Featured Lauthenthal Mining Thaler

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

  1. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Here is my latest addition to the numismatic family. I recently purchased this off of my favorite seller on MA-Shops.com. It had been on my watching list for over 6 months and I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. This piece is way outside of my normal budget but I was recently able to sell off some unwanted items to help finance the acquisition. In addition, the seller was open to me making the purchase through a payment plan.


    Davenport shows 3 varieties of this piece in German Secular Talers 1600-1700 and surprisingly this is not one of them. I like collecting coins that are out of the ordinary. This one qualifies for a number of reasons. Mining Thaler's from the 1600s, in general, are scarce. There are lots of varieties but I don't consider any of them common. The depiction of St. Jacob also appealed to me. This is the only coin in my collection with him portrayed. I couldn't find any link between him and the Lauthenthal area. In addition, it doesn't appear that he was the patron saint of, well, anything.

    It does appear that there was/is a St. Jacobs church in Goslar am Harz which looks like it is about 25 miles away. The church has been existence since at least 1073 so it could be as simple as that.

    Maybe someone more versed in German history can shed more light on this.
    Of all the appearances of all 4 varieties of these in recent auctions, this one appears to be better than most.


    Lautenthal, a town in the Harz Mountains of modern central Germany, was the site of a famous silver mine called "Lautenthal's Luck." Mining of copper, lead, and silver in the area around Lautenthal started about 1225. In the middle of the 14th century, however, the Harz was depopulated because of plague and mining came to an end.
    Mining in the Harz was started again in 1524. Lautenthal was founded in 1538 as a mining settlement on the river Laute, a small tributary of the Innerste, and had already been given the status of a town by 1580. Sixteen years later it became a free mining town. The town was enlarged in 1560 and a rectangular market place was laid out. A comparatively large town hall was built in 1570. The building was transformed into a hotel later. In 1626, the town was plundered by the troops of Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly in the Thirty Years' War. The Protestant town church was built 1649-59.

    Obverse: Five-fold helmeted 11-field coat of arms
    Reverse: St. Jacob divides 16-33 and S-I in 2 lines. St. Jacob with hat, slanted staff and book walks halfway, in the background \ l. Hill with pit stack. Standing St. Jakoc divides year in the transcription.

    Note: Lauthenthal Mining Thalers. Yield of the St. Jacob pit
    Mint: ZellerFeld
    Welter 1054, Davenport -, 10.2 / 51, Spruth St. J 4 b
    Mint Master: Henning Schlüter

    Composition: Silver
    Weight: Not listed by the seller but typically around 28g

    Henning Schlüter was Mint-master at Zellerfeld from 1625-1672. He also worked for the Harburg branch of the Housed of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The crossed keys by St. Jacob's head on the obverse were his mark.

    Saint Jacob of Nisibis also known as Saint Jacob of Mygdonia, Saint Jacob the Great, and Saint James of Nisibis, was the Bishop of Nisibis until his death.

    St-Jacob jpeg.jpg St-Jacob-02 jpeg.jpg

    Saint Jacob was the son of prince Gefal, and was born in the city of Nisibis in Mesopotamia in the 3rd century AD. It is claimed that he was a relative of Saint Gregory the Illuminator. Saint Jacob became a Confessor of the Faith for his suffering during the persecution by Emperor Maximian. Saint Jacob became an anchorite in c. 280 in the mountains near Nisibis where, according to Saint Theodoret of Cyrrhus, he survived on herbs and fruits, and chose to wear no clothes, build shelter, or light fires for warmth. The saint became famous and received visits from Sheria, Bishop of Arbela.

    The saint resolved to climb Mount Qardu, traditionally believed to be the resting place of Noah's Ark, and recover a fragment of the ark upon hearing from the hermit Maroukeh that local people doubted the Great Flood. Saint Jacob ascended the mountain and rested close to the summit. In his sleep, an angel placed a fragment of the ark close to him and instructed him to awake. The saint brought the relic to the hermit Maroukeh and, a sacred spring appeared where the saint had rested, reputed to have healing properties.

    A number of miracles are credited to Saint Jacob by Saint Theodoret in Historia Religiosa. In which the saint had a boulder explode beside a Persian judge who had given an unjust judgment. Also, in one incident, Saint Jacob cursed boastful, promiscuous women by a spring so that their hair became white, and the spring disappeared. The women subsequently repented, and the spring returned, however, the women's hair remained white.

    Disagreement exists as to the date of the saint's consecration as bishop of Nisibis as it is argued it took place in c. 300. He is recorded as the city's first bishop by Saint Ephrem the Syrian. However, Saint Jacob is credited as the successor of Babu, the first bishop of Nisibis by the Catholic Encyclopedia, who Saint Ephrem states were, in fact, Saint Jacob's successor. In his Chronography, Elijah of Nisibis states that Saint Jacob was consecrated bishop in 308.

    The Chronicle of Edessa states that the saint constructed the first church in Nisibis in c. 313-320. Miles, Bishop of Susa, is said to have contributed a large quantity of silk from Adiabene to the church's construction. The foundation of the School of Nisibis is also attributed to Saint Jacob. Saint Jacob attended the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and opposed Arius. Saint Ephrem purportedly accompanied the saint to the council; however, this is considered unlikely.

    Saint Jacob was present at the siege of Nisibis by Shapur II, Shahanshah of Iran, in 337/338, and according to Saint Theodoret, with encouragement from the city's population and Saint Ephrem, Saint Jacob ascended the walls and prayed for the city, and cursed the besiegers. The Martyrologium Hieronymianum relates that he died on 15 July, the thirtieth day of the siege, according to the Chronicle of 724. Gennadius and Saint Ephrem record that Saint Jacob was buried within the walls of Nisibis. Saint Theodoret adds that the Iranian army was afflicted by a swarm of gnats and flies summoned by the saint, and Shapur II subsequently abandoned the siege.

    The saint is counted amongst the signatories of the Council of Antioch in 341, however, his presence at the council is unrecorded in other sources. In 350, according to the Chronicon Paschale, Saint Jacob helped defend Nisibis against Shapur II again, and as he was wearing the imperial regalia, he was confused for Emperor Constantius II. Shapur II challenged the saint to fight outside the city, where it was revealed he was an apparition and the Iranian army withdrew as a result.

    German Secular Talers 1600-1700 by John Davenport
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  3. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Now thats a beautifull coin, to bad they cannot mint coins like that today. You are very smart to buy it on a payment plan, I have done the same with my more $$$$ auction wins. Its a win/ win! Thanks for sharing your excellent coin/ historical facts.
  4. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    Amazing coin. I am trying to look your coin up in my 2003 3rd edition 17th World Coins catalog. Not finding it. Is it in the German States section ? Dumb question.
  5. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I do not believe it is the regular World Coins catalog however there are similar ones listed in the specialized German catalog. Because it doesn't have either a KM or Davenport this exact variety isn't in any books I know of.
  6. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    German States should have it. In my 1600 to present (Gold coins edition) Look under Goslar.
  7. Mkman123

    Mkman123 Well-Known Member

    very cool coin and the history of it! Thats what makes world coinage so interesting and fun
    Chris B likes this.
  8. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I agree!
  9. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    It is listed under German States Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel KM#381
  10. wcg

    wcg Well-Known Member

    Oh my - that is an outstanding piece and great write up. Excellent obverse design. Congrats !
    Chris B likes this.
  11. PaulTudor

    PaulTudor Well-Known Member

    Congrats Chris! A very beautiful taler indeed, no wonder this type is expensive! Was it from Dirk Lobbers?He has a lot of Brunswick ones on ma-shops!
    Seattlite86 and Chris B like this.
  12. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Yes it was. They have incredible customer service.
    ma-shops, Seattlite86 and PaulTudor like this.
  13. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Beautiful coin and I see why Dirk is one of your favorite companies. I did research after you showed it to me, but the write up is quite thorough. Well done on all accounts :)
    Chris B likes this.
  14. Zohar444

    Zohar444 Member

    Great coin and write up. Congrats!
    Chris B likes this.
  15. ma-shops

    ma-shops Active Member

    Beautiful coin and well written account!
    Chris B likes this.
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