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Conte Maschera is Italian wording used to define the title gefursteter graf in German or princely count in English. Its abbreviation is written as conte (masch.) .

The wording developed in the 19th century, for heraldic purposes, from the Italian phrase "vestirsi in maschera" (in fancy dress). Therefore, a count in fancy dressing or a count of princely regalia are loose translations to its meaning. It follows from the German translation of gefursteter graf (the changing of a count into a prince).

The comital title of princely count was used when an Italian noble was elevated to the highest social class, which contained the members of reigning imperial or royal houses. Princely counts are individuals of princely highness. Other such rankings of princely highness include His/Her "Imperial Highness", "Royal Highness", "Grand Ducal Highness" and "Serene Highness". A conte maschera ranked above noble princes lacking in any form of princely highness.

Conte maschera is the highest of all comital titles. A count of such a ranking is addressed "His Illustrious Highness", abbreviated as H.Ill.H..

The other two titles in Italian fashioned through "count" are conte (a noble count) and conte palatino (count palatine), abbreviated as conte (palat.). Count palatines reigned over their territory autonomously, in the manner of a sovereign prince, and governed independently from the kingdom that their territory was attached to. The word "palatino" is derived from the Palatine Hills of Rome. A count palatine is loosely translated as a "high count".

An example of a holder of the title conte maschera is H.Ill.H. Count Vitus Sebastian Barbaro, Patrician of Venice. He is an Italian titular princely count of the House of Barbaro to the nominal territory of the Grand Principality of Transylvania, as connected to Austria's Imperial House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

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2010-02-10 01:04:24
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Q: What is the Italian title Conte Maschera?
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