Numiscollects latest in its long running Sacred Art series of silver coins has come forth and it’s of a location well known throughout the world. The Piazza dei Miracoli is a walled architectural complex in Pisa, Italy. From the locale you can probably guess it garnered its fame from the main attraction on the site, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There’s much more there than a tower, the site having a huge religious significance. Amongst the four religious buildings on the site, the biggest is Pisa Cathedral and it’s this structure that serves as the main focus of the tenth Sacred Art coin.
The architect Buscheto began construction of this medieval cathedral of the Archdiocese of Pisa back in 1064. The builder was a master named Rainaldo, an inscription above the middle door: Rainaldus prudens operator indicating as much. A great fire in 1595 destroyed much of the Renaissance artwork that adorned the interior, including the tomb of Pope Gregory VIII. Quickly restored, the current building is a fine example of its type. The interior carries a large stained glass window at one end made of both potash and soda glass. It depicts the Virgin Mary and is the centrepiece of this new coin.
Sacred Art, also known as Holy Windows, has as its centrepiece a depiction in miniature of a stained-glass window in one of the major churches in the world. It’s an excellent change from the amber, agate and other minerals that often fill windows in the numerous ranges of art-architectural coins on the market today. Large for the coin, even at 50g, they fit the diamond shape very well and contain an extraordinary amount of detail for their size. Surrounding the window is something considerably more common in this genre, antique finish details struck into the silver. Sacred Art has always placed its greatest emphasis on the window, and while the design in the metal has always been first-class, it has never really pushed numismatic boundaries. Not so here.