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Research Coins: Printed Auction


The ‘Glockentaler’ and the Politics of the 30 Years War

Triton XXII, Lot: 1248. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $1800. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GERMANY, Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (Herzogtum). Auguste der Jüngere (the Younger). 1635-1666. AR Taler (42mm, 28.91 g, 10h). ‘Glockentaler’ – Third Bell Taler type. Zellerfeld mint. Dated 1643. · AUGUSTUS HERTZOG ZU BRAUNS : UND · L :, armored and mantled half-length bust left, holding baton and plumed helmet / * ALLES * MIT * BEDACHT * ANNO 1643, bell inscribed GLORIA, with rope from left part of yoke; three rosettes around, SIC NISI below. Welter 810; Davenport 6368; KM 422. EF, toned, underlying luster. Very rare.

Ex Richard A. Jourdan Collection; Künker 140 (17 June 2008), lot 2088.

As a type, the glockentaler (bell taler), appears to reflect the changing sentiment of the leadership of the Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). In 1622, Christian von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1616-1626), issued an unusual series of doppeltalers and talers (see Davenport 6319-6323). Reputedly minted from silver plate taken from the Imperial abbey of Corvey, this type features religious legends in both French and German. The reverse depicts God’s right arm extending from the clouds, armored and holding a sword that may, or may not, support a crown. In keeping with Christian’s aggressive advocacy of the Protestant cause, the German reads GOTTES FREVNDT DER PFAFFEN FEINDT (God’s friend; the priests’ enemy). By the time of Auguste der Jüngere, however, German territories, including Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, had been the site of much of the devastating fighting during the war. The departure in 1634 of the imperial armies from his territories was a cause of celebration. To commemorate this event, a series of seven taler types were struck. Collectively known as glockentalers, since a bell features prominently into the design of six of the types (the fourth type shows a stone block and a bell clapper), all of these coins have the common reverse legend ALLES MIT BEDACHT (everything with deliberation), which suggests that the consequences of the impulsive policy of Christian von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel and almost twenty years of devastation, brought sober reflection with the onset of peace.