Schmalkaldic federal thaler

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Schmalkaldischer Bundestaler 1546, Mint Goslar - on the left the Saxon side with the portrait of Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous , on the right the Hessian side with Philip of Hesse (diameter 40 mm, weight 28.72 g)

The Schmalkaldic Bundestaler (also Schmalkaldener Bundestaler ) and its parts are co-minted by the Saxon Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous and the Landgrave Philip of Hesse , the two leaders of the Schmalkaldic League . The coins were struck in Goslar from 1542 to 1547 and show the federal governors on a Saxon and a Hessian side.

Coin history

The Lutheran princes and cities had united in a league in Schmalkalden in 1531 in order to secure their gain in power and property against the claims of the emperor through the secularization of church property . The church property, which was secularized with the introduction of the Reformation , was demanded by Emperor Charles V (1519–1556).

In 1538, the Catholic estates united to form the League against the spread of Protestantism as a counter force to the Schmalkaldic League. In the "Braunschweig War" in 1542, the Schmalkaldic League conquered the Duchy of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel , the last bastion of Catholicism in northern Germany . The Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel was in conflict with the city of Goslar, which was a member of the Schmalkaldic League, over mining rights on the Rammelsberg . At the instigation of the Duke the imposed Reichskammergericht the imperial ban over the city. Although the eight was lifted in 1541, the Duke continued his hostilities. After the defeat of Heinrich the Younger of Braunschweig (1514–1568), who was one of the captains of the league, the ducal-Braunschweig mint of Riechenberg near Goslar was occupied by the armed forces in 1542 and moved to Goslar.

The coinage in Goslar

The mint master took over the mint master Gregor Einkorn (1542–1547). On behalf of the federal heads he had whole, half and quarter thalers minted.

The leaders of the Schmalkaldic League, the Saxon Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous (1532–1554, 1547–1552 in captivity, since 1552 duke ) and Landgrave Philipp von Hessen (1518–1567) used the coinage as an effective means of propaganda by dealing with them had both portraits depicted on representative joint coins. With their silver coins, the federal governors propagated the victory of the Schmalkaldic League over the Duke of Braunschweig.

The coinage of the Bundestaler took place according to the Saxon coinage of January 20, 1534 agreed between Elector Johann Friedrich and Duke Georg the Bearded (1500–1539), the new coinage that came into force after the Saxon coin separation (1530–1533). The minted silver came from the Braunschweig silver mines on Rammelsberg near Goslar. The federal thaler were minted in numerous variants. The production of dimes , pennies and Heller or other change was the individual princely or urban Coin Lords left.

According to Michael Lilienthal (1747), a minting error caused by a tear in the die in some federal thalers of the previous year was interpreted as a sign of the arrest of the elector and the landgrave in the same year after the battle of Mühlberg :

"JOHAN: FREDERIC D. SAC. B. MAGDEB. A half-length portrait in the Chur habit. R.) [Back] A bust in armor, holding the commanding staff in the right hand , the sword in the left. PHILIP. DG LONG. HATE. Comes Katimeliboci , Dietze , Ziegenheine , Nidde . Next to the head the year 1543, […]. This is a Schmalkaldischer Bunds-Thaler, a common variety of those federal relatives after receiving victory over Duke Heinrich von Braunschweig, struck from his own mines in Goßlar. […] The [thaler] from the last year is also supposed to show something that is signifying, namely the tip of the Chur sword which the elector holds in his hand, broken by a crack in the stamp , especially since it was captured in the same year next to the landgrave . "

Random appearances in the coin image

Random phenomena on coins of a taler like here for example caused by a punch crack broken Kurschwert the elector on some thaler from 1547, the year of his capture or, for example, the punch ripped through the neck of the Lord Protector on the Cromwelltaler of 1658, who was executed posthumously in 1661, Before the time of the Enlightenment, the outcome of an event was sometimes seen as a good or bad omen .

Schautaler with Duke Moritz

In 1545, the federal governors also had a large Schautaler minted in Goslar to commemorate the capture of Duke Heinrich, on which the Albertine Duke Moritz of Saxony appears in full armor in addition to the Hessian and Electoral Saxon federal leaders . Duke Heinrich the Younger of Braunschweig had planned his reinstatement in the occupied duchy since 1543 and began fighting against the federal government in 1545, which ended with his capture.

The thaler, which is very rare today, was executed as a half, single, one and a half, double and triple show thaler. Duke Moritz (1541–1547–1553, elector since 1547), who had participated in the armed conflict, could not be won over to join the Schmalkaldic League. There is also a re-issue of the thaler from the 19th century called a discount .

End of the coinage of the Schmalkaldic League

This counterstamp and a second with the year mark the Jefimok.

The Schmalkaldic War that broke out in 1546 ended with the defeat of the Schmalkaldic League. Emperor Karl V, who was now supported by Duke Moritz of Saxony, defeated the Elector Johann Friedrich on April 24, 1547 in the battle of Mühlberg, took him prisoner and forced him to renounce his electoral dignity. Landgrave Philipp was arrested on June 19, 1547. That was the end of the Schmalkaldic League and the end of the coinage of the Bundestaler.

The circulation area of ​​the Bundestaler and its parts mainly covered the Protestant territorial states and the free imperial cities . However, there are also Schmalkaldic Bundestaler with counterstamp " Saint George " of the Russian Tsar Alexei Michailowitsch (1645–1667) known. They became Russian thaler coins worth 64  kopecks (like the ruble ) and were called jefimok . The name of the coins is derived from the Joachimstaler (Jefimok – Joachim), a guldengroschen, which was also named after the taler and the dollar because of its reliably high silver content . The Jefimki, under Alexai Michailowitsch it were mainly German and Dutch talers counterstamped in Moscow , remained in circulation until they were banned in 1659. (See also Dreibrüdertaler (Kursachsen) # Dreibrüdertaler with counterstamp )

Coin description

Joint coinage of Elector Johann Friedrich with Landgrave Philipp von Hessen, Federal Mint Goslar (years after Haupt):

Taler (years 1542–1547)

  • Description of the Schmalkaldic federal thaler from 1546 (description of the thaler in the picture above - there are several variants):
    • Saxon side:
      • Half-length portrait of Elector Johann Friedrich in an ermine cloak with shouldered Kurschwert , in the inscription there are four coats of arms (1st  Electoral Saxony , 2nd  Landgraviate Thuringia , 3rd  Burgraviate Magdeburg , 4th  Margraviate Meißen )
      • Inscription: (1st coat of arms) - IOHAN (nes). F - (2nd coat of arms) - REDERI (cus) - (3rd coat of arms) - D (ux): SAX (oniae). B (urggravius) - (4th coat of arms) - MAGDE (burgensis):
        • Translation: Johann Friedrich, Duke of Saxony and Burgrave of Magdeburg
    • Hessian side:
      • Armored hip image of Landgrave Philipps of Hesse with command staff , year 15 - 46, there are five coats of arms in the inscription (1st  Landgrave Hesse , 2nd  County Nidda , 3rd  County Diez , 4th  County Ziegenhain , 5th  County Katzenelnbogen )
      • Inscription: (1st coat of arms) - PHILIP (pus) - (2nd coat of arms) - D (ei): G (ratia) .LA - (3rd coat of arms) - N (dgravius) - (4th coat of arms) - HASSI ( ae) - (5th coat of arms) - C (omes). Cat's bow. D (iez) 3 stands for Z (igenhain) E (E instead of N, stamp error) (N = Nidda)
        • Translation: Philip by the grace of God, Landgrave of Hesse, Count of Katzenellnbogen, Diez, Ziegenhain and Nidda

The stamping error in the guldengroschen (thaler) shown above from 1546 (E instead of N) and the partly inadequate distribution of the inscription but also the numerous thaler variants are probably due to the uncertain times associated with a high demand for means of payment. Apparently there was no time for an otherwise usual coin test .

On the now extremely rare first type of the Schmalkaldic Bundestaler from 1542 there is an outer and an inner inscription compared to the later types of thaler:

  • Saxon side, outside: The title of the Elector (similar to the one mentioned before), inside: SOLI: -: DEO: - VICTO - RIA: - translated: Only from God is victory.
  • Hessian side, outside: PARCER - E: SVBI - E - CTIS: ET -: DEBELL; inside: ARE: - SVP - ER - BOS: ( inscription from Virgil's Aeneid - translated: mildly towards the subjugated and bow down those who rise above ). In the field: PH – LA (Philipp Landgraf).

Taler pieces

  • Half Thaler (born 1542–1544)
    • Saxon side: The Saxon helmet with five flags on each horn
    • Hessian side: The Hessian landgrave helmet with five branches on each horn, the year in the middle
  • Vierteltaler (born 1543–1546)
    • Saxon side: The Saxon spa shield, including the coat of arms of the Duchy of Saxony and the Landgraviate of Thuringia, below the year
    • Hessian side: The Hessian lion shield, including the coats of arms of the counties Ziegenhain and Diez

Coin issuance

Formation of the Schmalkaldische Bundestaler and its parts according to the Saxon coinage system of 1534:

Nominal Weight (g) Fineness (Lot / Grän) Fineness (0/00)
Guldengroschen 29.23 14 Lot 8 Grän 902.78
½ guldengroschen 14.62 14 Lot 8 Grän 902.78
¼ guldengroschen 7.31 14 Lot 8 Grän 902.78

Münzfuß 1534–1549: 8.86 guldengroschen (thaler) on the fine mark (8 guldengroschen on the mixed mark)

See also


  • Walther Haupt : Saxon coinage . German Verl. D. Wiss., Berlin 1974.
  • Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , Münster 2010. In it: The Schmalkaldic Bundestaler - Hessian-Saxon joint coinage for the members of the Schmalkaldic Federation 1531–1546, pp. 49–66.
  • Heinz Fengler, Gerd Gierow, Willy Unger: transpress Lexicon Numismatics . Berlin 1976.
  • 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).
  • Michael Lilienthal: Complete Thaler Cabinet, that is: Historical-Critical Description […] , Königsberg and Leipzig 1747. Therein: Schmalkaldischer Bunds-Thaler, p. 176/177, No. 504.
  • Paul Arnold: The Saxon Thaler Currency from 1500 to 1763 , Swiss Numismatic Review, Volume 59, 1980.
  • Johann Georg Kruenitz […]: Oekonomische Encyclopaedie […] , Berlin, 1834. In it: Schmalkaldischer Bundsthaler, p. 545. Here all thalers, "which were struck in the described relationship", are referred to as Schmalkaldic Bundestaler, including the Siegestaler the Schmalkaldic League of 1546 under Emperor Charles V.

Individual evidence

  1. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde , p. 117
  2. Werner Conze and Volker Henschel (eds.): German history, epochs and dates , Ploetz-Verlag 1991, p. 123
  3. ^ Adolf Laube, ... (collective of authors): Deutsche Geschichte , Volume 3, Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1998, p. 230
  4. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , ... p. 59
  5. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , ... p. 62
  6. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , ... p. 63
  7. Michael Lilienthal: Complete Thaler Cabinet, ... S. 176/177, No. 504
  8. acseach: Taler 1545, Goslar, foam coin of the Schmalkaldic League. Joint issue with Landgrave Philipp of Hesse, Elector Johann Friedrich I of Saxony, and Duke Moritz of Saxony, on the capture of Duke Heinrich of Braunschweig, weight 29.10 g.
  9. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , ... p. 61
  10. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , ... S. 61/62
  11. ^ Acsearch: Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous, Duke Moritz and Landgrave Philipp of Hesse, Schautaler 1545, Goslar, on the capture of Duke Heinrich of Braunschweig. Later tee from the 19th century. Weight 28.94 g.
  12. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , ... p. 66
  13. Walther Haupt: Sächsische Münzkunde , p. 218
  14. ^ Acsearch: 1. Schmalkaldischer Bundestaler 1542, Goslar
  15. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Thoughts and reflections on coins and medals of the House of Brabant , ... p. 64/65
  16. acsearch: Halbtaler 1544
  17. acsearch: Vierteltaler 1546
  18. ^ Paul Arnold: Paul Arnold: The Saxon Thaler Currency from 1500 to 1763 , p. 64 ( excerpt from table)