The Este collection of coins and medals is one of the largest and most important in Italy.
The Este collection of coins and medals is one of the largest and most important in Italy. It is currently made up of around 40,000 items, including Greek, Roman, Mediaeval and Modern coins, approximately 2,500 Renaissance and Baroque medals and around one hundred Renaissance plaques. At the beginning of the nineteenth century very little remained of the celebrated collection of coins and medals that the Este had been gathering since the fifteenth century. The surviving part was then greatly enhanced in 1803, when the fine collection amassed by the Marquis Tommaso degli Obizzi at his famous Villa of Catajo near Padua was bequeathed by him to Duke Ercole III d’Este. But it was above all through the passion and the numismatic interests of Duke Francesco IV of Austria-Este (1815-1846) that the Este collection of coins and medals returned to being one of the most important in Europe.