Author Topic: 1694 Bavarian Thaler  (Read 3052 times)

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Offline Prussian1

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1694 Bavarian Thaler
« on: February 15, 2010, 03:01:28 AM »
I've slowly been re-doing my collection. I've sold all my 20th century (1900 to 1918) German coins. I'm now more focused on the 16th to 18th century German Talers.

Maximilian II (July 11, 1662 in Munich - February 26, 1726 in Munich), also known as Max Emanuel or Maximilian Emanuel , was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and an elector (Kurfürst) of the Holy Roman Empire. He was also the last Governor of the Spanish Netherlands and duke of Luxembourg. An able soldier, his ambition led to conflicts that limited his ultimate dynastic achievements.
He was born in Munich to Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria and Henriette Adelaide of Savoy (d.1676). His maternal grandparents were Victor Amadeus I of Savoy and Christine Marie of France. Christine Marie was the second daughter of Henry IV of France and his second wife Marie de' Medici.
Prussian1

Offline Figleaf

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Re: 1694 Bavarian Thaler
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 01:29:04 PM »
Mmm. You want to overload my saliva muscles? ;)

I can work out the legend on the obverse only partially: MAXimillianvs:EMANVELvs Dei.Gratia.V.Bavariae & Palatinae.Superioris.Dvcatvs.C.R.Sacrvm.Romanorvm.Imperium.Archi.Dvcatvs & Elector.Luxemburgiae.Limburgiae. Maximilian Emanuel by the grace of god duke of Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate ... arch-duke and elector of the holy Roman empire (duke of) Luxemburg and Limburg.

Some of these titles were bogus (as the title of Burgundy for the Habsburgs, or France for most English kings), since they didn't control the lands. Such is the case of Luxemburg and Limburg. Bavaria was the Wittelsbach power base, but through tradition they also dominated Cologne and Liège/Luik, where younger brothers played (arch-)bishop. The Palatinate was important because the title went with the vicariate of the holy Roman empire. The vicaris was a vice-emperor, becoming effective ruler at absence, sickness, or death of the emperor, but also with his own responsibilities, notable legal.

Stack this up against the Wittelsbach's nemesis: the Habsburgs. H was emperor, W vice-emperor, H had one vote in the electorate, W three (Bavaria, Palatinate, Cologne). H held the Southern Netherlands except Luik, W held Luik. H was arch-duke of Austria, W duke of Bavaria. They are pretty well balanced against each other. They would fight each other to exhaustion, so the Hohenzollern of Prussia could beat them both.

The reverse text is CLYPEVS OMNIBVS IN TE SPERANTIBVS - a shield to all who hope in thee (Psalms 18:31). Guess which shield? Right, the crowned Wittelsbach shield held by Mary. The holy mother has a crown with rays emanating (not a halo), holds a scepter (one symbol of the holy Roman empire) and the shield. She wears the traditional white dress (virginity) and a wide blue mantle (heaven). On her lap is Jezus as a child (note that the Renaissance artists had discovered that babies have a larger head in relation to their bodies than adults, note also that, like in the Middle Ages, the baby is too tall in relation to the mother), holding the orb of the holy Roman empire. Note that both look at the Wittelsbach shield.

You may read the scene as simple piety, but it is actually a claim that the holy Roman empire is protected by Wittelsbach (against which powerful family, do you think?) through the good services of heavenly powers, who are of course on the Wittelsbach side. Take that Habsburg! To add insult to injury, the mother and child theme on a coin is typical for Hungary, a Habsburg fief.

This is a very political piece.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 01:36:05 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.