Wittenberg Mint

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Bracteate, Bernhard von Sachsen (1170-1212). (Bonhoff 871, Thormann 199)

From around 1180 bracteates (hollow pennies) of Duke Bernhard (1180–1212) are known from a ducal- Ascanian mint in Wittenberg . In 1423 the Duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg came to the Meissnian Wettins . Elector Friedrich II., The Meek (1428–1464) authorized the city of Wittenberg to coin Hellern in 1451 . In order to implement the coin reform of 1465 and the rapid changeover of the currency to new groschen (horn groschen), the Wettins rebuilt the mint in Wittenberg in 1466, but the mint was shut down in January 1467.

The first Saxon large silver coins, the silver guilder o. J. (1500), left the Wettiner probably not only in mint Annaberg / Frohnau , but also shape in Wittenberg.


Bracteatic time

The Ascanian Count Bernhard came into possession of the area around Wittenberg in 1180 . Shortly afterwards, as Duke of Saxony (1180–1212), he had coins struck in Wittenberg. These were, for example, bracteates with the duke's head, framed by four concentric circles with the inscription + BERNARDVS DVX V. and those with a lion on the coin and the inscription mentioned. The lion apparently indicates that Bernhard had received the ducal dignity of Saxony and the area around Wittenberg after the Duke of Saxony, Heinrich the Lion (1142–1180 ) was ostracized in 1180 by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa (1155–1190) . His successor Albrecht I (1212–1260) also had bracteates beaten in Wittenberg.

Bracteat Bernhards, Coin find from Trebitz, No. 70 of the description of the coin find

With the description of the coin find from Trebitz near Wittenberg, evidence of the Wittenberg mint was provided using the bracteates of Duke Bernhard:

What now the riddle booklet V at the end of the inscription of our No. 1 and 2, which also appears on No. 3, it could either be understood as an abbreviation of an epithet to Dux, or as an indication of the mint. […] Associating the V with the title of Duke also does not succeed. [...] We believe we have to stop at our interpretation by W ittenberg, all the more so since the pfennig shown under No. 70, which came into our possession afterwards, comes to the rescue in a surprising way, which is why this is a piece of evidence very important coin should also be discussed here immediately. […] Transcription […] + BERNARDUS DUX VI. […] It is undisputed that this part in its VI gives the key to solving the V of the preceding and the following; Certainly, however, there is nothing closer than to see the first letters of the Wittenberg mint (Vitebergae); for one will not want to think of the name of a mint master. In addition, names of mints can be found on other Berhhard's coins. The mints Bernhard's of the Köthener mint with DENARIVS COTNE […] and COTENE CIVITAS […] are well-known, but we also believe that we find coins from Aschersleben clearly expressed by ASCHER […]

Other medieval coins from the mint are Ascanian denarii embossed on both sides .


After the male line of Ascanians died out , when Duke Albrecht (1419–1422) died in 1422 without a decent heir, the Roman-German King Sigismund transferred the Duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg in 1423 to the Meissnian Wettiners. The possession of the duchy was linked to the electoral dignity . The Margrave of Meissen, Friedrich IV., The disputable (1381-1428), now called himself the Elector of Saxony Friedrich I.

Heller of the city of Wittenberg

The successor to Elector Friedrich I, Friedrich II, the Meek (1428–1464), authorized the two cities of Wittenberg and Altenburg to produce their own Heller from 1451 onwards . The Hohlheller of the city of Wittenberg are easily recognizable by the large Saxon coat of arms with the course swords , over which a small W is stamped. 1152 pieces were made from the Prague mint mark (250.1138 g), 4½ solder and do not have a mint mark .

The coin reform of 1465

To carry out the currency reform of 1465, the Wettiners left in large quantities new pence ( Horn dime ) in the country's main mint Freiberg and in mint Colditz beaten. Twenty of them were applied to the Rhenish guilder . Since the changeover of the currency had to proceed quickly, Ernst , Elector of Saxony (1464 / 85–1486) and Albrecht the Brave , Duke of Saxony (1464 / 85–1500) decided together with Wilhelm III, the brave , Landgrave of Thuringia ( 1445–1482), to be built in 1466 for the duration of the lack of money, but not longer than two years "coining". As a result, minting took place in Thuringia in Gotha , the Leipzig mint was reopened (operations had ceased on June 1, 1465) and a new mint was established in Wittenberg. The Wettins appointed Peter Pfole (Pfohle) as mint master of the new coin. The rare horn groschen with the mint master's mark at an angle and only with the year (14) 66 are very likely to be attributed to Peter Pfole. They were struck in Wittenberg from 1466 to January 1467. The coin operation was then shut down again. The cause of the short operating time will be found in the lack of silver that has occurred.

Thaler time

First silver guilders

At the end of the 15th century, new technical and economic methods in Saxon mining resulted in an unusually high silver yield . This led to Elector Friedrich III the Wise (1486–1525) and his brother Johann the Steadfast (1486 / 1525–1532) in agreement with George the Bearded (1500–1539) as the deputy of his father Albrecht the Courageous (1464 / 85–1500) proclaimed the so-called Leipzig coinage system of 1500. Then a groschen ( guldengroschen ) for a gulden (Rhenish gold gulden) should be struck and taken.

The preparation for the introduction of the large silver currency, however, began with the coin day in Zeitz on August 9, 1490. The first result was the beard groschen . A silver equivalent of 27.464 g of fine silver was specified for the Rhenish gold guilder :

The definition of the 1:21 value ratio between groschen and gold guilders was also retained with the introduction of large silver coins, the silver guilders ( thalers ).

The first Saxon large silver coins minted in 1500 without a mint master's mark or date, the guilders (gold groschen, gold groschen), later also referred to as folding hats , were in the Annaberg mint and possibly also in Wittenberg. embossed.

Emergency cliffs

Other Wittenberg characteristics are the emergency cliffs of the Saxon Elector Johann Friedrich I, the Magnanimous (1532–1554, 1547–1552 in captivity, duke since 1552) worth a quarter of a dollar to pay the wages of his troops during the Schmalkaldic War . There is also a known cliff weighing four talers. For the emergency minting, the elector had silver implements collected from various churches in the Kurkreis . These emergency coins from 1547, also known as siege cliffs, show, in contrast to the Leipzig siege cliffs of Duke Moritz von Sachsen (1541–1553, elector since 1547), the Saxon spa coat of arms and the letters H. HF. K. (Duke Hans Friedrich Elector).

See also


Web links

  • mcsearch.info. Inside: Bracteates of Bernhard (1180–1212) and Albrechts I (1212–1260), Wittenberg Mint

Individual evidence

  1. Money Museum:  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Coin collection / Holy Roman Empire, Duchy of Saxony, Bernhard von Sachsen (1180–1212): Bracteate with Bernhard's head and the inscription BERNARDVS DVX, Wittenberg mint.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.moneymuseum.com  
  2. Money Museum:  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Coin collection / Holy Roman Empire, Duchy of Saxony, Bernhard von Sachsen (1180–1212), bracteate with a lion on the coin, Wittenberg mint.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.moneymuseum.com  
  3. ^ HA Erbstein: The coin find from Trebitz near Wittenberg. A contribution to the history of German coinage in the 12th and 13th centuries. Nuremberg 1868, pp. 9/10 .
  4. Hugo von Saurma-Jeltsch: The Saurmasche coin collection of German, Swiss and Polish coins from around the beginning of the Grosch period to the dump period , Berlin 1892 (in it p. 104: Duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg, denarii)
  5. mcsearch.info: Municipal Mint Wittenberg - Hohlheller no year (from 1451). Coined by the city with the consent of Elector Friedrich II of Saxony.
  6. mcsearch.info: Elector Ernst, Duke Albrecht, Duke Wilhelm III. (1465-1482). Horngroschen 1466, mint mark tilted leaf, Wittenberg mint.
  7. ^ Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 , Berlin 1974 (p. 93 and 176, No. 1471–1474)
  8. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde , Berlin 1974, p. 89.
  9. ^ Gerhard Krug: The Meissnisch-Saxon Groschen 1338–1500 , Berlin 1974, p. 104.
  10. coingallery.de: First Guldengroschen (hooded Taler) undated (1500).. Annaberg is indicated as the mint (Schnee 1, Keilitz 4, Dav. 9705).
  11. ^ Paul Arnold: Walter Haupt and his "Saxon Coin Studies" . In numismatic notebooks. No. 20, Dresden 1986 (p. 54)
  12. mcsearch.info: Notklippe (field cliff, siege cliff) Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous to a quarter thaler 1547, with the letters HHFK (Duke Hans Friedrich Kurfürst), minted in Wittenberg