Author Topic: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?  (Read 7215 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« on: October 26, 2010, 02:14:45 AM »
From 1568 to 1648, the Dutch war of independence resulted in a new country, though for the next half century, it would look more like a flock of quacking geese, all going in different directions. One of the main complaints of the rebels was that the Habsburgers were not respecting acquired rights, including the right to mint. Therefore, the new government could hardly revoke minting rights as it gained power. The result was a hotchpotch of provincial and city mints. There simply wasn't enough work for all of them.

The mints in the East continuously tried to undercut the common currency by striking light coins, claiming they were "on the German standard". Those in the West made counters. In the North, they closed and outsourced the job. Holland was the only province that advocated a stable coin, but it had its own reason: it was a seaborne trading province and it had found that there was big money to be made by stamping silver into trusted coins for traders.

By resolution of 25th August 1575, the Estates of Holland created a trading coin: the leeuwendaalder of 32 stuivers. The tariff was 3 stuivers over silver value. The difference was explained as a war tax. It was the first coin with neither the name, nor the arms of Philip II. The legend referred to Holland and so did the arms. By demonetizing old silver coins and melting them to make leeuwendaalders, the Holland mint made excellent profits, estimated at at least 20 million stuivers.

By ordinance of 20th March 1606, the coin was made a federal unit. It was struck by all provincial mints, except Groningen. The Holland coin already had an attractive market share abroad, so the other provinces had an interest to design a coin that looked like the Holland coin. The lion remained and the other provinces generally only changed the legend where it indicated the province where the con was struck. On the coin below, the legend ends in GEL, indicating a coin of the Harderwijk mint of Gelre. Note the Holland lion on both sides. These coins did not circulate in the Netherlands, where their tariff did not fit in the monetary system.

Leeuwendaalders were exported in large quantities to "the Levant", the Ottoman empire, in particular what is now Turkey and Egypt. They were able to break the power of the Spanish pieces of eight and became coin of reference. Evidence are the Leu and Leva denominations of Romania and Bulgaria, both descendants of the leeuwendaalders. In Egypt, the coin was known as "abu kalb", son of the dog, as they were so badly designed and struck that the lion looked like a dog to the Arabs.

The end of the leeuwendaalder came as Napoleonic armies overran the country and connections with the mediterranean were cut by the likes of captain Horatio Hornblower. However, the British were unable to fill the vacuum in the supply of large silver coins to the Turks. That was done instead by the Maria Theresa thaler, a worthy successor to the leeuwendaalder.

Peter

« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 10:02:44 AM by Figleaf »
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Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, ae they Dutch coins?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2010, 08:43:27 AM »
Thanks Peter 
A question  Wasn't the Netherlands trading with Turkey prevented limiting the flow of Lion Thalers?   If that is corrrect then the Egyptian trade would have become more important.   

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2010, 10:09:57 AM »
The Dutch levant trade was effectively halted in the times of Napoleon. Of course, that hit both the Turkey and Egypt trade. I am not aware of any legal measures against the leeuwendaalder.

It is ironic that this coin, which did not circulate in the Netherlands, is counted as Dutch, just as it is ironic that the Ottomans were using a coin of arch-enemy Austria with a shamelessly undressed woman on it - or maybe that was part of its attraction?

Peter
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Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2010, 08:09:18 PM »
Currently I am in the Uk doing MTT research  will reply again on thursday when I.m back in Vienna

Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2010, 11:41:34 AM »
I'm back in Vienna and now have access to my references:  I have been interested in the Lion Thaler  because it many ways it seems to have led the way for the Maria Theresa Thaler. But I stuill don't have a good "understanding of the process's that led to the Lion thalers downfall. For some reason I had the idea that the Lion talers decline cam about through active intervention on the part of the French and English  so as to protect their respective Levantine Companies profits.

from Şevket Panmuk’s book “A monetary history of the Ottoman Empire”  in the 16th and 17th centuries a range of European coins circulated in Turkish controlled regions  The leading coins the 8 reales ( Ryal Guruş just one of a number of names) and the most important the Lion Thaler. All Panmuk notes is in the 1st half of the 18th century the Lion Thaler declined in importance.   I understand that in the 18th century a number of western European nations became very concerned about the outflow of silver to the Levant. Austria banned  the export of silver coin into the 1750s  France also Incorporated a ban I think it started in 1795.    There is also an interesting suggestion from British actions due to Plague outbreaks in the levant they required imports to be quarantined or at times banned imports. 

My research on the MTT suggest to me that When Count Johann von Fries recommended the lifting of the ban on the export of silver and was granted the monopoly right to trade the MTT to the Levant (patent did not include North Africa and Egypt) he was meerly trying to develop a business around an Austrian Replacement for the Lion thaler.   

Now as for the Turks  being interested in a shamelessly undressed woman.   I have traced the soft porn myth ( as I regard it) back to Sir S.W. Baker, M.A. F.R.G.S  In his 1868 book " Exploration of the Nile Tributaries of Abbysinnia"  He states  ( pages 195-196)  "The Austrian dollar of MAria Theresa is the only large coin current in this country; the effigy of the empress, with a very low dress and profusion of bust is the charm that suits the Arab taste."

   In Ethiopia Maria Theresa's bust was regarded by some groups as actually a representation of the virgin Mary.  Barkers account  is written in a singularly disdainful and superior manner that leaves me with the impression it was written out of prejudice rather than fact.  As a Psychologist I have a great deal of difficulty seeing how the bust of a menopausal or post menopausal woman can be regarded by any nationality as Alluring......had the bust been that used in 1741  then I would be far more accepting of the "myth". As for the Turks  It wasn't the bust they were interested in it was the silver....
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 01:26:00 PM by Austrokiwi »

Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2010, 11:55:11 AM »
Here are photos of the Lion Thaler I very recently added to my collection. Although I purchased of a reputable known dealer My ignorance of the coin is worrying me.... I paid a decent price for it  but its condition is such that I am worried I may have got a fake:  any comments on this purchase greatly appreciated:

 

Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2010, 11:55:55 AM »
Second side

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2010, 12:27:47 PM »
Thanks, Austrokiwi. That challenged what I thought I knew. I did some research into the demise of the leeuwendaalder. It came about by ordinance of 17th March 1694, itself a consequence of a joint English-French-Bavarian invasion of the Netherlands in 1672, aiming to end its independence and protestantism. While the invaders were beaten back one by one, the cost was horrendous and the monetary situation was a mess, as local mints started to strike light coins. Holland lined them up again with threats and sanctions until in 1694 it managed to introduce the first truly federal coin system: henceforth, al mints would strike the same federal coins only, to be distinguished only by what was in effect a mintmark.

The leeuwendaalder was discontinued, but continued to be used for a while. Production tapered off. The last leeuwendaalders were struck in 1713.

There were two candidates to succeed the leeuwendaalder, both export coins that did not circulate in the Netherlands either: the Dukaat and th Dukaton or silver rider. Both types were struck until the armies of Napoleon invaded. Their vital statistics are:

denominationweightsilver content
Dukaat28.25 grams0.873
Dukaton32.78 grams0.941
Leeuwendaalder27.68 grams0.750

Clearly, either of these would have been more expensive and both were of a totally different design. The alternatives may not have been attractive, because Gresham's law says that unless they were well tariffed, they would have been driven out of circulation by the remaining leeuwendaalders.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2010, 12:30:33 PM »
As for your leeuwendaaalder, it does look too good to be true, but I don't have a coin to test it with. I strongly suggest you contact the Geldmuseum in Utrecht.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2010, 01:29:15 PM »
As for your leeuwendaaalder, it does look too good to be true, but I don't have a coin to test it with. I strongly suggest you contact the Geldmuseum in Utrecht.

Peter

Thanks Peter:   Your comment about too good to be true is exactly whats worrying me.  Could you PM me the name of some one to contact in the geld Museum I am happy to go to the expense of sending the coin to the museum to have it authenticated ( or not).

And your quick bit of research really fits in with what I understand with the MTTs eventual rise and fall in the Ottoman Levant
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 01:35:38 PM by Austrokiwi »

Offline RVCOINS

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2010, 03:17:49 PM »
A few months ago I ask them also about the quality of lion thalers. According to them there will be examples that are very sharp and round but they are scarce or even rare.
You should know that the average numbers struck for each year for a lion thaler is between the 200-300 pieces.       

The reason I asked was that I had a preserved struck 1/2 Lion Thaler 1576 of Holland, The money museum couldn't say directly if this was a fake or not and the only sample they had was a fake one.

Most of the time, besides the weight and the struck of the die, you can see it of its color or the 'N' in the text are not the same.

Your Lion Thaler form Gelria is a little bit dark but that can be the scan. Please let him check. if positive you will have a nice scarce coin.

Roland

Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2010, 06:27:26 PM »
Thanks Roland  One thing I missed out was the die rotation:  The coin is neither Coin oriented or medal oriented rather the orientation appears to be 90 degrees out....... Its the one thing, with my limited knowledge, that suggests that the coin if a fake is not a recent production.

Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2010, 08:25:26 AM »
Well I couldn't have been more wrong with my last post.   :o  The Utrecht Geldmuseum confirmed the coin is a fake known from at least 1971. They have a matching example(fake) in their collection.   Thanks to Peters advice on checking I am now in the process of returning the coin.  At the very least this was a good purchase of experience.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2010, 01:56:00 PM »
This is a good end after all as well as a valuable lesson. Fakes are not all made in China and they are not all recent. In 1971, the hot spot of fakery was the Beqaa valley in Lebanon. Now, that area is mainly known for its superb wine.

Glad to have a good picture of it too, not just as a warning, but also because the fakers did a very good job, so this fake gives a very good idea of what the coins would have looked like if they had been well made.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Austrokiwi

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Re: Leeuwendaalders, are they Dutch coins?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2010, 08:10:52 PM »
To confirm alls well the seller has confirmed He will refund the money.   Now I am off to find another Lion taler... this time a good old rough one will do me fine. ;D