Featured German States MANSFELD-SCHRAPLAU Thaler

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

  1. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    This is a piece that recently crossed my radar. German States Thalers are my primary collecting focus and the imagery on this one really appealed to me. I decided that I liked it but wanted to find one a little bit better. Well after a pretty thorough search I found that the condition of this one is pretty representative of the ones both available and recently sold. Actually, parts of the legend appear to be pretty sharp so I think most of the condition problems can mostly be explained by a weak/uneven strike. The look is very similar to the other ones I have seen.

    Description and photo from the seller.

    Obverse: Standing figure of St. George slaying dragon with lance, the shield of old Mansfeld arms below in front
    Obverse Legend: GEBHART. E. HANS. G. PET(ER). E. C. (D.) I M(A).
    Reverse: Shield of new Mansfeld arms divides date, 2 ornate helmets above, date between helmets
    Reverse Legend: MON(E). NO(VA). AR(G). (C.) C. ET. D. I. MAN(SF).
    Reverse Legend Translation: New Silver Money, Count, and Lords in Mansfeld

    Note: Dav#9516; Ref. T#906-08, 910-12.

    Composition: Silver

    I haven’t seen many depictions of a standing St George slaying the dragon. The reverse is similar to other favorite pieces of mine as well.

    The House of Mansfeld, whose members belonged to the Saxon nobility and served as counts in the Hassegau, was first documented in a 973 deed. The counts built Mansfeld Castle when one Hoyer of Mansfeld served as field marshal to Emperor Henry V. The first reference of the fortress coincides with the extinction of the elder line in 1229. The estates were inherited by the Lords of Querfurt, calling themselves Counts of Mansfeld from that time on.

    The settlement of Mansfeld received town privileges in 1400 and grew through the development of copper and silver mining, an activity in which Hans Luder from Möhra, father to Martin Luther and Mansfeld citizen from 1484, was employed as a master smelter. Luther's family had arrived into a modest prosperity, he himself attended the local school between 1488 and 1496. The building known as "Luther's School" had to be torn down and rebuilt in 2000 due to structural problems. His parents' house is preserved and today a museum. Luther also acted as an altar server at the St George parish church.

    The Counts of Mansfeld had already lost Imperial immediacy in 1580. When the comital line finally became extinct in 1780, the estates around Mansfeld were incorporated into the Prussian Duchy of Magdeburg. The town retained the status of an independent city, it was temporarily part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia and after the 1815 Congress of Vienna belonged to the Prussian Province of Saxony.

    The village of Scrabanloch was founded in the 8th century, the exact year remains unknown. Soon after, a castle was built near the settlement. In the 11th century, the village received a charter to become a city. Over time Schraplau has had several names. To this day there is very little industry within the town limits.

    My assumption is that Mansfeld being the much more accomplished area had Schraplau under its thumb during this time. Feel free to correct me if you know more about the history of this area. Mansfeld-Schraplau pieces were struck for a relatively short period of time.

    All in all, I’m really happy with this purchase. I have a wide range of collecting interests and this one manages to cover multiple ones. It’s also my first Mansfeld-Schraplau piece. It’s not the nicest looking coin but it is tough to come by in any condition and from what I have seen there aren’t many better than this one.


    German Thalers – 1500-1600, Davenport

    If anyone else has an example of this I would love to see it.

    I'm looking at you:

    There are others that I can't think of right now.
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  3. Hookman

    Hookman Well-Known Member

    Nice coin. Do you post your coins on the " Crown Size Coins " thread? If not you should. This Taler would fit right in and your write-up would certainly be appreciated. I know I did.
  4. Hookman

    Hookman Well-Known Member

    2 things : What's the date on this coin? I don't see it.

    Do you see what looks to me like doubling on the letter I on the top left side between the D * I * M ? Maybe some kind of double strike?
  5. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

    Now you've gone and done it! Had me searching for a while and I can't see it either.
    Maybe the I is recut?
  6. Edward Smith

    Edward Smith New Member

    There's some doubling on the second A and last E as well.
  7. Hookman

    Hookman Well-Known Member

    On the side with St. George and the Dragon, look at the I to the left of St. George (as you look at it). Between the D and the M.
    I won't swear that it's doubling but I will swear there is something there.

    I also see what Edward sees on the A and E. To me, it's less noticeable than what's on the I, but I see it, none the less.

    I know nothing about the possibilities or existence of doubling on coins this old, how it occurs, or even if it can occur. I just know I see certain things on this coin that looks like doubling.

    Let's get some specialists in here :

    @Fred Weinberg
  8. PaulTudor

    PaulTudor Well-Known Member

    Nice one! It's a 1553 piece! I only have three Mansfeld talers and really want to get an early date from the 1530-40!
    Chris B likes this.
  9. PaulTudor

    PaulTudor Well-Known Member

    That's the date, 53!
    Seattlite86 and thomas mozzillo like this.
  10. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks @PaulTudor I didn't realize that I didn't include the date. The seller actually listed it as the wrong date but I knew what it was.
    PaulTudor likes this.
  11. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I do occasionally. The problem is that I'm involved in so many on going threads that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
  12. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

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  13. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Supporter! Supporter

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  14. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Very cool coin and history! I'm afraid I've got nothing in my collection to add to this great post.
    Chris B likes this.
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