World_Coin_Nut's Blog

04 Jul 2020

Hamburg Double Wedding Thaler

Coins-World | World_Coin_Nut

Here is another one of those items that I didn’t know I wanted until I saw one. For multiple Thalers, you could almost call this common. Of course, none of these are. As many of you know I specialize in German States coinage. This Double Thaler from Hamburg came up for sale in a recent auction. It was one of those coins that as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it.

Gaedechens 1600; KM 147 (3 Thaler)
Struck ca. 1650​Obverse: A elegantly dressed bride and groom shake hands; hovering above it in a glory is the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the name Jehovah. Transcription; QUOS DEUS CONIUNXIT HOMO NON SEPARET. Man should not divide what God put together.

Reverse: The wedding to Cana, in a smaller format, just like on No. 3, only with the difference that the groom wears a feather hat here. Transcription: JESUS CHRIST. MAKE WATER WINE IN CANA. GAL. 10. 11. The Munzmeister mark with the two cross-shaped zain hooks.

Diameter: 60mm
Weight: 57.42 g

The Marriage at Cana:

The transformation of water into wine at the Marriage at Cana or Wedding at Cana is the first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John. In the Gospel account, Jesus, his mother, and his disciples are invited to a wedding, and when the wine runs out, Jesus delivers a sign of his glory by turning water into wine.

The location of Cana has been subject to debate among biblical scholars and archaeologists. Multiple villages in Galilee are possible candidates.

John 2:1-11 states that while Jesus was at a wedding in Cana with his disciples, the party ran out of wine during the Seudat Nissuin. Jesus' mother told Jesus, "They have no wine," and Jesus replied, "Oh Woman, what has this to do with me? My hour has not yet come." His mother then said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you". Jesus ordered the servants to fill containers with water and to draw out some and take it to the chief steward. After tasting it, without knowing where it came from, the steward remarked to the bridegroom that he had departed from the custom of serving the best wine first by serving it last. John adds: "Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and it revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him".

If you want some fun and aren’t easily offended do a google search of this event and the varying viewpoints of its meaning. One of the chat boards I came across makes the sometimes-spirited discussions on CT seem pretty tame.

Picture #2 14th-centuryMarriage at Canaby Giotto di Bondone​

Otto Christian Gaedechens was an 18th-century collector who wrote a series of 3 books on the coins and medals of Hamburg. Until about October of 2019 I wasn’t aware of these books. That is until I purchased the below coin. I found attributions online that said it was a G#1586. I had no idea what that was until receiving some assistance from some numismatic friends. If you are into German States coinage, especially those from Hamburg, it is well worth the investment to purchase these books. I splurged and bought a nice leather-bound reprint. The originals are very scarce.

From Gaedechens: (See picture 4)

Auch diesen Thaler besitzet Herr Bartels und haben wir ersteren 2 Loth schwerbefundeu. Herr Bartels hesitzt uberdem noch einen zweiten ahnlicheu, 2 Loth schwereu einfsachen Thaler, auf dem man auf dem Averse zwischen den heiden Brautleuten die Gestalt des Heilandes erblickt, der das Paar einsegnet. Ueber ihm in einer Glorie der Name Gottes. Die unten links aufangende Umschrist lautet: QUOS DEUS CONIUNXIT HOMO NON SEPARET; vor HOMO die beiden krezweis liegenden Zainhaken, jedoch ohne Kleeblatt. Auf der anderen Seite die Hochzeit, die Mutter Maria sitzet zwischen Braut and Brautigam; rechts im Hintergrunde noch einige undeutlich ausgedruckte Personen. Umschrift: JESUS CHRISTUS MACHET WASSER ZU GUDEM WEINN. JOHA. Ein nicht zu erkennendes Zeichen.

Google translation:
Mr. Bartels also owns this thaler and we found the first two lots difficult. Herr Bartels also sits a second similar thaler, 2 loth heavy, in which one can see the figure of the Savior on the avenue between the pagan bride and groom, who blesses the couple. Above him in a glory the name of God. The outline at the bottom left is: QUOS DEUS CONIUNXIT HOMO NON SEPARET; in front of HOMO the two zain hooks lying in front of each other, but without cloverleaf. On the other hand, the wedding, the mother Maria sits between the bride and groom; on the right in the background a few unclearly printed people. Transcription: JESUS CHRIST MAKES WATER GOOD WINE. JOHA. An unrecognizable sign.

As much as I like the Gaedechens books they are a little disappointing to me when it comes to the historical background of the designs. As you can see above, the text is pretty much talking about who else has one in their collection and description. I have only done translations on the coins that I own so that may not be consistent throughout the books.

I would like to hear other opinions on the purpose of this piece. As I mentioned earlier it is one of the more common varieties of multiple Thalers. The logical assumption, to me, is that these were used as wedding gifts. These would have been limited to only marriages in the wealthiest families because this would have represented a significant amount of money.

It is interesting to me that Krause calls this a 3 Thaler but all auction listings I found call it a double Thaler.


It's Mokie

Level 6

Great Blog WCN, you keep on pulling closer and closer to a Thaler purchase (not counting the Maria Theresa Thaler).


Level 6

Very interesting coin and blog. I would go with Krause on the number. He is the guy. Thanks for this and a great pick up.


Level 5

The problem is that the general consensus is that a Thaler from that era is around 29 grams. So the weight of this coin falls write in the double Thaler range. They stayed pretty consistent all the way up to 10 Thalers and more. My feeling is that it is just a typo in Krause but there may have been other reasons.


Level 5

Very nice piece for sure. Wedding gifts seems like one purpose for them. Would they be considered medals instead of coins? I don't know much about Thaler's. If it's a coin, how much monetary value was it worth at the time and could you actually spend it in commerce? Makes a nice addition to a collection.


Level 5

There is a debate about that very question. Maybe I'll write a blog on what I think.


Level 7

I see you won the coin Good for you. It looks like a classic coin. I wish it had a date but a coin like this just speaks for itself. Tells the wonderful story of the meaning of marrage. And Cana Jesus first miracle. I would tend to believe this coin was a gift to a couple on there wedding day. I m not going to read more into it. A gift, let me change that to a family of money on their wedding day. A beautiful coin. No matter whats on it. It tells us two wonderful stories. And is in great shape. Great blog And history but more important a mother great coin. Thanks.


Level 5

That is a pretty cool coin. It looks like the name Jehovah is written in Hebrew, totally cool. Neat book, excellent blog! The leather-bound book is definitely worth the splurge for your collecting passion!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

This is a wonderful article you have written and very scholarly. You should consider writing a guide to to thalers

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