Duchy of Milan, Giovanni Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Testone

The testone was minted for the first time in Milan by Duke Galleazo Maria Sforza (1476-1494). The new coin bore the duke's portrait on the obverse, which was the reason for its name: "testa" means "head" in Italian. Galeazzo Maria Sforza was 33 years of age when a nobleman assassinated him during church attendance. The murdered duke left behind his wife, Bona of Savoy, and a little son, Gian Galeazzo Maria Sforza. Gian was much too young to reign himself; his mother thus assumed regency. In 1480, however, the little duke's uncles displaced the duchess from power, and Lodovico Sforza, called "il Moro," took over. The obverse on this testone depicts young Gian. The reverse bears Milan's coat of arms and the legend "Under the regency of Lodovico, his agnatic uncle."