start page Charles V TOUR :   Philip I the Handsome

    Paternal grandfather    

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1493-1519
Maximilian was born in 1459, in 1477 he married Mary, heiress of Burgundy, and in 1493 he succeeded his father Frederic III to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1508, in Trieste, he adopted the title "Roman Emperor Elect" as the Venetians prevented him from travelling on to Rome.
Two double weddings arranged for political reasons helped establish the renown of the House of Habsburg. In 1496 his son Philip the Handsome married Joanna of Castile, and in 1515 his grandson Ferdinand married Anna of Hungary. His daughter's marriage to Joanna's brother was childless as was his granddaughter's marriage to Anna's brother Louis of Hungary.
Maximilian was popular and lovingly called "the Last Knight". His domestic achievements were in particular the proclamation of the "Everlasting Peace" and the establishment of the "Imperial Judicial Court" and the "Imperial Districts". The Emperor, always in need of money, had been promised taxes by the estates of the realm but never received them. Luckily, his cousin Sigismund conceded him possession of the Tyrol, which was extremely rich in silver and yielded a much higher revenue than the taxes would have earned him.
In his Austrian lands, Maximilian modelled domestic reforms on the Burgundy way of administration, which he was prevented from doing in the empire. He was interested in literature and the arts and had his own deeds written up and glorified in the book "Weisskunig", an autobiographical novel started around 1516.



Bronze medal n. d. (1508 or a bit later).     ō 37,8 mm.   Habich I,2, p.XLVI, no.39.
Obv.:   IMPERATOR CAESAR MAXIMILIA∑AVG∑F∑   -   Bust with beret and long hair to the left.
Rev.:  CaESARIS - IMPERIVM  -  Eagle with outstretched wings on globe.
The unknown medalist could be an Italian or a German.
The reverse shows the antique roman coin image of consecratio with the imperial eagle.
The legend CAESARIS IMPERIVM refers to his proclamation as Emperor in Trient on February 4, 1508.



1/4 Guldiner n. d. (1506), Hall.     ō 28 mm, 7,66 g.   Egg p.126, no.1; M./T. -, cf.p.35.
Dies from Gian Marco Cavalli.

Obv.:   MAXIMILIANVS∑ROMANORum REX (ET)C     (ET) ligated.
Bust with beret and long hair to the left.

Rev.:  ∑MONETA∑NOVA∑COMITATisį∑TIROLIS  -  crowned eagle, arms of Austria on the breast.


1/4 Guldiner n. d.(after 1511), Hall.     ō 27 mm, 7,28 g.   Egg p.126 No.3; M./T. 73.
Engraver: Ulrich Ursentaler, Hall.

Obv.:   MAXIMILIANVS∑ROMANORum∑IMPerATOR
Renaissance-Bust of Maximilian with uncombed hair, crown and unpretentious armour.
Rev.:   ARCHIDVX∑AVSTRIE∑COMES∑TIROLIS
Crowned double eagle with the arms of Austria and Burgundy on the breast.
Maximilian's predecessor in Tyrol, Archduke Sigismund, had introduced the 6 Kreuzer and the 12 Kreuzer coins ("Sechser" and "Pfundner"), the half Guldiner and the Guldiner (60 Kreuzer equal a golden Gulden). Maximilian was the first to issue the quarter Guldiner (15 Kreuzer). They were minted in small numbers in Vienna, Hall and St. Veit in Carinthia. This beautiful Renaissance coin started a new denomination, the quarter thaler, an important coin until Maria Theresa's times.

Compare pictures with Maximilians profile.


Ducat 1516, St. Veit.     ō 21mm   3,5g.   Egg p.192 No.4 ; Schulten 3961.
Obv.:   ∑ MAXIMILIA ∑ IM ∑ CA ∑ PIVVS ∑
Crowned bust with necklace from the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Rev.:   § DVCATVS + CARENTANVS + 1516
Shield :   Carinthia, Austria, Styria and Carniola.

He liked commemorative coins with his own portrait, took interest in their design and gave them away as presents in order to promote his renown. The coins were much sought after by members of the nobility. They were issued in the weight of a Guldiner or its multiples and therefore rank as coins, not medals, even though they were not used as currency. Unlike small cast medals, these hammered pieces were intended for wide distribution. Maximilian's commemorative coins were artistically and technically a remarkable achievement of the Hall mint. They were minted there on the emperor's direct order and listed as "external expenditure".


Double Schauguldiner 1505, Hall.   Dies from Benedikt Burkhart.     ō 44 mm, 47,96 g.
Egg p.150, no.2; M./T. 78; Voglh.13var.

Obv.:   + MAXIMILIAИVSDEIGRA - ROMANORREXSEMPERAVGVSTVS
Crowned effigy in armor to the left, scepter in his left hand, sword hilt in his right hand.
Rev.:   + XPIA∑>∑REGNOR∑REX∑HERS QZ ARCHIDVX∑AVSTRE∑PLVRIMAR∑QZ ∑EVROP∑PROVICIAR∑PNS∑DVX∑ET∑D9
Christianitatis caeterorumque regnorum rex heresque archidux austriae plurimarumque
europae provinciarum princeps dux et dominus.
"The Hereditary King of Christian as well as other Realms, Archduke of Austra and of very many lands Prince, Duke and Lord".
Crowned shield with the imperial eagle, surrounded by the Order of the Golden Fleece necklace; on top gothic ornaments and the date ∑1∑5∑ - ∑0∑5∑; to both sides the crowned arms of Old Hungary and Austria; below the smaler arms of Old-Burgundy and Habsburg.
The reverse is still designed under gothic influence. The obverse is already a nice work of the beginning Renaissance. The masterful portrait in high relief and the incident to let the bent left arm extend into the legend, testify the great skill of Benedict Burkhart.



Schauguldiner n. d. (1515), Hall, from Ulrich Ursenthaler.     ō 38 mm, 28,51 g.
Egg S.154, Nr.9; M./T. -; Voglh.14.
The legends are located on a dished edge sloping inward.

Obv.:   ✿MAX∑ROmanorum∑IMPerator∑SEMPER∑AVᗡVSTus∑ARCHIDVX∑AVSTriae
Armored bust with Archducal Hat to the right.
Rev.:   PLVRIVMque∑QZ∑EVROPaE∑PROVIИCIARVM∑REX∑ET∑PRIИCEPS∑POTEИTISSIMVS∑
"King of most of the countries of Europe and mightiest prince"
Field completely filled with medieval design: The Emperor rides with a sword in his right hand; before him a servant with lance; under the horse a fallen warrior with sword and halberd; below the arms of Hungary, Burgundy, Habsburg and Austria; top left an angel with the imperial shield.
High relief demonstration coins with edges inclined inwards was a speciality of the mint of Hall.
These pieces were produced using precast planchets.
They were partly delivered gold-plated, as in our example.



Wedding Guldiner, "1479" (1517), Antwerp.    ō 42 mm, 30,69 g.  Egg p.158 No.18; Voglh.6.
Engraver: Ulrich Ursentaler, Hall.

Obv.:   § MAXIMILIAN9us∑MAGNANIM9us∑ARCHIDVX∑AVSTRIE∑BVRGVNDia
Maximilian with garland between ETA - TIS 19 ("age of 19"), rosette.
(The rosette was punched on the die before it was send from Hall to Antwerp.)
Rev.:   § MARIA∑KAROLI∑FILIA∑HERES∑BVRGVND∑BRAB∑CONIVGES
Bust of Mary between ETAT - IS Z0 ("age of 20"), date 1479 underneath.
This hammer coinage was modelled on an undated cast medal of 48 mm in diameter. The medal had been designed by Giovanni Candida, an Italian who had served the young couple as secretary and worked as a medalist only on rare occasions. In later years, Maximilian was in need of handsome presents and ordered the coinage for this purpose.
Look at Candida's medal with the crowned MM monogram [WAG: Auct.29, No.2147 (2.2005)].


Wedding Guldiner, "1479" (after 1511), Hall.   ō 44 mm, 30,88 g.   Egg p.158 No.17; M./T.84.
Engraver: Ulrich Ursentaler, Hall

Obv.:   + MAXIMILIAN9us MAGNANIM9us ARCHIDVX AVSTRIE BURGVNDia
bust of Maximilian with garland between ETA - TIS 19 / 14 - 79.
Rev.:   + MARIA∑KAROLI∑FILIA∑HERES∑BVRGVND∑BRAB:CONIVGES
Bust of Mary between ETA - TIS Z0 ("age of 20").
Maximilian adored his lovely wife Maria but they were only married for five years. Maria died in 1482 after a riding accident. The Wedding Guldiners of 1479 show Maximilian being 19 years old and Maria at 20. However, she was born on 13 February 1457 and therefore 21 years old. Both commemoratives show effigies of 1479 although they were minted after 1511, when Maximilian's second wife Bianca Maria Sforza had also died.



Kaiserguldiner, n.d. (1517), Antwerp.     ō 43 mm, 30,39 g.   Egg p.120, No.8; Vogelh.12
Obv.:   § MAXIMILIAИVS : ROMAИORum : IMPERATOR : SEMPer : AVGV9stus
Crowned bust with armour, sceptre and sword, rosette next to the sword.
Rev.:   § PLVRIVMQue : EVROPaEarum ∑ ProVIИCIARum ∑ REX ∑ ET ∑ PRIИCEPS ∑ POTeИtissimus
"King of most of Europe's countries and mightiest prince"  -  crowned arms with double eagle surrounded by the shields of Hungary, Burgundy, Habsburg and Austria (from left to right).
Maximilian had this "Kaiserguldiner" minted after adopting the title "Roman Emperor Elect" in Trient. The dies were made in Hall in Tyrol in 1511. While staying in Flanders in 1517, he demanded dies for new coins. Fearing competition, the mint in Hall refused this until the Emperor assured them he only needed some commemorative coins as presents. The dies, which the mint then sent the Emperor, were marked with a rosette to set them off from the earlier coins minted in Hall.
There are also "KŲnigsguldiner" (royal guldiner) from the time before Maximilian became emperor. They differ from the "Kaiserguldiner" shown here in two aspects: the legend on the obverse reads REX instead of IMPERATOR, and the eagle on the reverse is single headed instead of double headed.


Finally a piece intended for normal circulation:


Sechser, o. J., Hall.     ō 23 mm, ca. 3 g.   Egg S.132, B.3
Obv.:   +MONETA∑ARCHIDVCIS:AVSTRIE     in gothic letters.
Effigy in armor with archducal hat, scepter in his right hand and left hand on the hilt.

Rev.:   +AC∑CO - MITA - TVS∑TI - ROLIS
Coat of arms of Tirol (eagle), Hungary (crowned), Austria and Burgundy.
The "Sechser" (6 Kreuzer) was introduced by Archduke Sigismund of Tyrol as part of his "great currency reform" of 1482. This and other silver denominations were intended to closed the gap between the "Kreuzer" and the gold florins (valued 60 Kreuzer). The "Sechser" was so popular and so widespread that it was coined almost unchanged for more than 100 years.

More pieces with Maximilians effigy:
  - Double Schauguldiner 1509, Hall as an European emperor with several arms of pretension [in German]
  - Teston 1516 issued during a siege in Verona [only in German]
  - Schilling 1497 from NŲrdlingen [only in German]
  - "Enkeltaler" 1518, Sankt Veit, with his grandsons on the reverse
  - Schauguldiner n. d. (1506), Hall, celebrating his wedding with Bianca Maria Sforza [in German].

Ref.:
• Erich Egg: Die MŁnzen Kaiser Maximilians I., Innsbruck, n.d. (1969)
• H.Moser / H.Tursky: Die MŁnzstštte Hall in Tirol 1477-1665, Innsbruck 1977
• R. Voglhuber: Taler und Schautaler des Erzhauses Habsburg 1484-1896, 1971.

upgraded 10.2015.

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