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Important KOM Auctions #6

C&E Canessa Napoli May 1923; The Caruso Collection.

Just over 100years ago, exactly on the 2nd of August 1921, the great tenor, Enrico Caruso died at the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples at the young age of 48.

The whole world, especially the Italian nation led by Vittorio Emmanuele III mourned the great man.

What you may not know is that beside a singer, Caruso considered himself a numismatist.

He used his considerable wealth and astute business acumen to amass a great collection of mainly Italian gold coins.

However his collection also included some wonderful Knights of Malta coins.

The collection was sold in May 1923 by the renowned auctioneers and antiquarians Fratelli Canessa at their main gallery at Piazza dei Martiri in Naples.

Of the 10 KOM coins offered, the highlight was lot 801, a wonderful 1695 Adrien de Wignacourt four Zecchini, sold for a considerable 1050 Lire and one of around 14 that are known to exist.

Other good coins were the 1694 Zecchino and 2 1724 Vilhena 4Zecchini.

My thanks to Mr Marco Ottolini for kindly providing the scans.

Colin Formosa

Secretary General

Malta Numismatic Society

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