Taler 63's Blog

09 Aug 2019

Thaler Varients; 1544 Breslau

Coins - World | Taler 63

There are numerous catalogs written about every possible variety of coin that was ever struck in the United States.

But I want to learn about the 1544 Breslau Thaler, Dav # 8993, and most catalogues on the subject will only say that "Varieties Exist. "

But I feel that the level of refinement on ( especially early ) Talers is missing.

What is real and what is fake ?

It's an enormous undertaking when you have to start from zero, and slowly piece together a puzzle that will take years of record keeping before you can even start to work on listing the varieties.

So, over the last 10 years as they occasionally came to auction, I've kept records on some of the more interesting ones.

Then I thought about the amount of effort that had to go into making the dies, and I had to wonder how many dies were actually made for the minting of one specific coin, the 1544 Breslau Taler. Dav. # 8993.

And just to Generalize, my AU 1544 Breslau is the;

Parted Mane, Clover, Thick Cross, Non Italicized, 2 x 2 Up ( knee hair ) Facial Moneta, Wide Eyed, 4 toothed, large 5, date center on 4's edge, version. And I haven't addresses too much of the lettering yet.

Without addressing some other subtle differences, is probably why someone else did not try to list all of the variables.

I do not have access to the alternate reference notes F/S # 3410 / 3413 / 3416 / and 3418, of this coin, but for the sake of shortening this article, I am referring to them all as Dav. # 8993.

There have been 34 Breslau Talers auctioned over the last 11 years, and they are 1542 = 1, 1543 = 1, 1544 = 24, 1545 = 6, and 1546 = 2.

I will only compare the 1544 date because I can compare the 24 examples to one another.

The Lion Manes are either " Center Parted ", " Combed ", or of the " Curly " variety, along with either a Flower or a Clover as the mint mark ( on the reverse of the coin, at 3 o'clock between the letters A and A ), and there are also the Italicized letters A ( mint mark ) A verses the simply bold versions.

There are Thick Crosses, a Wide Cross and also Tall Cross versions, but so far there is only 1 that has an additional Cross between the rings where a flower would normally sit. There are 3 tooth, and 4 tooth, wide eyed, and narrow eyes, large 5's and small 5's, and variations to the centering of the date. There are also inner die rotations both front and back.

So I ask you to consider the likelihood of interchangeable die parts, and look at the inner and outer dimpling circles.

Remember, Mechanical clocks were already invented in Nurnburg by the year 1520.

Collecting information and then cataloguing those variables will demand many more years of my time, but that's what we coin enthusiast call fun right!?

When I began to compare the other pictures to my own example, I notice that there were at least 6 different varieties of this one basic style.

I am guessing that the mint marks are similar to other Talers mint marks of the time, and in this case;

1 - The Clover ----------------( I have recorded only 3 coins so far ) Auction Dates ( year month ) 0608, 1703, and 1704.

2 - The Flower ( Lilley )---- ( I have recorded ---- 12 coins so far ) from 0806 to today's date 2019 August ( 1908 )

And within the 15 examples, I began to see signs that the dies were possibly made up of multiple pieces so that they could accommodate interchangeable parts.

When you look at the obverse rotations on many examples against the same points of focus ( Inner circle Lion Claws - vs. - Outer circle lettering ), you can see examples of a shared ( quite noticeable character difference ) on coins with different mint marks, as well as coins with out the noticeable character difference.

One possibility is that there were many sets of dies than would have to have been made. But that doesn't explain the shared oddities on coins issued from one mint to the other.

The Lion is the focal point of the coin, and the claws are a pin pointer to the letters in the outer circle, but when the lesser seen Thick Cross variant is held to compare with the ( ONLY ) 3 other 1544 Clover mint examples, and none of the other clovers have a thick cross, but a thick cross is on a FLOWER mint, then I begin to look harder for other examples of possible replacement die parts. And the Lion inner die rotation offers another suggestion as well.

I'm sorry that some of the pictures are horrible, but they are the same pictures that the auctions posted.

Again, there are the only 4 examples where a THICK CROSS is used and I have 34 examples to compare them to.

Anyway, two of them are on the Combed Mane versions, and 2 of them are on the Parted Mane versions, but 3 of them are on the flower mint mark, and only 1 Clover. Hmmmm!

So here's the argument in a nut shell.

Different mint marks = different mint locations, but the same rare Thick Cross variety is seen on a Clover minted coin, as well on a Flower Minted coin.

Another example of the idea that there were multiple pieces used in the dies, is that there are only 4 examples of the thick cross, but a distinct letter " O " in Moneta appears on MY Clover as it does on the Flower versions., but then 1 of the coins has italicized A ( mint mark ) A, and the other example has a bold A A.

How many Dies do think that you need so far ?

Aside from the effects that wear makes on the thickness of raised characters, the inner part of this letter " O " seems to resemble the jaw line of a face.

But the letter "A " in moneta, on both of these coins are different than one another. One is bold type and the other one is italicized.

So far, if I look at the possibility that each variety had its own die, then we are up to at least 6 dies for the 4 versions of two coins, with just the 3 reference points of cross, clover, and the letter O alone. But if the die's had interchangeable parts, then the number of dies needed is now 2. One is needed for the Clover and one for the Flower. ( just for these variables )

And that isn't even considering the other 30 coins and their shared as well as not shared traits.

My 1544 Breslau, Parted Mane, Thick Cross example is Clover, and the only other thick cross ( m O netta ) example is on a Flower Combed Mane. The letter O almost looks like the jaw line of a face.

They are the only 2 coins out of them all that share those specific 2 parts.

Now if we look even further at the Parted Mane variety, you will notice what I like to call knee hair on both the right rear, and left rear legs.

As of April 2017, there are the 10 (Parted Mane) coins that I have records of, and I started my focus on this coin in June of 2008.

This study tells me that there were only 3 dies used for the reverse (Parted Mane, Lion Side)

Of those 3 dies, only 2 are a clover minting, and only one of those has a thick cross.

Once again, how many dies were needed just for 1 side of 1 version of 1 coin ( 6 so far )

And to confuse the hell out of you even further;

On die 1, ( 2207 - 4012 - 4031 - 1193 ) The lions right index toe are all centered on the letter A, but 2207 vs 4031 John the Evangelist is different. ( clover vs flower )

Another notable focus point is the letter "R" in which the front leg of the letter looks like some kind of home rolled cigar.

#2207 and # 1193 share this trait, while the other two do not.

On just 34 coins, the obverse has at least 11 versions of the Lion's knee hair, two versions of its eyes, and two versions of its teeth, plus rotation differences.

And on the reverse there are 3 versions of Cross's, two mint marks, multiple versions of letters and also shield rotation differences. Plus there is the one oddity of an extra cross where a flower has always been.

There are multiple examples of shared similarities between different dies and different parts of the dies from different mints just for the year 1544, but the necessary number of dies needed to explain the variants almost defies calculation.

So consider that there were other sizes of other Breslau coins of the time, and it is not a far reach to think that the inner circle of this thaler is of the same size of another denomination. And with that, it would be an easy mold size for purposing as part of a larger coin's design.

And as Far as any Die Rotation Goes

The compass point of North vs. South, Obverse vs. Reverse degrees out of rotation each coin has, is something that will need input from other collectors, because no picture can explain the orientation.

And any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

When I look at my 1544 Breslau, Parted Mane, Clover, Thick Cross Taler's dated side, and then flip it west to east, the point of the Lion's crown on the Reverse side is die rotated to the hour of 7:50.

But that should be no big deal as Coins of the time were struck however the hand held dies were placed for striking.

I can send the auction reference pictures to make it easier for people to view these coins.





Level 6

Amazing history you have brought us. Thanks!


Level 7

Your in great in this hobby is inspiring. I glad you found us. I'm sorry I have not been in touch I broke my him. Went to the doctor and he showed my wife and myself another break. I will be going in again for surgery. You have kept our in great in your knowledge of your coins. Thanks for sharing them with us..

Taler 63

Level 4

So Far there are 18 variables per coin, and I am not done looking yet. I wonder what the web pictures of this coin have to offer. http://www.coinfactswiki.com/wiki/Breslau_1544_thaler_Dav-8993 This one is a " Combed Mane, Small Jaw, 3 tooth 1 eye Sclera, Floret, 1d-1d Knee hair, Symmetrical Toes, Right tail flower limp, Symmetrical Cross, Large 5, Large Shoulder 1, Near W, Capitol A ( mint mark ) A, Thick letter R, E-E rotation alignment, C Fang, IVDa, leg hair, version. " So Far. And Of Course, It's a different version than the ones I already have catalogued. Saturday; After going through and printing out all of my Pic's, I have noticed that there are only 19 coins on my records over the last 11 years. ( Strangely enough any 2009, 2010, and 2011 entries are missing. So that leaves about 2 per year that come up for auction. And on that note, 3 of these coins each have been auctioned twice. Still Can not find any useful information about any possible mint sites for the Clover or the Floret ( ? mint marks ) so I am beginning to think that the more artful the ( 1544 version only so far ) design is, the later in the year it was struck. From 3 teeth to 4 teeth, from, from eyes with only 1 Sclera ( Only on Floret strikes ) to eyes with 2 Sclera ( white's of the eyes ) Keith

Taler 63

Level 4

Wow; How can every die be different? ( again, why so many dies, unless,,,,,, ) I am now using dividers and protractors on my pictures in an attempt to to gauge symmetry and positioning of the reverse die rotations, and it seems that almost everyone is slightly different. Over the last 2 days I re catalogued them according to their auction dates. So far each one now has some tick box ( or Not ) against every variance to the basic design that I can find. And it is exciting when I find similarities in the spread sheets. I do know for today, that the points of the shield were meant to align on the two letter E's, so that the center line of the shield's would pass from the center of John the Baptist's nose, up trough the center partition of the shield, and center on the cross above. That piece of info. will now lets me see note the different die rotations. BTW, the center of these coins seems to be the forehead hair line. Years to go: More to come.


Level 6

Pretty cool information. The toned example is really nice!

It's Mokie

Level 6

Interesting to think that back before machines like the Janvier Reducing Machine and other relatively modern equipment, every single die was handmade and every single die was a little different. Thanks for illuminating another corner of this fascinating time.

wow, you really are putting a great amount of effort into this; great job!


Level 5

I understand your interest in these differences. I have 3 versions of a Thaler that have the same Davenport number but look vastly different. You have taken this to a lot farther than I have though. Good luck with your research.

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