Featured Eichstadt Sede Vacante Thaler

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Chris B, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Going into this year's Heritage Central States auction there weren't very many lots that had caught my attention. I had only flagged 4 lots on my watch list pre-sale and the one below was the only one that I felt I "needed".

    The bishopric of Eichstadt (Eichstätt) was located in central Bavaria, south of Nuremberg. It was established around an old Roman station by St. Boniface about 745ad. The first bishop, St. Willibald, and his sister, St. Walburga, who was associated with him, were of royal Anglo-Saxon blood. The bishops subsequently became princes of the Empire and rulers of a domain at its height of 437 square miles and 56,000 subjects. Bishop Raimond Anton (1757-1781) wrote a well known “Instructio Pastoralis,” which is still much admired. Eichstadt was secularized in 1803 and turned over to Bavaria.


    This is a Sede Vacante (vacant seat) thaler struck after the passing of Bishop Johann Anton II von Freinerg-Hopferau. Less is known of him than of his successor mentioned above.


    Lot Description: Eichstätt-Bishopric. Sede Vacante Taler 1757 MF-I.L. AU55 PCGS, Nürnberg mint, KM75, Dav-2208, Cahn-133. A most desirable and generally elusive taler type, featuring slate gray surface coloration with darkened toning accents around the devices.


    Obverse: Shield within the center, date below, 15 oval arms surround
    Reverse: Radiant symbol above figures of Saints Willibald and Walburga, shield lower center

    Subject: Sede Vacante Issue

    Note: Dav. #2208
    Composition: Silver
    Diameter: 43mm
    Weight: 27.98g

    Saint Willibald

    Information about his life is largely drawn from the Hodoeporicon of Saint Willibald, a text written in the 8th century by Huneberc, an Anglo-Saxon nun from Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm who knew Willibald and his brother personally. The text of the Hodoeporicon was dictated to Huneberc by Willibald shortly before he died.

    Willibald's father was Saint Richard the Pilgrim, and his mother Saint Wuna of Wessex. His brother was Saint Winibald and his sister was Saint Walburga.

    Willibald was well-traveled and the first known Englishman to visit the Holy Land. His shrine is at the Eichstätt Cathedral in Germany, where his body and relics from his journeys are preserved.

    Willibald.jpg Walburga.jpg

    St. Walburga

    Walburga was born in Devonshire England, around 710. She was the daughter of a West Saxon chieftain and the sister of St. Willibald and Winebald. Walburga was educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of the double monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother Winebald. At the death of Winebald, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by her brother Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt. She remained superior of both men and women until her death in 779. She was buried first at Heidenheim, but later her body was interred next to that of her brother, St. Winebald, at Eichstadt. at a small church called Holy Cross around which a group of canonesses was gathered.

    This medal is signed I. L. Oexlein. This intrigued me because it wasn't a name that I had come across before. Turns out he was quite accomplished.

    Johann Leonhard Oexlein

    Oexlein was a medallist and gem-engraver in Nuremberg. During his career, Oexlein often traveled to other cities for work. In 1737, he was appointed mint master at Ratisbon. Shortly thereafter, the King of Poland hired him to fit a new mint.

    Among his medallic accomplishments is this (not mine) French Libertas Americana medal celebrating the United States victory over Great Britain in the Revolutionary War.


    So, obviously, I won this lot. The other three went to others for a multitude of reasons. The main one being that they just didn't do anything for me like this one does. I found prices at this sale continued to be very strong.

    Feel free to correct any misinformation from above. I kind of threw this together in a hurry in my post-auction euphoria.


    Davenport – German Talers 1700-1800
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  3. PaulTudor

    PaulTudor Well-Known Member

    @Chris B Beautiful piece, congrats! Oexlein was very busy back then, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Brandenburg, Wurttemberg, Hohenlohe, Eichstadt, Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, Schwabisch Hall and probably more!
    talerman and Chris B like this.
  4. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    @Chris B: I was following that one - happy to see it in the hands of a forum member. I like - it is sharp and has a nice look to it. Great writeup.
    Chris B likes this.
  5. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you. I need to do some more research on Oexlein. A google search didn't bring up as much about him as I would expect.

    Was there much of interest to you in this sale? Although it seemed like strong prices were being realized I just didn't see that much for my interests.
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  6. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    I didnt have anything in particular that kept me up at night in anticipation, but I did like the goldgulden pieces from Cologne, Trier, and Mainz. I fell short on a couple of bids on these lots that were a bit too conservative. I also liked the 1705 piastra (lot 32620). I think the buyer of the 1781 Eichstatt (lot 30308) did very well considering recent comparisons. I am still recovering budget after a big lot in Stacks in January so I had to be conservative and just watch this time around. Overall, I thought prices seemed strong on the things I was following.
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  7. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

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  8. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for the links. I wasn't aware of this event. So I guess she is more well known than her brother.

    I had to chuckle at the Cliff's Notes link. Cliff's Notes got me through high school. At the time you couldn't get me to read the books assigned even if it meant certain death. My how times have changed.
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  9. kaparthy

    kaparthy Well-Known Member

    I got through on Classics Illustrated comic books, certainly for House of Seven Gables, and Silas Marner. I think that's why I am a writer today. I am happy to say that in 2012 I read Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey and then For Whom the Bell Tolls. A few years before that, my daughter and I read The Sun Also Rises. Back in 2008, I think, I mentioned to a professor that I was surprised at the difference in style between academic journal articles before and after 1960. He attributed it to the influence of Ernest Hemingway.
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  10. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Congrats Indeed Chris, for the write-up and the acquisition above all. The following humble token dating back to the 17th century, is all I have from Nuremberg.

    Nuremberg    Token.jpg Nuremberg R  17th century.jpg
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  11. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I realized last night that the coin in my original post was not my first one from Eichstadt. During this lockdown one of my projects has been to update my coin inventory. Last night I got to the section for Eichstadt and realized there was already a thaler there.

    I don't know about everybody else but my collection is more organized right now than it has been in a long time.


    This one is engraved by Ignaz Joseph Schaufel. Not quite as dramatic as the other one.

    Obverse: Bust right
    Obverse Legend: IOANN • ANTON III • D • G • EP • EYSTETTENSIS S • R • I • P •
    Reverse: Helmeted ornate arms
    Reverse Legend: 10 EINE FEINE MARCK.

    Ruler: Johann Anton III
    Note: Dav. #2211.
    Mint: Munich
  12. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    After picking up the piece in the original post it made me curious about Oexlein. Unless I am missing it there isn't much information on him personally but he left quite the legacy when you consider the coinage and medals attributed to him. I just picked up the below medal to go with my Thaler.

    Picture and description by seller.

    US Betts 4460 03.jpg

    UNITED STATES & GERMANY. Colonial America and Preußen (Prussia) silver Medal. Issued 1763. The Treaty of Hubertusburg and the end of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War in America)

    Diameter: 44mm
    Weight: 21.76 g

    By J. L. Oexlein.

    Obverse: IAM REDIRE AVDET (now she dares to return...), Germania standing facing, head right, holding scepter and grain ear; mountains and plowman in background; in two lines in exergue, GERMANIA / PACATA (...with Germany being at peace)

    Reverse: NVNCIA PACIS (the messenger of Peace), view of the Hubertusburg Palace; above, Fama (Rumor) flying right, blowing in one trumpet and holding another; D 15 FEBR MDCCLXIII in exergue. Edge: Plain, with a few light marks.

    Betts 446; Pax in Nummis 595; Olding 931; Henckel 1658.
  13. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    @Chris B - Impressive medal. I like pieces with that type of patina - I bet it is wonderful in hand.
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  14. Cachecoins

    Cachecoins Historia Moneta Supporter

    That postumus thaler struck after the death of Bishop Johann Anton II is a lovely work of art. Love the way the radiant presence of god is depicted....I would say many would find it familiar. :)
    Chris B likes this.
  15. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Since starting this thread I have been on the hunt for more coins or medals by Oexlein. This is an inexpensive piece that just came in the mail.

    Tin medal with copper pin 1763, by Oexlein.

    Obverse: View of the cathedral
    Reverse: St. Peter in a boat

    Diameter: 35mm

    I have found that many listings are created without mentioning the artist on pieces engraved by him.
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  16. Hermann Watzlawik

    Hermann Watzlawik Well-Known Member

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  17. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    @Chris B - I saw your post today and realized I had another Regensburg piece from Oexlein. I believe this one was released at the same time as the one you shared.
    1763-reg-both.jpg 1763-regensburg-obv-slab.jpg
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  18. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    He was a talented guy. It's a shame we don't know more about him.

    Here is another I picked up at the same time. It is a much simpler design but it is also 20 years earlier than yours and the one I started the thread with.


    Silver strike from the stamps of the ducat 1742, by Oexlein. Plato 56.

    200th anniversary of the Reformation in Regensburg

    Obverse: Burning altar, the front decorated with the city shield, clouds with rays of sunlight breaking through above
    Reverse: Seven lines of writing.
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  19. talerman

    talerman Well-Known Member

    Some information on Johann Leonhard OEXLEIN from Forrer's Biographical Dictionary of Medallists:

    OEXLEIN, J L Bio in Forrer 1 751.jpg OEXLEIN, J L Bio in Forrer 2 753.jpg OEXLEIN, J L Bio in Forrer 3 754.jpg OEXLEIN, J L Bio in Forrer 4 755.jpg
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  20. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the added info talerman. He left his mark on the mid 18th century with a rather prolific portfolio of work. I have a few more of his medals and I didn't realize he was the designer.

    1746 Bamberg medal
    Zepernick 350

    1754 Wurzburg medal
    Zepernick 259, Helmschrott 699
  21. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    1761 Passau medal
    Zepernick 247
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