Switzerland (Basel): gold guilder (goldgulden) of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, ca. 1452-1478

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by lordmarcovan, Jul 2, 2020.


How interesting/appealing do you find this coin, whether or not you're an expert? (1=worst, 10=best)

  1. 10

    2 vote(s)
  2. 9

    0 vote(s)
  3. 8

    5 vote(s)
  4. 7

    7 vote(s)
  5. 6

    0 vote(s)
  6. 5

    1 vote(s)
  7. 4

    0 vote(s)
  8. 3

    0 vote(s)
  9. 2

    0 vote(s)
  10. 1

    0 vote(s)
  1. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Switzerland (Basel): gold guilder (goldgulden) of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, ca. 1452-1478
    Obverse: ✠ FRIDORICVS ○ ROMANO' ○ IMPA', imperial orb within trefoil.
    Reverse: ○ MONET ○ NO. / BASILIEN' , Madonna & Child.

    Issuer: Imperial mint at Basel, Switzerland, as Prince-Bishopric under the authority of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1452-1493).
    Specifications: Gold, 22.6 mm, 3.33 g. Struck ca. 1452-1478.
    Grade: PCGS XF45; cert. #39640149. Purchased raw.

    Reference: Numista-134933, Friedberg-9, HMZ 2-49h, Winterstein (Goldgulden) 128-165.*
    Provenance: ex-Sincona AG, Zürich, Switzerland, Auction 64, Lot 3075, 10 June 2020.*
    Notes: The term guilder or gulden is often used interchangeably with florin to describe similarly sized medieval gold coins from many European polities of the era.
    Comments: I found this lovely hammered gold piece attractive for its mellow gold toning and the Madonna & Child design. The "orb in trefoil" motif is also interesting. I was familiar with that from the 16th century Krauwinckel jetons, which have turned up in several bulk lots of World coins I've bought over the years (and at Jamestown, too).
    Additional images

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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator


    A 1493 woodcut of Basel, around the time this coin would have circulated. From the Nuremberg Chronicle. (Public domain, via Wikipedia)
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020 at 1:14 AM
  4. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    I picked "9". I believe the term "gulden" might also be interchangeable
    with the term "ducat". I would have picked "10" but there is not a date
    on this otherwise fantastic piece. Thanks for sharing.
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I agree- I wish it were dated! (I voted "10" anyway.) :)
  6. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    I thought gulden and florin have a similar origin in the Florentine "fiorino d'oro".
    And the ducat was associated with the Venetian coin (ducat = coin issued by a dukedom, such as the Duke/Doge of Venice). I would imagine that over hundreds
    of years the meanings might have gotten mixed together to mean any large gold trade coinage, especially those derived from medieval Italy.

    Either way, a beautiful coin!
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  7. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Supporter! Supporter

    I know nothing of the period nor its coinage but, it has a nice colour balance with good details and a little honest wear :cigar: nice grab :cigar::cigar:
    I will confess that my first thought was that the Obverse was a Holy hand grenade and the Reverse was an image from Basket Case :wacky:
    Growing up in the 80's left me badly scarred ;)
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Verily, thou mayest be forgiven for that "Holy Hand Grenade" faux pas, since there IS some resemblance to the medieval missile of Arthurian/Pythonian lore... ;)

  9. Obone

    Obone Well-Known Member

    I gave it a 10.
    This type is one of the more common medieval gold coins (along with the venetian ducats), but they frequently come misstruck. This is the best struck, clearest examples I've seen in awhile. Great coin.
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  10. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Thank you. It's nice to have some company in the "10 Club". Seems the 7's are in the majority here. Can't understand why, unless it's just too esoteric for a lot of folks. I mean, what's not to like about 15th century gold, right?
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  11. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    I was one of those 7s. It's certainly a nice coin, but I'm cheap and gold tends to run high costs. That knocks it down a peg for me. Also, being that it's from Basel, I cant help but think of all their awesome dragon coins. So, while I like the coin, if I were to array it against my taste, which is usually copper and silver with intricate details and a unique history, it would get lower ratings. Also, I find a 7/10 a perfectly acceptable rating, so I don't consider it an insult to the coin to give it a 7. I've got tons of coins I'd rate a 1/10 that I still collect/keep. :)
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  12. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I interpret the scale a little differently, but since said interpretation of these very unscientific opinion polls is left up to the user, that's understandable.
    Seattlite86 likes this.
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