German States (Teutonic Order): silver 1/4-thaler of Grand Master Maximilian of Austria, ca. 1615
Obverse: continuous legend: MAXIMIL: DG: ARC: AV: DVX:BVRG: MAG: PRVSS: ADMI:, caped duke standing, long sword in right hand, lion with shield left, plumed helmet right.
(Translation of obverse legend:"Maximilian, by God's Grace Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order".)
Reverse: armored and helmeted duke with lance on draped horseback right, 16 shields surrounding, coat of arms of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order below.
KM38, silver, 30 mm, 7 g approx. PCGS XF45, cert. #81824095. Ex-Halbedel Münzen und Medaillen, Salzburg, Austria, 5/25/2016 (purchased raw through their MA-shops.com store).
Can a coin have "machismo"? If so, this design certainly would be a contender for that quality. Ever since I saw a massive and rare 1486 Austrian guldiner coin in a museum, I was taken with the basic motif of a mounted and armored knight on horseback surrounded by coats of arms. I'll never be able to afford a guldiner like the one I saw in the museum, but this more modest quarter-thaler piece of a similar design fit my budget. I did see two or three others of this type in slightly higher grade (for significantly higher prices), but this one had the contrasting grey and white toning I like so much on circulated old silver. So despite being in a modest (though acceptable) technical grade, its lower price and higher eye appeal sold me.
As of this typing, I'm only just beginning to learn some of the history behind this coin. The Teutonic Order sounds colorful and exciting, though I'll confess to you that the Hapsburgs and Holy Roman Empire and pretty much all of Europe in this period seem a confusing, blurry crazy-quilt to me. I'll keep studying, and enjoy this coin for a while. After all, it is through collecting neat old coins like this that I've learned most of what I know about world history.