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Margravate Saluzzo
Ludovico II, 1475-1504
Margherita di Foix (1473-1536), regent 1504-21
Francesco di Saluzzo, 1529-37
The Margraviate of Saluzzo is located in the headwaters of the river Po, bordering Savoy in the east and France in the west. It was created in 1142 by agreement between France and Savoy, and was raised to a margraviate in 1175 by Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa). When the ruling dynasty Del Vasto became extinct in 1548, Saluzzo fell to France. In 1601 it came to Savoy in exchange for Bresse, the westernmost part of the Duchy of Savoy.

Map of Italy 1499

Ludovico II, 1475-1504
The Margraviate of Saluzzo reached its zenith under the skillful diplomat Ludovico I. His son Ludovico II was less skillful and fell out with Carlo I of Savoy, who temporarily ruled 1487-90 Saluzzo. Ludovico II supported King Charles VIII in 1495/95 in the French campaign against Naples. In 1499, he took command in the second French invasion into Italy, conducted by King Louis XII against Milan, and later against Spanish Naples. Ludovico was defeated in late 1503 and died in Genoa on his retreat. His engagement awarded him the French Order of Saint Michael but did not result in gain of power and the expenses exhausted his country.
Ludovico II married Margherita di Foix. Their sons succeeded to the throne - Michele Antonio (1504-28), Gian Ludovico (1528-29), Francesco (1529-37). At the death of the youngest - Gabriele (1537-48) - the dynasty became extinct.
In 1480 Ludovico established a mint for his coinage in Carmagnola.

Doppio ducato, Carmagnola.     Ø 28 mm, 6,93 g.     CNI 55/4; RM 99/1; Friedb.154.
Obv.:   +·LVDOVICVS·Marchio·S A - LVTIARVM·:·  -  armored bust to the left, beret with button.
Rev.:   ·SANCTVS:CONSTANTIVS·:·  -  crowned eagle with arms of Saluzzo on the breast.
The coat of arms of Saluzzo consists of a white field under a blue chief.

Ducato, Carmagnola.     Ø 23 mm, 3,46 g.   CNI 57/19; RM 100/3var; Friedb.155.
Obv.:   ·LVdovicus·Marchio·SA - LVTIARum  -  armored bust to the left, beret without button.
inclined arms of Savoy under a crown, on which a crowned eagle is sitting; at the sides the initials ·L· - ·M.

Cavalotto n. d., Carmagnola.     Ø 28 mm, 3,59 g.     CNI 63/81; RM 103/10; MIR 126.
Obv.:   +·LVDOVICVS·M·S - ALVTIARVM·   -   effigy to the left, beret with button.
Rev.:   S - ANCT':CONSTANT - IVS·:·   -   St. Constantius with banner on horseback to the right.

Cavalotto n. d., Carmagnola.     Ø 28 mm, 4,00 g.     CNI 60/46-95; RM 103/10; MIR 126.
Obv.:   +·LVDOVICVSV·M·SA - LVTIARVM   -   armored bust with beret to the left.
A double strike misshaped letter M of the legend and the inner circle at 5h.

Rev.:   SANCT:C - O - NSTA - N - TIVS   -   St. Constantius with banner and on horseback.
The inner circle was drawn on the die with a pair of compasses but was not completely hammered out.
The horse on the reverse gave this type of coin its name "Cavalotto".
Dies with the effigy of the ruler could be used for coinage of double ducats, testons and cavalottos because of their common diameter.

Cornuto or Grosso da 12-15 soldi, Carmagnola.     Ø 28 mm, 7,98 g.
CNI 58/28var; RM 99/6(Obv.)-8(Rev.); MIR 124var.

Obv.:   ·+·LVDOVICus'·MARCHIO·'SALVTIARvum  -  armored bust with beret to the left.
inclined arms of Savoy under a crown, on which a crowned eagle is sitting; at the sides the initials ·L· - ·M.
The obverse is from a Cornuto-die (RM 6), the reverse is from a Grosso-die (RM 8).

Tallero 1503, Carmagnola.   Ø 43 mm, 38,76 g.  CNI p.69 n.138; RM p.105 n.14; MIR 135; Dav.8257.
Effigy of Ludovico and Margherita di Foix, face to face; date 1503 below.
Ludovico wears the collar of the French Order of Saint Michael (linked scallop shells).

"If God is for us who can be against us?"   J JC [JC ligated] = ?
Crowned eagle with a shield on the breast: Saluzzo | Foix/Béarn.
Arms of Saluzzo: white field under blue chief.
Arms of Foix (Northeast of the Pyrenees): three red piles on a yellow ground.
Arms of Béarn (Northwest of the Pyrenees): two red cows on a yellow ground.
Ludovico's wife Margherita di Foix commissioned a monumental tomb in the church of San Giovanni in Saluzzo. The marble sculpture was made by Benedetto Briosco. Compare coin and the head in frontal view. . No other contemporary portrait of Ludovico II seems to be known.

Margherita di Foix (*1473 †1536), Regent 1504-1521
- Wife of Ludovico II, regent for their first son Michele Antonio -
On Ludovico's death in 1504, his wife Margaret of Foix exercised the regency for their eldest son Michael Anton (*1495) until approximately 1521. She continued to persue French interests: she sent Michael Anton to be educated at the French court and when an imperial army approached in 1522, Margherita fled temporarily to France. She was an accomplished woman, but the dissension with her sons and the discord between the four brothers hampered her regency.
Michael Anton distinguished himself at the Battle of Pavia in 1525. He died in battle in 1528.
When the second son Gian Ludovico changed allegiance after the battle of Pavia and joined Emperor Charles V., his mother had him imprisoned. He was freed and brought to power by a rebellion in the country. King Francis I of France achieved his deposition a year later in favour of Ludovico's third son Francesco, see below.
Margherita retired to Castres in the Pyrenees in 1531. She died in 1536, abandoned and disappointed with her sons.

Tallero da 40 grossi 1516.     Ø 45 mm, 37,85 g.   CNI 71/1; RM 107/1; Dav.8259; Scher 34.
Bust with long widow's veil to the left.
"God my protector and my refuge"     J JC [JC ligated] = ?
Leafless tree with exposed roots (for the deceased husband), with dove and hanging shield.
This is probably a show piece, not intended for circulation. It is registered both in coin catalogs and in medal catalogs, although no specific occasion for its issue is known, which is usually the case for a medal. The letters J JC in the legend have not yet been decoded conclusively.

Francesco di Saluzzo, 1529-37
- Third son of Ludovico II. and Margherita di Foix -
When Francesco became Margrave in 1529, thanks to King Francis's intervention, Saluzzo became a satellite state of France in actual fact. On Francesco's death in 1537, he was succeeded by his youngest brother Gabriele, who had been educated for the church. His reign ended with an uprising in 1548. Shortly after, Gabriele died and the ruling dynasty Del Vasto became extinct. In 1549, Saluzzo was formally annexed by King Henry II of France.

Testone n. d.     Ø 29 mm, ca. 9 g.   CNI 89/3var; RM 109/1; MIR 152.
Obv.:   ·FRANCISCVS·M· - SALVCIARVM   -   armored bust to the left.
Rev.:   :NON·NOBIS·DOMINE·NON·NOBIS   "Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us"
Crowned arms of Saluzzo between initials F - S.

Ref.:   [CNI and RM: page & No. eg. 83/7 = p.83 n.7]
Corpus Nummorum Italicorum [CNI], vol.II, look at Carmagnola   -   CNI-Index vol.II
Ravegnani Morosini, Mario [RM]: Signorie e principati - monete italiane con ritratto, 1450-1796. 1984
    Saluzzo: vol.III, p.95 ff.
• Varesi, Alberto [MIR]: Monete Italiane Regionali (MIR-2) - Piemonte, Sardegna, Liguria, Corsica.
    Ed.Varesi, 1996

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