The Golden Florin and 1369, a special year for us!
Fiorino d'Oro of 1252 was born as an expression of a city and a county, the Republic of Florence, which in the middle of the thirteenth century was experiencing a prodigious expansion of trade: Florentine merchants and bankers, in fact, had close relations with Naples, Genoa, Venice and other Italian trading centers, not to mention France, England, Spain and Flanders.
Moreover, even though they were not long-standing sailors such as the Venetians and Genoese, the Florentines went, on several occasions, as far as regions as Turkey, the Black Sea and North Africa. Here, especially in Tunisia and Morocco, they received as payment large quantities of gold powder (called straw gold) from the gold rivers of Senegal and that the merchants brought back home increasing the welfare and financial potential of Florence.
The Fiorino d'Oro of Florence had a great reputation because it was based on the stability of its gold content (fine gold 3,5368 grams, 0,1125 troy ounce).
The golden florin carried on his right the Florentine Lily, the distinctive symbol of Florence, and on his front the figure of St. John the Baptist, patron of the city.
The history of the Fiorino d'Oro crosses with the history of Torrini in 1369, the year in which Jacopo della Scarperia deposits and registers his signum with the corporation of the Corazzai, Chiavaioli and Fabbri of Florence.
One of the Florentine Minor Arts that was closer to what today could be called the artisan manufactories.
Hand and thought craftsmen.
Where experience was the result of experience, of life lived. Where art was expressed through the streams of manual skill.
1369 marks the culmination and end of the twenty-year period of the widespread sense of wealth, today we could say consumerism, that Florence was able to overcome in the period after the serious economic crises and devaluations of 1345 and 1347, as well as the terrible scourge of the plague of 1348 that decimated the Florentine population bringing it to less than 45,000 individuals.
In the twenty-year period 1350/1369, the beating of the Fiorini d'Oro had a strong contraction, mainly due to the lack of personnel involved in the various phases of construction following the plague compensated by the large quantity of coins in circulation, also following the failure of public finance and the accumulated debt of almost one and a half million Fiorini.
1369 marked the completion of the interior of the Duomo of Florence by Francesco Talenti, even before 1436 when Brunelleschi's Dome, with its 54 meters in height and its 37,000 tons (against that of St. Peter in Rome, which weighs only 14,000) was completed.
In the hottest period of the construction of the Dome from 1426 to 1436 Brunelleschi received a salary of 100 Gold Florins per year, which at that time corresponded to the purchase of a more than decent home.
Not a little and, in any case, as if to say, a good investment for Florence and for the whole of Humanity!
Brunelleschi's work on the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence continued with the design of the great lantern at its peak, which was then completed in 1461 by Antonio Manetti after the great goldsmith, sculptor and architect had disappeared in 1446.