Order of Saint John at Rhodes and Malta
43rd Grand Master: Fabrizio del Carretto, 1513-1521
44th Grand Master: Philippe Villiers de l'Isle Adam, 1521-1534
45th Grand Master: Pierino del Ponte, 1534-1535
49th Grand Master: Jean de la Valette, 1557-1568
|The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem - abbreviated Order of Saint John - was created after the conquest of Jerusalem in the First Crusade (1099) as an international lay brotherhood to provide care for sick, poor or injured pilgrims coming to the Holy Land. The brotherhood became a religious order in 1113 and a spiritual order of knights in 1153. The order was expelled from Jerusalem in 1187, then from Acre in 1291. They stayed in Cyprus until 1307, from where they moved their headquarters to the city of Rhodes, they had conquered in 1310.|
Specimen of the Coin Cabinet, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.Minted silver medal n. d. Ø 39 mm, 20,68 g. R.Morris pl.II,fig.3; Hill(1930) 730; Börner 265.
Obv.: ✠·Frater·FABRICIVS·DE·CARRETTO·MAGNVS·Magister·Rodi· "... Grand Master of Rhodes"
Rev.: DEO ET BEATE VIRGINI "For God and the Blessed Virgin"
Quartered shield: Order cross / family coat of arms.
A stamp from Malta was created on this model.
Ducat n. d. (zecchino) Rhodes. Ø 22,5 mm, 3,50 g. Friedb.(Rhodes) 11.
Obv.: ·Frater·FABRICII·De·CArretto· - S·IOAnnI
The Grand Master of the order kneeling left before St. John, jointly holding banner between themselves.
Rev.: ·SIT·Tibi·XPЄ·DATus·Quem·TV - ·RЄGIS·ISTЄ·DVCatus·
"To you, o Christ, be given this dukedom which you are governing" - Within mandorla: Christ, nimbate,
standing facing, holding Book of Gospels, his right hand raised in benediction, nine stars around him.
The Venetian-medieval coin design found stereotyped application on Rhodes.
This similarity underlined the equivalence with the prestigious Venetian zecchino.
Compare a Ducat from Venice with kneeling Doge and ·Sanctus·Marcus·VЄNЄTI.
Ducat n. d. (zecchino) Rhodes Ø 21 mm, 3,52 g. Friedb.(Malta) 1.
Obv.: ·Frater·PhILIPPVS· - S/I/O/A/n/n/I (read left side downwards)
Grand Master kneeling to left, grasping the staff given to him by St. John.
Rev.: ·SIT·Tibi·XPE·DATus quem·Tu· - REGIS·ISTE·DVcatus· - Christ between stars within mandorla.
Ducat n. d., (zecchino) Malta. Ø 21 mm, 3,49 g. Friedb.(Malta) 1 var.
Obv.: ·Frater·PHilippuS·DE·LILE ADA - Magister·HOSpitalis·HIErosoliMorum· (read left side upwards)
Nimbed Saint John presents the Order's flag to the Grand Master kneeling before him.
Rev.: ·DA·MIHI·VIRTVTEM· - ·COnTRA·HOSTES·TVOS· "Give me strength against your enemies"
Christ stands between stars in the mandorla.
Ducat n. d. (zecchino) Rome or Malta. Ø 22 mm, 3,41 g. R.Morris pl.II,fig.4; Friedb.2.
Obv.: +·F·PHVS·DE·LILE·ADAM·M·HOSPLIS·HIERLM (Legend as before)
Bearded bust in religious clothing with beret. The octagonal cross on the shoulder.
Rev.: +·DA·MIHI·VIRTVTEM· - COnTRA·HOSTES·TVOS·
Quartered shield: coat of arms of the Order of St. John (cross) | Philipp's family arms (outstretched hand with stole, decorated with tails). Shield surrounded by a chain with an order?
Ducat n. d. (zecchino) Malta. Ø 21,7 mm, 3,50 g. Friedb. 4.
Specimen from John Gatt, Coins of Malta
Obv.: ·F·PETRINVS - ·D/E/·/P/O/N/T/E (read left side upwards)
Grand Master kneeling before Saint John, as before.
Rev.: ·DA·MIHI·VIRTVTEM· - COnTRA·HOSTES·TVOS·
Mandorla with Christ standing between nine stars.
Ducat n. d. (zecchino) Malta. Ø 22 mm, 3,40 g. Friedb. 5.
Obv.: F·IOANNES DE - V/A/L/L/E/T/E - Grand Master kneeling before St. John.
Rev.: DA MICHI VIRTVTEM - CONTRA HOSTES TVOs - Christ standing in mandorla.
Cast bronze medal n. d. (1565). Ø 51 mm, 64,20 g. Bargello 594; Schembri 3; Börner 483.
On Malta's defense against the Ottoman in 1565. By Frederico Cocciola (worked 1560-74 in Rom).
Obv.: Frater·IOannes·VALLETA - ·Magnus·Magister·HOSPitalis·HIERosolimorum
Armored effigy to the right. Maltese octagonal cross partially visible on the chest.
Lion's head on the shoulder, below the truncation: F·CO (die cutter signature).
Rev.: VNVS X·MILLIA "One killed ten thousand"
David swings a sword over Goliath lying on the ground. The throwing slingshot, David's real weapon, lies
on the ground, next to it are fleeing Philistines, on the horizon the sea with ships.
Three throwing balls lying on the ground next to Goliath's head.
Cast bronze medal n. d. (1565). Ø 42,8 mm, 33,67 g. Schembri p.197, no.8.
by F. Cocciola, on the survived siege by the Turkish troops in 1565.
Armored bust left, behind his head symbols of his victories over the Turks.
Rev.: +MELITA - RENASCENS "Malta's rebirth"
Bird's-eye view of the island of Malta between waves as shown in the following illustration:
Fort St. Elmo at the cape of the Sciberras Peninsula (now center of Valletta) between
the small harbor (left side) and the grand harbor (right side)
and Fort St. Angelo with barrier chain across the bay of the galleys inside the grand harbor.
Look at the Siege of Malta Fresco [16th century, commons.wikimedia.org, source unknown]
and also at a Satellite view of modern Valletta.
Cast bronze medal n. d. (c. 1566). by Mario d'Aluigi. Ø 59,5 mm, 105,18 g.
Attwood 747; Toderi/Vannel 2703; Armand I 220 & III 102; Schembri p.195, no.1.
On the foundation of Valletta after the siege by Turkish troops.
Obv.: ·Fratres·IOANNES·DE·VALLETE· - ·Magister·HOSPitalis·HIErosolimorum·
Armored bust to the left with Maltese cross on the chest.
Rev.: ·HABEO·TE· "I have you"
An elephant with a tower on its back stands in the sea, in front of it a Maltese warship with three warriors at its front. A man holds the elephant by the trunk while somebody leans forward on the tower.
A palm tree behind. In the background view of the island of Malta with the map of Valletta.
This means: The elephant (the powerful Ottomans) is stopped by a Maltese soldier.
Cast bronze medal n. d. (1568). Ø 48,1 mm, 60,41 g. Schembri p.196, no.5.
by E. A. Bosio, on the reconstruction of St. Elmo fort.
Obv.: ·F·IO·DE·VALLETA·M·M·H·H·MELITEN·PRINCeps· "... Prince of Malta"
Armored bust with folded coat. Signature BOSIVS at the arm section.
"Permanent defence against a Turkish siege"
Bird's eye view of the rebuilt Fort St. Elmo between DEO - LVX.
• John Gatt : site Coins of Malta and book: Coins Minted by the Knights in Malta 1530-1798. Melbourne 2018
• H.J.A. Sire : The knights of Malta. 1994. Google Reading sample
• F. Restelli / J. Sammut : The Coinage of the Knights in Malta. Valletta, 1977
• H. C. Schembri : Coins and Medals of the Knights of Malta. London 1908/10 & reprint 1966
• E. H. Furse : Mémoires numismatiques de l'Ordre Souverain de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem, illustrés avec les
médailles et monnaies frappées par les grands maîtres de l'Ordre. Rome 1885 & reprint
• R. Morris : Coins of the grand masters of the Order of Malta. Boston 1884. online
• NAC : The Restelli Collection: Coins and Medals from the Knights of St.John, Auct.58, 4.2011, Zurich PDF
• F. R. Künker : Sammlung Malteserorden auf Malta, Auct.246, No.2817-2978, Osnabrück 3.2014