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      Contemporaries in the Holy Roman Empire      

William V, Duke of Jülich-Berg and Cleves 1539-1592
William was elected successor of Charles of Egmont, Duke of Geldern and Burgundian vassal, and reigned in Geldern and Zütphen since 1538. In 1539 he also inherited Cleves, Jülich and Berg. Geldern had elected him in order to avoid remaining a vassal of Habsburg. In the war of succession with Charles V, French assistance for William was not forthcoming and in 1543 he had to submit to the emperor in the treaty of Venlo: William renounced his claim to Geldern and Zütphen, changed sides from the French to the Habsburg camp, called off church reforms and divorced his wife, the niece of Francis I, to marry a niece of Charles V.

Thaler n. d. (about 1540), Mülheim.    Ø 41 mm, 28,65 g.   Noss 283a; Schulten 1527; Dav.8927.
Obv.:  Außen: GVILElmus·Dei·Gratia·DVX·IVLIaE·GELRIaE·CLIVIaE·AC·MONTium·COomes (Mz.=Zweig)
Inside: ··MARcae·ZVTphaniae·Z(=et)·IN·RAVENSberg·Dominus·A·RAVENstein
Title over two lines: "Wilhelm by God's grace, Duke of Jülich, Geldern, Kleve and Berg,
Count of Mark, Zütphen and in Ravensberg, Lord of Ravenstein"

Armored bust to the left with a beret from which an ostrich feather hangs and with a cloak folded over.
Rev.:   ·IN·DEO: - :SPES·MEA·   "God is my hope"
Four-fold helmeted, seven-field coat of arms (above: Jülich, Geldern, Kleve, Berg / below: Mark, Zütphen, Ravensberg), including four standing lions (Jülich, Geldern, Berg / Zütphen).

Schnapphahn n. d. (um 1543)     Ø 33 mm, 6,28 g.   Noss 282, Schulten 1533.
Piece from Historisches Museum Frankfort, displayed.

Title as before.   -   Effigy with feather beret similar to the one before, one hand on the hilt,
in the other hand a flower that he smells at.

Rev.:   IN·DEO· - SPES·MEA   -   Four-fold helmeted, seven-field coat of arms, as before.

Compare the engraving 1540 by Heinrich Aldegrever
[30x22cm, Museum Zitadelle Jülich / Museum Kurhaus Kleve]

After the defeat in the Geldrischen succession dispute in 1543
Geldern and Zütphen are now omitted in the title and in the coat of arms, which is reduced to five parts.

6½ Ducats n. d., Mülheim.     Ø ? mm, 22,96 g.     Noss 291; Friedb.-.
Pattern from the 1/2 Thaler dies.

Obv.:  ♣IN◦DEO◦SPES◦MEA◦GVILHELMVS◦DEI◦Gratia  -  Armored bust with feather beret to the left.
Rev.:   ♣DVX◦IVLiaci◦CLIVia◦ET◦BERGensis◦COMes◦MARca◦RAvensberg
Ornated five-field shield. Above from left: Jülich, Kleve, Berg. Bottom from left: Mark & Ravensberg.

Thaler n. d. (about 1543), Mülheim.     Ø 40 mm     Noss 299 ; Schulten 1528 ; Dav.8931
Obv.:   IN.DEO.SPES.MEA.GVILHELMVS.Dei.Gratia (mm.)
"God is my hope. ..."   armoured half-length figure with beret.

Rev.:   DVX.IVLiaci.CLIVia.ET.BERGensis.COMes.MARca.RAvensberg (mm.)
"Duke of Jülich, Cleves & Berg, Count of Mark & Ravensberg"
Ornated coat of arms. Above from left: Jülich, Cleves, Berg. Below from left: Mark & Ravensberg.
Legend and arms indicate the countries William had united: From his father he inherited the duchy of Cleves-Mark, from his mother the duchy of Jülich-Berg, to which Ravensberg was affiliated. These unconnected German countries had come together by marriage. William's son died without male heirs in 1609 and a long struggle between several claiming houses began. Finally, Brandenburg took over Cleves, Mark and Ravensburg while Pfalz-Neuburg acquired Berg and Jülich.

Thick double thaler 1568, Mülheim.    Ø 41 mm, 58,11g.   Unique. Noss 340var; Dav.8933var.
Obv.:   GVILIelmus·D·G·IVLIA·CLIVOR·Z·MONTE·DVX·& (mintmark = acorn)
"William by God's grace, Duke of Jülich, Kleve & Berg etc."
Armored effigy of the Duke to the left, a mace in his right hand, his left on the sword hilt.

Rev.:   CHRISTVS·SPES·VNA·SALVTIS·I568.   "Christ, only hope of salvation"
Triple helmeted, five-field coat of arms.

Hybrid thaler 1570, Düsseldorf (issued 1587).     Ø 41 mm     Noss 400/343a; Dav.8936.
Obverse and reverse are not from matching dies:
The obverse belongs to thaler Taler 1587 minted in Düsseldorf (Noss 400)
The reverse belongs to thaler 1570 (Noss 343)
Both sides use different separators in their legends, an indication of hybrid coinage.
For the circumstances of this hybrid coinage, see L. Langer, NNB 1987, p.269.

Compare the oil painting 1591 by Johan Malthain (1550-1605) [38x31 cm, Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf]

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