Portugal - João VI (1816-1826) - Gold - Peça 1820; simple cross; original lustre; Very Rare; G.18.03.var, JS J6.3; UNC
On 29 November 1807 a Portuguese fleet, which included "23 ships of the line of the royal armada and 31 merchant vessels, transported thousands of individuals bound for Brazil, including advisers of state, the government cabinet, titleholders, nobles, judges, the clergy and members of religious orders, doctors, officials, merchants and landowners who accompanied the Prince Regent in order to re-establish the Portuguese Court in the tropics”.
This is the description of the departure of the Portuguese royal family from Portugal to Brazil, by Jorge Couto, of Lisbon University, in the book "Rio de Janeiro, capital do império português (1808-1821)", which brings together the speeches made at a conference organised in 2008 by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Paris to mark the 200th anniversary of the arrival of D. João and his Court in Brazil.
For 13 years the capital of the Portuguese Empire was Rio de Janeiro. The monarch embarked as Prince Regent and, in 1816, was acclaimed king, and history remembers him as Dom João VI. The decision to leave for Brazil was due to the French invasions and for the first time in European history the State apparatus was transferred from the capital of the Empire to a colony. It was from Brazil that King João VI ruled over all Portuguese territory at the time.
The minting of coins in D. João's time was affected by this situation. Gold issues turned out to be scarce, especially during the regency period and between 1818 and 1821. The coin that Numisma presented in its 115th auction, the 1820 Peça, is very rare and even in the 1960s, numismatists who studied the Pinto de Magalhães collection, now that of Millennium BCP, classified the dates of 1818 (three known specimens), 1819, 1820 and 1821 as being very rare. Ferraro Vaz concluded that the rarity of these dates was also related to the reduced number of coins made.
The minting of the Peça of D. João, as Prince Regent and as King, is well-known, both in Portugal and in Rio de Janeiro. The minting in this city took place between 1805 and 1817 as Regent and between 1818 and 1822 as King. The latter is also extremely rare and only one specimen is known to have the date of 1821.
On 4 July 1821, King João VI landed in Lisbon. He swore na oath to the Constitution, which consolidated the liberal revolutionary movement of 1820 and initiated the so-called constitutional monarchy. In March of that year, the Banco de Lisboa was created, the first banking institution in Portugal.
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