The Benjamin Bell Collection of Ducats and Imitation Ducats 11 items
Benjamin Bell devoted his collecting and scholarly life to the phenomenon of the gold ducat of Venice and its many imitations. The 201 coins of the Bell collection were acquired by bequest, after the untimely death of the collector in 2017. The ducat was introduced as the first gold coin of Venice in 1285 and soon became the most commonly accepted gold coin in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkish rulers of Asia Minor issued direct imitations of the ducat in the fourteenth century, and the series of imitations continued well into the modern era in Asia and Africa. Issuers adopted the format of the Venetian ducat: their ruler replaced the doge as the kneeling figure on the right of the obverse, and their patron saint replaced Saint Mark on the left.