World_Coin_Nut's Blog

07 May 2020

Eichstadt Sede Vacante Thaler

Coins-World | World_Coin_Nut

Going into this year's Heritage Central States auction there weren't very many lots that had caught my attention. I had only flagged 4 lots on my watch list pre-sale and the one below was the only one that I felt I "needed".

The bishopric of Eichstadt (Eichstätt) was located in central Bavaria, south of Nuremberg. It was established around an old Roman station by St. Boniface about 745ad. The first bishop, St. Willibald, and his sister, St. Walburga, who was associated with him, were of royal Anglo-Saxon blood. The bishops subsequently became princes of the Empire and rulers of a domain at its height of 437 square miles and 56,000 subjects. Bishop Raimond Anton (1757-1781) wrote a well known “Instructio Pastoralis,” which is still much admired. Eichstadt was secularized in 1803 and turned over to Bavaria.
This (picture #2) is a Sede Vacante (vacant seat) thaler struck after the passing of Bishop Johann Anton II von Freinerg-Hopferau. Less is known of him than of his successor mentioned above.

Lot Description: Eichstätt-Bishopric. Sede Vacante Taler 1757 MF-I.L. AU55 PCGS, Nürnberg mint, KM75, Dav-2208, Cahn-133. A most desirable and generally elusive taler type, featuring slate gray surface coloration with darkened toning accents around the devices.


Obverse: Shield within the center, date below, 15 oval arms surround
Reverse: Radiant symbol above figures of Saints Willibald and Walburga, shield lower center

Subject: Sede Vacante Issue

Note: Dav. #2208
Composition: Silver
Diameter: 43mm
Weight: 27.98g

Saint Willibald
Information about his life is largely drawn from the Hodoeporicon of Saint Willibald, a text written in the 8th century by Huneberc, an Anglo-Saxon nun from Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm who knew Willibald and his brother personally. The text of the Hodoeporicon was dictated to Huneberc by Willibald shortly before he died.

Willibald's father was Saint Richard the Pilgrim, and his mother Saint Wuna of Wessex. His brother was Saint Winibald and his sister was Saint Walburga.

Willibald was well-traveled and the first known Englishman to visit the Holy Land. His shrine is at the Eichstätt Cathedral in Germany, where his body and relics from his journeys are preserved.

St. Walburga
Walburga was born in Devonshire England, around 710. She was the daughter of a West Saxon chieftain and the sister of St. Willibald and Winebald. Walburga was educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of the double monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother Winebald. At the death of Winebald, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by her brother Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt. She remained superior of both men and women until her death in 779. She was buried first at Heidenheim, but later her body was interred next to that of her brother, St. Winebald, at Eichstadt. at a small church called Holy Cross around which a group of canonesses was gathered.

This medal is signed I. L. Oexlein. This intrigued me because it wasn't a name that I had come across before. Turns out he was quite accomplished.

Johann Leonhard Oexlein
Oexlein was a medallist and gem-engraver in Nuremberg. During his career, Oexlein often traveled to other cities for work. In 1737, he was appointed mint master at Ratisbon. Shortly thereafter, the King of Poland hired him to fit a new mint.

Among his medallic accomplishments is this (picture#5 not mine) French Libertas Americana medal celebrating the United States victory over Great Britain in the Revolutionary War.

So, obviously, I won this lot. The other three went to others for a multitude of reasons. The main one being that they just didn't do anything for me as this one does. I found prices at this sale continued to be very strong.
After picking up the piece in the auction it made me curious about Oexlein. Unless I am missing it there isn't much information on him personally but he left quite the legacy when you consider the coinage and medals attributed to him. I just picked up the below medal (picture#6) to go with my Thaler.

UNITED STATES & GERMANY. Colonial America and Preußen (Prussia) silver Medal. Issued in 1763. The Treaty of Hubertusburg and the end of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War in America)

Diameter: 44mm
Weight: 21.76 g

By J. L. Oexlein.

Obverse: IAM REDIRE AVDET (now she dares to return...), Germania standing facing, head right, holding scepter and grain ear; mountains and plowman in the background; in two lines in exergue, GERMANIA / PACATA (...with Germany being at peace)

Reverse: NVNCIA PACIS (the messenger of Peace), view of the Hubertusburg Palace; above, Fama (Rumor) flying right, blowing in one trumpet and holding another; D 15 FEBR MDCCLXIII in exergue. Edge: Plain, with a few light marks.

Betts 446; Pax in Nummis 595; Olding 931; Henckel 1658.


Davenport –German Talers 1700-1800



Level 3

Cool,and very interesting


Level 6

You passion for these is very apparent. Great blog. The history and beauty of these coins makes them very cool. Thanks for all your hard work.


Level 5

No coins of this nature are complete without the story behind them. Throw in the fact that they are artistically beautiful and you have a winning combination. Congratulations on your Heritage win. In my estimation, you got the finest looking piece of the lot.


Level 5

Thank you Gary. I guess I am getting picky. There wasn't much that I found appealing in this sale. Of course, the majority of items had a starting price that altered my opinion of them.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Very attractive pieces, I especially love the design of the Taler. Thanks for sharing your new acquisitions and there history.


Level 5

Awesome blog. You certainly collect fantastic historical pieces. I need to investigate acquiring something special like what you have. We have a local brewery named Saint Boniface Brewery. Have not had a beer there, but need to find out why they named it such. Keep the posts coming. Very interesting coins and medals. Thanks


Level 5

One of the great things about medals and world coins is that there are a lot of affordable pieces that have just as much history behind them as this one does.


Level 7

I told you i wa waiting for this. I enjoyed it very much. I love the history. A blog is not a blog withiut reserch and history and your good. The coins on the other hand i like good ieye!!. I xoukd nove into the town tomorrow. tkhe coins design i find inspirational. No doubt great design. Thanks my fruend.

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