In the Civic Museum of Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, a collection of 1104 coin striking tools is stored. Among these, eight steel dies produced from the 2nd decade of the seventeenth to the half of the eighteenth century, representative of the whole period of activity of the papal mint in Ferrara, have been chosen and studied. In that period, while important innovations in the coin minting technique were introduced in Europe, Ferrara declined from the rank of ducal mint to that of peripheral minting center of the highly centralized Papal States.The dies have been characterized by metallographic, chemical, and microhardness investigations. The results suggest that the dies were obtained by a manual smithing technique consisting in hammer hot forging. The die quality improved with time. In fact, in the period 1619-1622, a hardening treatment for the engraved die end consisting in a simple local carburization coexisted with a more efficient production method, based on the application of a proper final heat treatment. This treatment induced a graded microstructure from the engraved end, with a hard martensitic or bainitic structure, to the opposite end, with a tough ferritic/pearlitic structure. From 1675 onward, the latter production method was applied on all the studied dies.The chemical analysis of the alloys suggest that they were likely obtained from iron ores with a common provenance, while the analysis of the slag inclusions suggests the adoption of a direct method of ironmaking throughout the activity period of the mint.

Archaeometric study on minting dies produced under papal rule in Ferrara

MONTICELLI, Cecilia
Primo
;
BALBO, Andrea
Secondo
;
VACCARO, Carmela;GARAGNANI, Gian Luca
Ultimo
2013

Abstract

In the Civic Museum of Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, a collection of 1104 coin striking tools is stored. Among these, eight steel dies produced from the 2nd decade of the seventeenth to the half of the eighteenth century, representative of the whole period of activity of the papal mint in Ferrara, have been chosen and studied. In that period, while important innovations in the coin minting technique were introduced in Europe, Ferrara declined from the rank of ducal mint to that of peripheral minting center of the highly centralized Papal States.The dies have been characterized by metallographic, chemical, and microhardness investigations. The results suggest that the dies were obtained by a manual smithing technique consisting in hammer hot forging. The die quality improved with time. In fact, in the period 1619-1622, a hardening treatment for the engraved die end consisting in a simple local carburization coexisted with a more efficient production method, based on the application of a proper final heat treatment. This treatment induced a graded microstructure from the engraved end, with a hard martensitic or bainitic structure, to the opposite end, with a tough ferritic/pearlitic structure. From 1675 onward, the latter production method was applied on all the studied dies.The chemical analysis of the alloys suggest that they were likely obtained from iron ores with a common provenance, while the analysis of the slag inclusions suggests the adoption of a direct method of ironmaking throughout the activity period of the mint.
Monticelli, Cecilia; Balbo, Andrea; Vaccaro, Carmela; MARIA TERESA, Gulinelli; Garagnani, Gian Luca
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1825908
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