Contemporaries in the Holy Roman Empire
John Frederic I the Magnanimous
- duke of Saxony 1532-1554, elector up to 1547 -
*1503. The last elector of the Ernestine branch of the Saxon House of Wettin was a nephew of Frederic the Wise and succeeded his father, elector John the Steadfast. He had close connections with Luther and was always in conflict with his cousin Maurice of the Albertine Line. In 1547 he lost the decisive Battle of Mühlberg against Charles V at the head of the Protestant Schmalkaldic League. He was taken prisoner and condemned to death. In 1547 he lost his electoral rank to Maurice of the Albertine Line of the House of Wettin. In 1552 John Frederic was set free when Maurice, who had once helped the emperor during the Schmalkaldic war, rebelled against the emperor's predominance.
During the time of imprisonment his three sons ruled his country and minted thalers with the effigy of Charles V.
First government, 1532-1547 (as Elector of Saxony)
2 Thalers 1539, Buchholz. Ø 49 mm, 58,14 g. Keilitz 246.1; Schnee 89; Dav.9724.
Obv.: IOANnes FRIDericus DVX SAXoniae ELECTor ET BVRGGRAF MAIGDeburgensis·FIERI·FEcit (Mz.)
"Johann Friedrich, Duke of Sachsen, Elector and Burggrave from Magdeburg had this coin minted"
Effigy in electoral coat, long electoral sword on his shoulder and both hands at the grip.
Rev.: SPES - MEA - IN - DEO - EST - 1 5 3 9 "My hope is in God"
Shield of 12 arms and crests for Thuringia, Saxonia and Meissen;
under the central shield of Electoral Saxonia (crossed swords): arms of the Burggraviate Magdeburg.
1/4 Guldengroschen 1541, T-Buchholz. Ø 27 mm. Keilitz 250.
Rev.: ·SPES·MEA·IN· - ·DEO·EST·1541
Thaler 1540, Annaberg. Ø 40 mm, 29,0 g. Keilitz 152; Schnee 94; Dav.9728.
Obv.: (¤) IOHANnes F (¤) RIdericus·ELE (¤) Ctor·DVX·S (¤) AXoniae·FIeri·Fecit
interrupted with the coat of arms of the Electorate (top), Meissen (right), Thuringia and Saxony.
Rev.: (¤) HEINRIcus (¤) ·DVX·S (¤) AXoniae·FIEri·Fecit (¤) ·1540 ⊕
interrupted with the coat of arms of Saxony, Meissen, Palatinate Saxony and Thuringia
⊕ = Sign of mintmaster N.Streubel 1539-45 in Annaberg
Joint coinage 1539-40 together with brother John Ernest and duke Henry of the Albertine Line
Thaler 1539, Buchholz. Ø 39 mm. Keilitz 170; Schnee 91; Dav.9726.
Obv.: (¤) IOHANnes·FRidericus (¤) ELECtor·DVX (¤) SAXoniae·BVRGgravius (¤) MAGdegurgensis (Mzz.)T
John Frederic in electoral robes with electoral sword; date 15-39 in the field.
Rev.: (¤) HENRIcus·ET (¤) IOHANnes·ER (¤) NESTus·DVXces (¤) SAXoniae·FIeri·FEcerunt
Effigies from Henry and John Ernest facing each other.
Joint coinage 1540-42 together with brother John Ernest and duke Maurice of the Albertine Line
Maurice followed his father Henry in 1541.
Thaler 1540, Buchholz. Hybrid 1541. Ø 39 mm. Keilitz 176; Schnee 98; Dav.9729.
Obv.: Legend as before, head in profile, date now 15-40.
Rev.: (¤) MAVRITIVs (¤) ET·IOHANnes (¤) ERNESTus·DVces (¤) SAXoniae·FIeri·FEcerunt·
Effigies from Maurice and John Ernest facing each other. T (sign for Buchholz) at the right.
Compare with two well-known oil paintings:
1. 1531 from Lucas Cranach the Elder , the court painter of Saxony [51x37 cm, Louvre Paris], and
2. as prisoner of Charles V. ca.1550 from Tizian, court painter of the Emperor [103x83 cm, KHM Viena].
Thaler, 1552, Saalfeld. Ø 40 mm, 28,6g. Schnee 144;, Schulten 3172; Dav.9748.
Obv.: ¤ IOannes·FRIDERicus·SENIor - NATVs·ELECtor·SAXoniae·
"John Frederic, first born Elector of Saxony" bust above arms (Electoral Saxony & Saxony).Rev.: CAROLVS:V:ROManorum:IMPerator:SEMPer·AVGustus:155Z
title of the emperor , crowned double eagle with orb on the breast
design and legend in accordance with the 2nd Imperial Mint Order of 1551.
Double Goldgulden,1552, Saalfeld. Ø 27 mm, 6,48 g. Friedberg 2937.
Obv.: IO·FRIDER·SEN - · - NAT·ELEC·SAXO· bust and arms (Electoral Saxony & Saxony)
1/2 Thaler n. d. (1554), Saalfeld. Ø 33 mm, 14,36 g. Koppe 244.
on his death (March 3, 1554) and on the death of his wife Sibylle of Cleves, who died a few days earlier.
Obv.: Effigy to the left, below the arms of the Electorate (swords) and Saxonia.
Rev.: Brustbild seiner Gemahlin Sibylle fast v. v. mit Hut, umgelegtem Mantel und Perlenkette.