38Auction date: 24 September 2020
Lot number: 1741

Lot description:

VENETIAN CYPRUS: Venetian Occupation, AE bezant (3.26g), 1570, Lambros-108, Mailliet-2, 26mm issue struck during the siege of Cyprus, St. Marc's lion with date below and PRO REGNI CYPRI PRESSIDIO around all // VENETORVM / FIDES. INVI / OLABILIS / BISANTE /. I ., putto above text, some weakness of strike, light obverse oxidation, VF, R. Cyprus was invaded in July 1570 by the Turkish forces of Sultan Selim II. General Marcantonio Bragadin defended the city of Famagusta with 6,000 garrison troops versus 100,000 Turkish soldiers and 1500 cannon. Bragadin held out for much longer than expected, but ultimately surrendered on August 1, 1571. Initially, the Venetians, including Bragadin, were guaranteed safe passage off the island, but during the surrender ceremony, Bragadin was accused of hiding munitions and murdering Turkish prisoners. He was held in prison for 2 weeks and then whipped to death. His skin was stuffed and given to Selim II as a trophy. The skin was later stolen by Venetian Girolamo Polidori in 1580, and brought back to Venice. It was interred at the Basilica de San Giovanni e Paolo, where it still resides.

Estimate: 220-280 USD