The Bridge from Medieval to Modern Coinage
AUSTRIA, Holy Roman Empire. Sigismund.
|Sale: Triton X, Lot: 951. Estimate $7500.
Closing Date: Monday, 8 January 2007.
Sold For $6200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Archduke, 1439-1490. AR 1/2 Guldiner (15.84 g, 9h). Hall mint. Dated 1484. + (rosette) SIGISMVNDVS (rosette) ARChIDVX (rosette) AVSTRIE (rosette), crowned and armored bust right, holding scepter in right hand, sword in left / Armored knight on horseback right, holding banner; 1484 below; all within a circle of 15 coats of arms. Moeser & Dworschak 60; Frey 261; Grierson 453. Good VF. Well struck for issue. The earliest dated large silver coin of Europe.
The increasing pulse of international trade in the late 15th century created a need for a large silver coin, and fresh discoveries of silver ore in the Alpine foothills provided the raw material for their production. As a result, Archduke Sigismund of Tyrol set up a mint in Hall (east of Innsbruck) close to the silver mines of nearby Schwaz. The Hall mint, operating from within the protective walls of Burg Hasegg, quickly became a major innovator in mint technology. Sigismund’s half guldiners of 1484 and full guldiners of 1486 are regarded as the bridge between medieval and modern coinage. Though the types are reminiscent of medieval knighthood, these coins represent a significant advancement as the first crown-sized silver coins to circulate in Europe.