Featured A Broad Double Thaler of Christian Ludwig of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle, 1662

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by robinjojo, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Here's a broad thaler, struck with roller dies, from Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle, dated 1662, produced during the reign of Duke Christian Ludwig (1622-1665).

    Christian Ludwig of Brunswick Cell.jpg

    The Dutchy of Brunswick included rich deposits of silver in the Harz Mountains, located in central Germany.

    From Wikipedia:

    The Upper Harz was once one of the most important mining regions in Germany.[1] The major products of its mines were silver, copper, lead, iron and, from the 19th century, zinc as well. The main source of income, however, was silver. From the 16th to the middle of the 19th centuries about 40–50% of the entire German silver production originated in the Upper Harz.[2] The taxes raised from this contributed significantly to the revenue of the royal houses in Hanover and Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and helped to secure their positions of power and influence within the empire.

    Its lucrativeness justified a high commitment in terms of investment and effort. The Upper Harz mining industry produced a considerable number of innovations and inventions, including such important advances as the man engine, the water-column engine and the wire cable.

    In the Upper Harz, vein mining (Gangerzbergbau) predominated. Excavation followed the almost vertically standing lodes or veins (Erzgängen) downwards.[3] In their heyday the Upper Harz Mines were among the deepest in the world. For example, as early as 1700 or so shafts were already exceeding depths of 300 metres and, around 1830, a depth of 600 metres was achieved – which was considered significant at that time because it was below sea level.[4]

    The obverse of this coin provides a detailed view of the mining process in the 17th century, including two horse power houses, to the left and center.

    From Wikipedia:

    In the 17th century the shafts reached depths of between 100 and 200 m. Ore could no longer be removed by hand and horsepower was increasingly used. The horses worked in a cone-shaped building, the Göpel or Gaipel, which housed a horse whim, a winch that was driven by the horses walking in a circle. The hauling cable (made of natural fibre) or cast-iron chain was wound up and down over a vertical axle. The cable was routed down the shaft and hauled barrels of ore up and down. Due to the shaft's incline, barrels were covered with iron runners on one side, resting partly on the side of the shaft. Above ground at the pithead the ore was emptied out and transported away by horse and cart for processing.

    Horse House, Mining, Harz Mountains 17th century.jpg

    This coin came to me by way of Karl Stephens, back in the mid 1980's. It came from a Swiss auction, but I don't have an auction ticket.

    This type of multiple thaler does come up for sale and at auction from time to time in the lower weights, say up to two thaler weight, the higher weights far less frequently. This coinage was produced in different weights, from 1 1/4 thalers up to 16 thalers!


    Given the size of these coins, it is safe to assume that they were not intended to circulate as day-to-day coinage. Indeed, one account is that wealthy individuals were required by the dukes to acquire these coins, the size purchased based on the individual's wealth. The story continues that the owners were required to turn their thalers in to the duke, in exchange for debased coin, giving the duke an instant source of good silver in times of need.

    Dutchy of Brunswick, 1662-LW
    Christian Ludwig (1622-1665)
    Double mining thaler
    Obverse: The Brunswick horse flying over an intricate mining scene, a crowned CL monogram on the hip, an arm above holding a laurel wreath over the horse's head.
    Reverse: SINCERE ET CONSTANTER.ANNO.1662, Crowned 'CL' mongram within laurel wreath; border of fourteen family shields around, "2" stamped between 6 and 7 o'clock, to the right of the date.

    57.5 grams, 63 mm.

    D-Camera Brunswick-Luneburg-Celle 1662-LW 2 thaler, Dav-LS174  57.5g Karl  2-23-21.jpg

    In terms of condition, this coin was cleaned at some point, but has re-toned over the years that I have owned it. I think this coin grades VF.

    This coin's design, in addition to the detail, has a grace and appeal all its own.

    Also, this coin comes holed, sometimes. Apparently it was a popular object for a medallion. Some examples have been repaired. I had a 1 1/2 mining thalers from a later duke (I think it was Fredrich), which had a hole repaired with wax. The wax was virtually the same metallic color as the surrounding metal, so it was a good, and innovative repair, but one you would not want to put it near any significant source of heat!
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
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  3. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Awesome. One of these is on my wish list.
    robinjojo likes this.
  4. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    Wow! what an amazing design and early date. Thanks for sharing it with us.
  5. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I rarely bring out my 17th century Krause world coin catalog. I wanted to look your coin up to research it. Found it...KM#252.3 2 Thaler. To my amazement that denominations go up to 12 thalers these coins were huge.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
    robinjojo likes this.
  6. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    The upcoming Paramount sale from Heritage has numerous multiple-denomination thalers up for auction.

    I love the leaping stallion motif -- my example, from 1663, is just a standard, single thaler.

    TheRed, tibor, PaulTudor and 7 others like this.
  7. Seascape

    Seascape U.S. & World Collector

    Very Nice! I notice the obverse is heavily labor related. Was this a working man's Coin?

    Also...what is that detail on the horses hip? Is it a stamp?
    robinjojo likes this.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    The horse's hip has an incuse CL, with a small crown above, pretty much a match with the reverse's monogram.

    Most of the coinage used on an everyday basis was copper or bronze coinage comprised of the kreuser and the pfennig. Silver coinage was primarily the groschen.
    panzerman likes this.
  9. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    A beautiful coin, congratulations!
  10. Seascape

    Seascape U.S. & World Collector

    I want one.
    I'm really starting to get into the Thalers.
    robinjojo likes this.
  11. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    The thalers of Germany, as well as other crowns of the 16th-17th centuries offer a wide array of designs and themes. It is a period of coinage well worth pursuing, albeit a pretty expensive one as well.

    Here's one more thaler from Brunswick, acquired back in 1992 at my local coin shop:

    Brunswick-Wolfenbuttle, Goslar, 1589, Julius (born 1528, died 1589), the "Brillentaler".

    This coin was given that name for the candle being carried by the wildman, to the right of the horse of Brunswick. The coin has wonderful symbolism, with the skull below the candle, and the hour glass below it, and below that, a pair of spectacles. This is a comment on the fleeting nature of life. At least, that is my interpretation, and it has even more currency with me during this time of pandemic.

    This my favorite wildman thaler.

    29 grams

    D-Camera Brunswick-Wolfenbuttle thaler, Goslar, Brillentaler, 29 grams, 8-31-20.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
    TheRed, tibor, PaulTudor and 6 others like this.
  12. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Fantastic coins, thanks for posting them:) I think, just like today, if you put in long hours at work.....you would reap the rewards.:D
    PaulTudor, spirityoda and robinjojo like this.
  13. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, very true. That can be applied to many things, collecting, mastering a musical instrument, writing, etc.

    As Joseph Campbell said, follow your passion.
    spirityoda and panzerman like this.
  14. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, these multiple thalers are large and quite imposing.

    As I mentioned in my first post, these coins seem to have served as a silver reserve for the duke to call in as needed. The owners were compensated in debased coins.

    So much for return of investment.....
    tibor, spirityoda and panzerman like this.
  15. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    Great talers, @robinjojo! I see why the Brillentaler is your favorite wildman. That is a wonderful piece.
    robinjojo and panzerman like this.
  16. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter


    For the past few years I've been concentrating on ancient coins, but if and when I return to world coins, the wildman series is near the top of the list. I just love them!

    Here's one more thaler acquired back in the early 80's, a more "common" type:

    Brunswick-Luneburg-Wolfenbuttel, thaler, Friderich Ulrich, 1617.

    28.8 grams

    D-Camera Wildman thaler, Brunswick-Luneburg-Wolfenbuttel, Blackburn, 28.8 g,, 9-1-20.jpg
    TheRed, Chris B and panzerman like this.
  17. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    If you ever get to a show and have the opportunity to hold one of these multiple thalers do so. Very impressive.
    robinjojo likes this.
  18. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Here is one of my "wildmen" wonder if they are the German version of the North American "Big Foot";) lf (85).jpg lf (86).jpg
    PaulTudor, robinjojo and Chris B like this.
  19. stlnats

    stlnats Active Member

    Very nice double taler. Always have liked these but not in my primary areas of interest. But one of this design is on my "chase one down when you hit a dry spell with currency and papal" list (which hasn't occurred so far). Thanks for sharing.
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