start page Charles V TOUR :  Sigismund I of Poland

Swedish contemporaries
Sten Sture the Elder,  Regent 1470-97, 1501-03
Sten Sture the Younger,  Regent 1512-1520
Gustav I Wasa,  King 1521/23-1560

Sten Sture the Elder,  Regent of Sweden 1470-97, 1501-03
As the leader of the victorious Swedish separatist forces against the royal unionist forces he weakened the Kalmar Union considerably and became the effective ruler of Sweden as Lord Regent in 1471. He supported the foundation of the University of Uppsala in 1477. His governance relied primarily on the lower classes, which earned him some opponents in the Swedish aristocracy. These achieved in 1497 that Sten lost power to the Danish king Johann I (in Sweden Johann II). However, during the next rebellion against the Danes in 1501, he again took office as regent, leading the Swedish struggle for independence until his death.


Örtug 1478, Stockholm.   Ø 21 mm, 1,62 g.   Galster (1972) 219; B.Kluge (2007) 1251.
Specimen of the coin cabinet of Staatliche Museen in Berlin, Bode-Museum, exposed in room 242.

Obv.:   ⚬SantuS⚬ᗺRIᗭVS⚬RᗺX X   -   Crowned head of holy king Erik (†1060) from the front.
Rev.:   ⁑MOnᗺTA⁑STOᗭh'⁑IጸΛ8   (ጸΛ8 = 478)   -   Shield with three crowns, on top S.
The örtug was first minted in Gotland in 1320. Sten Sture the Elder coined them dated 1478 or undated until 1503.

Sten Sture the Younger,  Regent of Sweden 1512-1520
Sten Sture (*1493) the Younger was the son of the regent Svante Nilsson (†1511/12). He belonged to the old Swedish noble family, which was later called "Natt och Dag" (night and day). He was elected regent in 1512 and wanted to became king of Sweden. The first Danish attack in 1518 failed, but the second in 1520 was successful. Sten was mortaly wounded by a cannon bullet and died days later. The winner king Christian II of Denmark became king of Sweden and set up the Stockholm bloodbath in late 1520.


Silvegyllen 1512, Stockholm. (silver gulden).   Ø 36 mm, 28,88 g.   Hagander -; Lagerqvist I, 1a.
On his election as Regent in summer 1512.   Unknown mint master.

Obv.:   S'◦ᗺRIᗭVS✠R - ᗺX⦂SWᗺᗭIᗺ⦂   "Sanctus Ericus Rex Swecie"
The crowned and armored holy King Erich stands from the front with folded coat, sword raised in the right hand, orb in the left hand, surrounded by arch-like decoration,
between the feet coat of arms of the family "Natt- och Dag" (= night and day)

Rev.:   ᙏOnᗺ'+ - STOᗭ◦ - hOLᙏ◦ - ✠151Z✠
Crowned coat of arms with three crowns (Tre kronor), long cross behind.
This commemorative coin was perhaps distributed during the homage to the new administrator.
The coin carries a picture of holy King Erik, who was certainly a idol for Sten Sture. Erik fell victim to a conspiracy by the Danish prince Magnus, who aspired the Swedish crown, during the mess in Uppsala on Ascension Day in 1060.

Gustav I Wasa,  King of Sweden 1521/23-1560
(Swedish: Gustav Vasa)
Swedish freedom fighters such as Sten Sture opposed the Danish King Christian II, who wanted to restore the Kalmar Union with Sweden. Gustav Wasa (actually Gustav Erikson) was taken hostage for his father, who had joined Sten Sture early on. Gustav escaped hostage from Denmark to Lübeck, where Mayor Nikolaus Brömse granted him shelter. When Christian II had won the fight, Gustav returned home. After the feast on the occasion of his coronation, Christian had the participating Swedish noblemen murdered (Stockholm bloodbath 1520), including Gustav's father. The massacre was intended as a deterrent, but led to the general revolt of Sweden against Christian and ultimately the final expulsion of the Danes from Sweden. The Swedes elected Gustav as regent in 1521 and as king in 1523.
Archbishop Gustav Trolle, who had written an accusation of heresy as justification for the massacre of Stockholm, fled to Denmark. A dispute between the Pope and king Gustav concerning the occupation of the vacant Archbishop's Office in Uppsala followed. As a result, the church was nationalized. Gustav introduced the Reformation and became head of the Swedish church.
Gustav also introduced the hereditary monarchy and founded the Wasa dynasty which ended with Queen Christina (1632-54). Between 1587 and 1668 the dynasty represented three Polish kings.
June 6, the day of Gustav's election as king, became the Swedish national holiday.

19 denominations were issued during Gustav's long reign.
A new coin type based on the Joachimstaler was the Daler, issued since 1534.


1/2 Gyllen 1523, Stockholm.   Ø 30 mm, 12,93 g.   AAH 35 ("unique", this specimen).
Obv.:   GVBᗺRnATᗺ'◦ - G - SWᗺDᗺn·R· - ✱
The armored king stands from the front, holding a raised sword.
Rev.:   MONᗺ - nOVA - STOᗭ'◦ - h 1523 (Blatt)   leaf = mintmaster sign.
Crowned coat of arms: three crowns ("Tre kronor") with S in the middle. Long cross in the background.

    Gyllen means "swedish Gulden".    
The origin of this piece is mysterious. It is plausible to assume a connection of the piece with the Lord meeting in Strängnäs early June of 1523. Gustav was elected king on June 6, 1523 with the support of the Lübeck representatives present. In return, Lübeck's trading privileges were confirmed four days later. The ambassadors of Lübeck had already negotiated the capitulation of the German-Danish garrison before the meeting. On June 17th the city fell into the hands of Gustav. When the participants of the meeting were invited to Strängnäs, the reason for election the king was not mentioned. The reason was the diplomatic negotiations about the privileges for Lübeck. Gustav tried to make as few concessions as possible, but Lübeck's representatives wanted advantage granted in return for supporting the candidature for the throne.
The legend of the obverse of our Halvgyllens, calls Gustav the head of the empire (Gubernator) of Sweden, a title that he had already adopted in August 1521. As a result, the coin was minted before the month of May / June 1523. The title of imperial leader can be explained as uncertainty about the forthcoming king election. The mint information on the reverse is also unusual. Stockholm opened its gates to the victorious troops of Gustav not until June 17th. A number of Öre coins from 1523 also carry the title of head of the empire. So we are dealing with a relatively extensive coinage apparently from the Stockholm Mint, which had come about before the city surrendered. For propaganda reasons, the name of the capital has been taken, although the coinage probably took place at the camps near Brunkeberg or Södermalm. Svartsjö, which was in Gustav's possession and where he had negotiated with the Luebian envoys in Strängnäs, may also be the place of minting. It was minted there later, in the years 1541-50.
Nordlind (Stockholm 2009, No.104), German translation: Künker (Osnabrück 2.2017, Auct.285 No.115)


Gyllen 1528, Stockholm.   Ø 40 mm, 25,93 g.   AAH 34a; Dav.8690.
On his coronation as King of Sweden on January 12, 1528 in the cathedral of Uppsala.
Gyllen = swedish Gulden

Obv.:   GOSTAVS·D·G·SV - ECORVM·REX· - ¤
The crowned and armored king stands from the front with his cloak folded, raised sword in his right hand, orb in his left hand, coat of arms (sheaf of corn = Wasa) between his feet.
Rev.:   MONET· - NOVA· - STOKO - L ·15Z8 ¤
Crowned, quartered coat of arms: three crowns (Trekronor) / Folkung lion (Folkungar)
with central shield (sheaf of corn = Wasa) and decorated long cross, which extends into the legend.


Daler 1534, Stockholm.     Ø 40 mm, 29,00g.   AAH 98; Dav.8691.
the first Swedish thaler.

Obv.:   ¤GOSTAVS¤DEI¤G - R - AᗭI¤REX¤SVEᗭI - (mintmark)
The armored king stands from the front with a cap and folded coat, sword raised in the right hand,
orb in the left hand, on the sides the divided date 15 - 34.

Rev.:   ¤MONETA - ¤NOVA¤ - STOCK - HOLM (mintmark)
Crowned, quartered coat of arms: three crowns (Trekronor) / Folkung lion (Folkungar)
with central shield (sheaf of corn = Wasa) and decorated long cross, which extends into the legend.
Gustav made Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) in Stockholm his headquarters. It was later converted into a palace.
The term "Vasa" for the royal family was unusual in Gustav's time. It was only around 1550 that the king himself described his coat of arms as a "vase" (translated: corn sheaf). The appearance of the sign - originally the tip of a tournament lance - had changed significantly since the 15th century. Gustav never called himself "Gustav Vasa", he was called "Gustav Eriksson" as the administrator of the empire and "Gustav" as the king, usually spelled "Gostaff" or "Gustauus".
This thaler was first issued in 15¼Lot silver (15,25/16=953/1000), with a total weight of 29.45 g and a fine weight of almost 28 g. That was well above the European standard. Nevertheless, the high silver content was maintained up to and including 1540.


Daler 1534, Stockholm.   Ø 39 mm, 28,92 g.   AAH 102; Dav.8694.
Obv.:   *GOSTAV9:D°G·SVECIE°GOTHOZQ3:REX
Crowned effigy to the right with folded coat, scepter shouldered in the right hand,
orb in the left hand, the divided date 15 - 34 to the sides.

Rev.:   *OMNIS·POTESTAS·A DeO°EST°AD:15▴L   "Alle Macht kommt von Gott"
Crowned, quartered coat of arms: 3 crowns (Tre kronor) / Folkunger lion (Folkungar).
Middle shield: sheaf of corn (Wasa).


1/4 Daler 1534, Stockholm.   Ø ? mm, 7,02 g.   AAH 108.
GOSTAV9.D.G·REX:SWECIE   //   MON - ET·ST - OKH - OLM·


Daler 1540, Västerås.   Ø 41 mm, 28,68 g.   AAH 142; Dav.8696.
Obv.:   GOSTAVS:D:G:SW - ECIE:GOTHOZQ3 - R   -   crowned and armored king stands to the right, sword raised in the right hand, orb in the left hand, to the side and between the feet three shields with the coat of arms: three crowns (Tre kronor), folk lion (Folkungar) and corn sheaf (Wasa).
Rev.:   OMNIS:POTES - TAS:A:DEO:15.x40   -   Christ stands from the front with a wreath of rays and blessing right hand, orb in the left hand; below between the feet mint mark acorn.


Mark 1540, Västerås.   Ø 34? mm, 10,85 g.   AAH 146.
Obv.:   GOSTAVS·D·G·REX·SWECIE   -   Crowned effigy right with sword and orb.
Rev.:   ⁎♠BEATVS♠OVI TIMET♠DOMINVM⁎  (♠ = mint mark acorn)   -   The Swedish three-crown shield, the lion shield of the Swedish royal dynasty of Folkunger and the Wasa shield with the tied sheaf,
above the royal crown. To the sides of the Wasa shield the date 15 - 40.


2 öre 1541, Svartsjö.     Ø 23 mm, c. 2,8 g.   AAH 197.
Obv.:   ¤ GOSTAVS D G REX SWECIE   Crowned bust.
Rev.:   ¤ OMNIS POTESTAS A DEO   "All power comes from God"
Wasa shield surrounded by three crowns and the date 4-1.
Öre was originally a Nordic weight designation = 1/8 mark, but was transferred to a coin denomination by Gustav I Wasa. It was minted for the first time in 1522 and weighed 4,388 g with a fine weight of 1,371 g. Under Gustav I, round 2-öre coins, square-shaped 2-, 4-, 8-, 12-, 15- and 16-öre coins and diamond-shaped 4-, 8- and 16-öre coins were minted. The main coin was the mark, valued 8 ore.   [v. Schrötter, Wörterbuch]


1/2 Mark 1543, Svartsjö.     c.5,8 g.   AAH 190.
GOSTAVS·D:G·REX·SWECIE  //  DOMINI:EST·TEREA&:C 1543  "God is the earth and the sky"


Daler 1543, Svartsjö.     Ø 40 mm, 28,92 g.   AAH 156; Dav.8697.
Obv.:   GVSTAVS D G SWE - CI GOT:WAN REX
"Gustav by the grace of God King of Sweden, Goths and Vandals".
Crowned effigy to the right with sword and orb staying behind the coat of arms.
The orb in the hand of Gustav can surprise because it is known to symbolize world domination,
but predecessors - as in Denmark - had already taken it up as a royal symbol.
Rev.:   SALVATOR: MVNDI: - ADIVVA·NOS·15-43   "Salvator of the world, help us"
Salvator mundi in a late medieval illustration of the wounded Christ, his rights raised in a blessing, in his left hand the globe with a cross as a symbol for the (spiritual) world domination.
This thaler is therefore also called Salvatortaler.
This thaler became the model for other Salvatortaler of Swedish kings until 1653, last under Queen Christina.


Thaler 1559, Stockholm.     Ø 41 mm, 29,03 g.   AAH 105; Coll.Hagander 7; Dav.8699.
GOSTAVS D G SVE - GOT WAN REX   //   SALVATOR MVNDI - ADIVVA NOS (leaf)

From 1542 until its abolition (1873), the Daler weighed approximately 29,3 g and held 25,5 g of silver (14 lots). In the first 250 years of its existence, the Swedish daler, who mostly showed the royal portrait and the coat of arms, did not fit into the Swedish coin system: the rest of the silver money was minted carrying less and less silver. So the Daler became more and more expensive.

Compare Gustav I. Wasa, a painting from 1542 by Jakob Bincks (1490-1569)
in the Gustavianum Museum in Uppsala.


Mark 1560, Stockholm.     Ø 34mm   AAH 121.     1 Mark = 8 Öre.
Obv.:   GOSTAVS:D:G:REX:SVVECIE - (mintmark)   wonderful effigy (almost Art Nouveau!)
Rev.:   + ·BEATVS:QVI·TIMET:DOMINVM·   "The one who fears the Lord is beautiful"
Crown, three coats of arms and date 15-60.   Here you can clearly see:
the wavy stripes behind the lion in the Folkungar coat of arms
and the bundled grain sheaf in the Wasa coat of arms.

Lit.:
Ahlström / Almer / Hemmingsson [AAH]: Sveriges Mynt 1521-1977. The Coinage of Sweden.
    Stockholm 1976
Hagander: Goldmünzen und Reichstaler Schwedens und seiner früheren Besitzungen von Gustav I.
    bis Carl XVI
. Coll. Julius Hagander, Stockholm/Bern 1996, 574 S.

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