1 Teston Holy Roman Empire (962-1806) / Italy Silver

Issue year(s):
1518 - 1530


1518, Casale (Piedmont), Boniface IV Paleologo. Silver Teston Coin

Denomination: Teston
Mint Period: 1518-1530 AD 
Mint Place: Casale (Piedmont, Italy)
State: Monferrat (Marquisate in Piedmont, Italy)    
References: MIR 216 (R!), CNI 9/19, Biaggi 967.
Diameter: 31mm
Weight: 8.82gm

Material: Silver

Obverse: Quartered shield with coat-of-arms of Monferrat (upper left, lower right), double-headed coat-of-arms of the Plaiologos dynasty  (upper right) and their imperial banner (lower left).

Legend: ✠ BONIFACIUS . MAR . MONTISFERRA. ("Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat." )

Cross within quatrefoil.

Legend: * PRINC . VICARIUS . PP . SACRI . RO . IMP  ("Prince, Vicar  of the Holy Roman Empire." )

The Marquises and Dukes of Montferrat were the rulers of a territory in Piedmont south of the Po and east of Turin called Montferrat. The March of Montferrat was created by Berengar II of Italy in 950 during a redistribution of power in the northwest of his kingdom. It was originally named after and held by the Aleramici. In 1574, Montferrat was raised to a Duchy by Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (see Duchy of Montferrat).

Casale Monferrato is a town in the Piedmont region in Italy, in the province of Alessandria. It is situated about 60 km (37 mi) east of Turin on the right bank of the Po, where the river runs at the foot of the Montferrat hills. Beyond the river lies the vast plain of the Po valley.

Boniface IV Paleologo, Marquis of Montferrat (21 December 1512 – 6 June 1530) was an Italian nobleman. He succeeded his father William IX, Marquis of Montferrat from 1518. His mother was Anna d’Alençon (1492–1562). Boniface never married and died childless in 1530, after falling from his horse. He was succeeded by his uncle, John George, Bishop of Casale.

An imperial vicar (German: Reichsvikar) was a prince charged with administering all or part of the Holy Roman Empire on behalf of the emperor. Later, an imperial vicar was invariably one of two princes charged by the Golden Bull with administering the Holy Roman Empire during an interregnum. In the Empire’s early centuries, imperial vicars were appointed from time to time to administer one of the Empire’s constituent kingdoms of Germany, Italy or Arles.

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The House of Palaeologus-Montferrat or Palaiologos-Montferrat, or just Palaeologus or Paleologo, was an Italian noble family and a cadet branch of the Palaiologos dynasty, the last ruling family of the Byzantine Empire. The cadet branch was created in 1306 when Theodore Palaiologos, fourth son of Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, inherited the March of Montferrat through his mother, and Andronikos II’s second wife, Yolande of Montferrat.

The Aleramici, Yolande’s house and the previous rulers of Montferrat, had ruled the Kingdom of Thessalonica, a crusader state established around the city of Thessalonica after the Fourth Crusade in 1204. Though the resurgent Byzantines had reconquered Thessalonica in 1224, the Aleramici family still retained claims to the title. Because Andronikos II was eager to establish himself as legitimate in the eyes of Western Europe, he married Yolande in an effort to formally unite the claims of her family with his own de facto rule of Thessalonica, avoiding the potential future threat of a pretender launching an invasion against the empire.

At the time of their marriage, Yolande was second-in-line to the throne of Montferrat, and when her brother, John I of Montferrat, died without children in 1305, rulership of Montferrat legitimately passed to Yolande and her children, Theodore being chosen to make the journey to Italy and establish himself there. Many of the more conservative parts of the Byzantine aristocracy feared that Theodore and his descendants would become ‘latinized’; fears that were realized once Theodore adopted Western customs and converted to Roman Catholicism.

Although the Montferrat Palaiologoi continued to use typical Greek names, such as Theodore or Sophia, from time to time, and a handful of marquises had Byzantine aspirations, they tended to pay relatively little attention to events and affairs in the eastern Mediterranean. The imperial branch of the Palaiologos family were displaced in 1453 through the Fall of Constantinople, but the Montferrat cadet branch continued to rule Montferrat for almost another century after that, being replaced by the House of Gonzaga in 1533 after the death of the last male member of the house, John George Palaeologus. The last female member, Margaret Paleologa, died in 1566, rendering the house extinct. Their descendants are still alive today, both in the form of branches descended from illegitimate children and through matrilineal descent in several Italian noble houses, such as the House of Savoy.

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Posted by: anonymous  2023-10-29
<title> 1518, Casale (Piedmont), Boniface IV Paleologo. Silver Teston Coin. NGC MS-62! Denomination: TestonMint Period: 1518-1530 AD Mint Place: Casale (Piedmont, Italy)State: Monferrat (Marquisate in Piedmont, Italy) References: MIR 216 (R!), CNI 9/19, Biaggi 967.Condition: C ...

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