Featured Baptismal Thalers

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Chris B, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I don’t consider myself to be a religious person, more “spiritual”. I know kind of hippie sounding but it’s as good a description as any. I grew up in a semi-religious family and had my share of exposure to stories from the bible.

    Many coins from around the world have religious themes but my focus is on the coins of the German States. Coins minted before the German unification in 1871. A common image on these coins is the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist in Jordan. I honestly don’t know what drew me to these particular pieces aside from most of them being beautifully engraved.

    Gotha mint, Goppel-1135, Schnee-502

    Diameter: 40mm

    Obverse: John the Baptist baptizing Christ in Jordan
    Obverse Legend: DIS IST MEIN LEIBER …
    Reverse: 9-line inscription, large ornament above, crossed palm branches below divide date

    Subject: Baptismal Thaler
    Ruler: Friedrich II​


    Harz 1697 Thaler
    Zellerfeld mint; Rudolf Bornemann, mintmaster, Fassbender 2792

    Diameter: 51.5mm

    Obverse: St. John the Baptist kneeling right, baptizing Jesus Christ standing facing in River Jordan, hands crossed over breast; dove of the Holy Spirit and radiate name of God above
    Reverse: Biblical passages in ten lines​


    Hamburg ca.1635 2 Thaler

    Diameter: 59mm

    Obverse: The Annunciation
    Reverse: The Baptism of Christ

    Note: Ref. G#1586. Prev. KM#F85.​

    Baptismal Thalers in general are a common theme but there are no issues that are individually better than scarce. Since they are such a popular theme a lot of collectors will find the price point to be unattainable. The last coin pictured is a restrike from the 1970’s that you may find have a more attractive price. You are going to pick them up for anywhere close to spot price but it has a much more attractive price.


    1674 Emden Löser 2 Taler – 1976 Restrike
    Welter 1677
    Mintage: 50​

    The baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist is a major event in the life of Jesus which is described in three of the gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is considered to have taken place at Al-Maghtas, located in Jordan.

    Gerard David – The Baptism of Christ, c. 1505​

    Most modern theologians view the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as a historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Along with the crucifixion of Jesus, most biblical scholars view it as one of the two historically certain facts about him and often use it as the starting point for the study of the historical Jesus.

    The baptism is one of the events in the narrative of the life of Jesus in the canonical Gospels; others include the Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Most Christian denominations view the baptism of Jesus as an important event and a basis for the Christian rite of baptism. In Eastern Christianity, Jesus' baptism is commemorated on January 6th. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches, and some other Western denominations, it is recalled on a day within the following week, the feast of the baptism of the Lord. In Roman Catholicism, the baptism of Jesus is one of the Luminous Mysteries sometimes added to the Rosary.

    This is the extent of my collection of Baptismal Thalers but I am sure there will be additions made in the future.

    If you enjoy these take a look at a previous thread that I wrote for a similar piece:

  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Robidoux Pass

    Robidoux Pass Well-Known Member

    Most fascinating coins. Interesting collecting theme and recital. Thanks for sharing.

    Many years ago visiting Israel, we stopped at a site along the Israeli side of the Jordan River which was said to be considered representative of the baptismal site. Biblical archaeologists say different, with much of the research being done in the more recent past.

    About 15 years ago, I was working on the construction of a water treatment plant for the Government of Jordan along the Jordan River. About 10 km or so upstream of our plant was the baptismal site ascribed by the archaeologists. It is not on the banks of the Jordan River but nearby on a small tributary to the Jordan River. The biblical accounts speak of "Bethany across the Jordan" which would indeed place it in the current country of Jordan.
    Chris B and ZoidMeister like this.
  4. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    A very beautiful coin. I had the privilege of visiting the river Jordan in Israel. I don't own any of these beauties, but someday hope to. Here is my most recent baptismal purchase.
  5. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    @Chris B - great write up. I think we are both drawn to many of the same things in the German States numismatic realm. All are beautiful pieces, but that Hamburg 2T in particular is outstanding. You could post it weekly and I would probably respond with the same comment.
    Chris B likes this.
  6. Zohar444

    Zohar444 Member

  7. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Very nice examples, all.

    Here's my coin, purchased in San Jose at the local coin store in the late 90's.

    This coin was struck on a broad flan, 49 mm, and it weighs 28.6 grams

    There are indications that this coin was struck over a previous taler, possibly from Saxony. If you look closely, especially with the enlargement, you can see numerals and letters of the original coin, especially on the obverse, from around 10 to 2 o'clock.

    I think this coin came from the Harz Mountains, but that's about it, aside that it is probably from the late 17'th century to early 18'th centuries, when broad talers were popular.

    If anyone has additional information, including any catalog numbers, please pass it on. Thanks

    D-Camera Baptismal taler, Harz Mountains, Germany, 17th century, 28.6 gms, 8-31-20.jpg
    wcg likes this.
  9. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    I know the Harz pieces generally use the Katsouros for cataloging but I have never seen a copy of this source. I have one myself but I would be lost if it was not already attributed as 1753 Katsouros-23.
    Chris B likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page