Horn egg

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Elector Ernst, Duke Albrecht, Duke Wilhelm III., Horngroschen from 1465, Mmz. Cross, Freiberg Mint (jug around 1361, diameter 28 mm)

The horn groschen is a Meissen grosch type , which was produced from 1465 to 1469 by the brothers Elector Ernst and Duke Albrecht of Saxony together with their uncle Wilhelm III. of Thuringia (1465–1482) was coined as Oberwährgroschen. The late medieval Meissnian penny type is the first that the Wettins had minted with a year after 123 years since the first penny was minted.

Coin history

Elector Ernst, Duke Albrecht, Duke Wilhelm III., Horngroschen from 1465, Mmz. Double cross, Colditz Mint (jug around 1393, diameter 29 mm)
Elector Ernst, Duke Albrecht, Duke Wilhelm III., Horngroschen from 1466, Mmz. Six-pointed star, Leipzig Mint (jug around 1430, diameter 28 mm)

The weakened Saxon currency should be replaced by a completely new and stable currency. The previous efforts for a stable currency through the coin reforms of 1444 and 1456/57 with the creation of a double groschen currency in the form of an upper currency and an auxiliary currency had failed.

The upper currency of the failed double currency was a hard currency that u. a. was created for foreign trade. The bypass was used for general monetary transactions.

On April 4, 1465 a new one came together with Elector Ernst, Duke Albrecht and Duke Wilhelm III. Coin reform decided in Leipzig came about after the new groschen , the so-called horn groschen , were minted as "high would".

A single high currency was created for 20 new horngroschen per Rhenish guilder . However, the sword groschen were still permitted as a "silent accessory" at half the value of the horn groschen. Nevertheless, this created clear, well-structured conditions.

First of all, large quantities of the Oberwährgroschen were minted in the Freiberg and Colditz mints . Since the supply of the economy with the new money progressed too slowly, the princes decided on May 20, 1466 in Weimar to set up “coining” next to the two mints for a maximum of two years because of the lack of money. It was planned to mint additional coins in the Meissen area in Leipzig and Wittenberg and in Thuringia in Gotha and Weimar . There was probably never any coinage in Weimar. Instead, there are horn coin coins from the old Oelsnitz / Vogtl penny coin . known under the sign "Ο". The Wittenberg mint was closed again in January 1467.

The new groschen were:

The coin images of the new groschen have been completely changed. The front shows the sloping bar shield ( diamond wreath shield ) with helmet and helmet covers as well as the Saxon helmet ornament . The reverse shows the Thuringian helmet ornament with buffalo horns above the inclined lion shield with helmet and helmet covers . That is why the coins were popularly referred to as horn groschen.

In Schmieder's description of the horn egg, the ducal Saxon helmet ornament is explained:

Obverse : the Saxon diamond shield, placed at an angle, on one corner of which a helmet with the Meissnian helmet gem . This is a tall, pointed hat with a feathered top. "

The typical coin image of the previous Meissnian groschen with the flower cross and the lion rising to the left was finally abandoned.

The Colditz Mint at the time of the coinage of the horn groschen

The coinage of horn groschen mentioned in the coin lexica, which is also said to be coined with Margaretha , the mother of Ernst and Albrecht, has not been proven.

From 1456, the Colditz mint was owned by Electress Margarethe, wife of Elector Friedrich II, the Meek (1428–1464). However, no horn groschen are known that were minted in community or alone with Margaretha. The so-called Margarethengroschen are the groschen minted from 1456 to 1477 with an additional "M" at the beginning or within the romanization. However, this letter is missing in the legends of the famous Horngroschen of the Colditz Mint.

The replacement of the horn egg

The Münzordnungen of 1574/1575 the Wettins created a new, also hard currency with the embossed in huge quantities smaller 15- lötigen (0.937 f.) Spitz pennies , each Rhenish also worth 20 guilders were applied. Since the equivalent larger horn egg with a fineness of 500 f. were used and the mistrust of alloyed silver could not be shaken off the population for understandable reasons, the horn egg was replaced by the pointed egg.

Note The "Horngroschen" penny type was the first type of Meissnian penny to be given a year. The Turnosgroschen , minted according to the French model, was minted beforehand with a year.

There are also Hessian supplements (imprints) of the years 1467 and 1468 of the Saxon-Thuringian horn groschen.

The mint masters in the time of the horn groschen minting (1465–1469)

(According to Gerhard Krug)

Mint master from to Mintmaster's mark Mint comment
Hans Arnold 1465 1469 cross Freiberg also hermaphrodite groschen
Peter Schwabe 1465 1469 ‡ (double cross), also without mm. Colditz
Conrad Funke 1466 1469 six-pointed star Leipzig also hermaphrodite groschen
Peter Pfole (stake) 1466 1467 oblique sheet Wittenberg
He thinks of torture 1466 and 1469 five-petalled rose Gotha
unknown 1466 Sign Ο Oelsnitz / Vogtl.

The legends

  • The forms H and II have been used for the letter M in the transcriptions .
  • For the year, the number 5 can be represented  by the Arabic form  7 . The number  7 can have the form  Λ . In the Colditzer Groschen, the year (14) 65 can be represented by a shape that looks similar to the Roman number  IV .

The legends of the horn egg are the same apart from slight differences in detail. Using the example of the illustrated horn groschen from the Freiberg mint, the inscription on the front and back reads:


  • Transcription: + EADG DVCS. SAX. TVR. L. HARCh. HIS. 5 (The 5 lying in the legend of the mint of the Freiberg mint - see above - corresponds to the year 1465, the inscription corresponds approximately to jug no.1352)
    • Written Latin text: Ernestus Albertus, dei gratia duces Saxoniae, Thuringiae landgrafii marchiones Misnenses.
    • Translation: Ernst and Albrecht by the grace of God, Dukes of Saxony, Landgraves of Thuringia, Margraves of Meissen.


  • Transcription: + WDG DVX SAX. TVR. L. HARCh. HIS. (similar to pitcher no.1352)
    • Written in Latin text: Wilhelmus, dei gratia dux Saxoniae, Turingiae landgrafius, marchio Misnensis.
    • Translation: Wilhelm III. by God's grace Duke of Saxony, Landgrave of Thuringia, Margrave of Meissen.

The written out Latin transcriptions and their translations are reproduced from Walter Haupt .

See also


  • Gerhard Krug: The Meissnian-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 , Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1974
  • Walther Haupt : Sächsische Münzkunde , Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1974
  • Helmut Kahnt: The large lexicon of coins from A to Z , Regenstauf 2005
  • Friedrich von Schrötter, N. Bauer, K. Regling, A. Suhle, R. Vasmer, J. Wilcke: Dictionary of Coin Studies , Berlin 1970 (reprint of the original edition from 1930)
  • Heinz Fengler, Gerd Gierow, Willy Unger: transpress Lexikon Numismatics , Berlin 1976: p. 151: Horngroschen
  • Carl Christoph Schmieder: Concise dictionary of the entire coinage , Halle and Berlin 1811

Individual evidence

  1. Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 (1974) p. 6: Period of community coinage
  2. Helmut Kahnt: The large coin lexicon from A to Z (2005) p. 198: Oberwähr
  3. ^ Friedrich von Schrötter, ...: Dictionary of Coin Studies (1970), p. 275: Oberwehre
  4. ^ Helmut Kahnt: The great coin lexicon from A to Z (2005) p. 198: First Meißner groschen with year
  5. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde (1974), p. 84: Failed coin reforms
  6. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde (1974), p. 70
  7. ^ Krug, p. 92: UB. City of Arnstadt I document no. 25.06.1470: "and give two schogk right full land weirs to the nuwen muntze called high weirs".
  8. ^ Krug, p. 92: Ua UB. Leipzig I document no. 406 v. 03.11.1466: “good groschzen of the best were who do XX eyn Rynian guilders”.
  9. Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 (1974) p. 92: "silent bye"
  10. Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338-1500 (1974) p. 92/93
  11. Helmut Kahnt: Das große Münzlexikon von A bis Z (2005), p. 198: Wert
  12. ^ Heinz Fengler, ...: transpress Lexikon Numismatik (1976), p. 151: Value
  13. ^ Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338-1500 (1974), p. 92; 172
  14. ^ Karl Christoph Schmieder: Concise Dictionary of Entire Coin Studies (1811), p. 228
  15. Gerhard Krug: The Meissnian-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 (1974), p. 92:
  16. Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 (1974) p. 172/176: Horn groschen with Margaretha are not available.
  17. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde (1974), p. 75.
  18. Gerhard Krug: Die Meißnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338-1500 (1974), p. 177
  19. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde (1974), p. 85
  20. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde (1974), p. 71
  21. Helmut Kahnt: The large coin lexicon from A to Z (2005), p. 198: Hessian additions
  22. Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338-1500 (1974), p. 92 and 172: letters and numbers