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Coinage on the occasion of sieges in the 16th century

Siege of Brescia (1515-16) and Verona (1516)
Siege of Pavia, 1524-25
Siege of Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, 1527
Siege of Vienna, 1529
Siege of Florence, 1529-30

Emergency money from Wilhelm V of Jülich-Berg, 1543
Siege of Leipzig, 1547
Siege of Magdeburg, 1550-51
Siege of Metz, 1552
The Second Margravial War, 1552-54
Siege and capture of Gotha, 1567

Emperor Maximilian in Italy
Over the course of time, Venice had extended its power in northern Italy far to the west as far as Milan and had also incorporated imperial fiefdoms. When Venice refused Emperor Maximilian I the passage for his coronation trip to Rome, he had himself proclaimed "Holy Roman Emperor Elect" without further ado on 4th February 1508 in Trent Cathedral with the consent of the absent pope.
The Emperor, the Pope, Venice, France and Aragon now fought in changing alliances for supremacy in Northern Italy, first against Venice (League of Cambrei, 1509-10), then against France (Holy League 1511-13). From 1513, France and Venice stood together.
In 1515, the year of his coronation, King Francis I of France was able to defeat the Confederates in the "Battle of Marignano" at the gates of Milan and take possession of the city. In the spring of 1516, the visibly aged Emperor Maximilian I led an army via Trento past Verona directly to Milan in the expectation of being able to surprise Milan. When this failed, the emperor found himself in a hopeless situation and had to retreat without having begun the siege of Milan.

Siege of Brescia, 1515-16
In October 1515, a Franco-Venetian siege of the city of Brescia began, which was defended by a Spanish-Austrian garrison. By the end of November, the city was ready for the storm, but could not be taken. By the time the imperial relief reached the city at the end of December, the besiegers had left the field. A renewed attack in February 1516 was repulsed with a break-out. Only in May 1516, after Ks. Maximilian's attack on Milan had failed, the beleaguered city opened its gates on condition of free withdrawal along with its weapons. The Spanish-Austrian troops left the fortress and made their way to Verona.
During the siege, the city commander Ycardo had silver klippes minted from melted silverware in two denominations.

Octagonal Klippe of 5 Soldi Planet, 1515, Brescia.     Ø 24 mm, 3,18 g.
CNI IV p.88 n.1; Brause-Mansfeld -; Egg p.86.
Coined during the siege by Venetian and French troops.

Obv.:   + / I5I5 / Y (= Ycardo) between M - A, around circle decorated with flowers,
with die break (crack in the die, rising in the embossing)

Rev.:   Crowned double-headed eagle, surrounded by a circle decorated with flowers and festoons.

Siege of Verona, 1516
The imperial fiefdom of Verona came under the rule of the Republic of Venice in 1405. Venetian rule was interrupted from 1509 to 1516, when Emperor Maximilian I occupied the city and was able to defend it against Venice with French help. When Maximilian and Venice wanted to conclude a peace agreement, the claim of both sides to Verona ultimately stood in the way. After the loss of Brescia, Verona was Maximilian's last base in Italy, which he was determined to keep. The city suffered greatly from the long-lasting conflict.
The peace treaties of Noyon and Brussels between Charles I (V) and Francis I finally decided Verona's fate: On 14 December 1516, Maximilian formally handed over the fortress to his grandson King Charles of Spain. He was to hand the city over to the French and the latter back to the Venetians. Jörg von Frundsberg organised the handover. His soldiers were allowed to take the guns and all their property with them. This finally brought peace to the city.
The emperor received a large indemnity for Verona, but this had already been used up. Maximilian's Italian War of 1509-16 was paid for by his hereditary lands with high tribute and bloodshed. In the end, this war only brought the Emperor Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Teston, 1516, Verona.     Ø 27 mm, 9,05 g.   CNI VI p.279 n.3; Egg 4 (p.180).
Obv.:   MAXIMILIANVS CAESAR  -  Bust in armour, under the shoulder 1516.
crowned and nimbed double-headed eagle with heart shield Austria.

• Erich Egg:  Die kaiserliche Münzstätte in Verona in: Die Münzen Kaiser Maximilians I. Innsbruck (1971),
  S.84-86. Ausschnitt als PDF
• Hermann Wiesflecker: Kaiser Maximilian I., Band IV (1508-1519),   München 1981

"Three things are needed for war, firstly money, secondly money and thirdly mone"
[Imperial general Raimondo Count of Montecuccoli, 1609-1680] - and emergency money if necessary.

Coins of necessity were used when official means of payment were too scarce or not available at all.
Siege coin, Obsidional coins, Siege coins were minted in besieged cities, usually as klippe. In the fortresses cut off from supplies, money was mainly needed for troop salaries; the prices of scarce foodstuffs also rose. As the citizens hid their money, the commanders usually felt compelled to mint siege coins from existing stocks of precious metals. They often used their own tableware, occasionally also church utensils.
Field coins were minted by commanders when there was a shortage of money, similar to the siege coins of the besieged.
Klippe means in Swedish something like "cut with scissors". Klippes are quadrangular or polygonal coins of regular or irregular shape.

Siege of Pavia, 1524-25
- Battle between King Francis I and Emperor Charles V concerning the Duchy of Milan -
In 1521, at the beginning of the first war between Francis I and Charles V, the French had to give up Milan, which they had conquered in 1515. However, Francis I was able to reconquer Milan in 1524 and then turned against the city of Pavia, which was defended by the Spaniard Antonio de Lyva.
Francis I set up a fortified winter camp near the town. Hunger and cold prevailed in the city when an imperial relief army appeared outside Pavia in February 1525. After an initial night battle, Francis, confident of victory, led his cavalry into the confusing field. His horse was shot and Franz was taken prisoner. After temporary successes (1499-1512 & 1515-1521), the French hereditary claims to the imperial fiefdom of Milan were finally obsolete.

Single-sided heptagonal emergency klippe of 1 ducat, 1524, Pavia.    26 x 23 mm, 2,72 g.
Brause-Mansfeld pl.A; CNI IV p.508 n.1; Friedb.949; Maillet pl. XCIII, 1.
The initials
A-L (Antonio Leyva, commander of the defenders), cross at the top, date I5Z4 at the bottom, surrounded by pearl stripes.

Single-sided silver klippe of 1 Testone, 1524, Pavia.     Ø 24-21 mm, 8,81 g.
I5Z4 / CES / ·PP·OB·  -  An omega-shaped sign above the initials PP.
Also occurring as an octagonal copper emergency klippe.

Siege of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, 1527
- Sacco di Roma and the capture of the Pope -
In 1526, King Francis I, Pope Clement VII and the cities of Milan, Venice and Florence agreed the Holy League of Cognac against Emperor Charles V. This led to the Second War between Francis I and the Emperor.
The imperial mercenaries were upset and could no longer be controlled because they had not been paid or fed for months. Their commander Georg von Frundsberg had suffered a stroke in his futile attempt to quell the anger of the troops. Finally, the imperial soldiery marched to Rome against the Pope.
On 6 May 1527, what has gone into history as the Sacco di Roma began. For days, the German, Italian and Spanish mercenaries plundered and murdered and terrorised the city. The few surviving Swiss Guards escorted the Pope and 13 cardinals from St Peter's Basilica via a secret escape route to the impregnable Castel Sant'Angelo. There the Pope was besieged and had to surrender to the Imperial forces on 5 June: He renounced territorial claims, paid 400,000 ducats and was detained by a German-Spanish garrison at Castel Sant'Angelo.

Ducato ossidionale (1527), Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome.   45x33 mm, 36,81 g.
Brause-Mansfeld pl.29,1; Muntoni 21; Berman 832; Dav.8326.
This piece is rather heavier. Other pieces are polygonal and better tailored to match the die.

Obv.:   CLEMENS·VII· - ·PONTIF·MAX  -  Medici coat of arms, tiara and crossed keys.
Rev.:   ·S·PA+S·PE - ·ALMA·ROMA·   "Sanctus Paulus, Sanctus Petrus, Nourishing mother of Rome",
nimbed busts of the saints facing each other, mint master's mark below.

1/4 Ducato n. d., Rome.  Ø 32 mm, 8,21 g.
Brause-Mansfeld -, compare pl.29,6 (there another mint master mark); Muntoni 36; Traina pl.CDVII,6i.

Obv.:  CLEMENS·VII· - PONTIF·MAX·  -  Medici coat of arms under tiara and crossed keys.
Rev.:  ·Q / VAR / T· / ·DVC·   "Quarter ducat"     F (mirror-inverted) and a lying crescent moon (undetermined mint master in Rome), all between laurel branches.

At the end of the year, the Emperor released the Pope and returned the government of the Papal States to him in return for a promise of neutrality. Charles V arranged with Clement VII two years later the Peace of Barcelona. Finally the emperor helped the Medici pope to reconquer the city of Florence for his family and the pope crowned Charles V emperor on his 30th birthday, 24 February 1530 in Bologna, less than three years after the Sacco di Roma.

Siege of Vienna, 1529
- the first Turkish attack on Vienna -
Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent conquered Belgrade in 1521 and attacked King Louis II of Hungary in 1526. He defeated the Hungarian troops in the Battle of Mohács in which Louis II fell. According to the Habsburg-Hungary double marriage and inheritance treaty, Ludwig's successor on the Hungarian throne became the Habsburg Ferdinand.
In Bohemia, Ferdinand was also elected king, but in Hungary, Johann Zapolya had himself proclaimed king. When Ferdinand took action against Zapolya, he fled to Poland and asked Sultan Süleiman for help. The Sultan invaded Hungary and had Zapolya crowned king in Ofen on September 14, 1529. Then he advanced on Vienna: on September 21st, an army of 250,000 men with 300 cannons appeared at the gates of the city.

Medal 1529.   Dies by Hieronymus Magdeburger.  Ø 45 mm, 20,63 g.
Habich 1887; Katz 36.

Bust to the left with a wide-brimmed hat, a coat wrapped around him and the Order of the Golden Fleece.
"Give me strength against your enemies, Lord, for you are my support"
Floral cross, in the corners the shields of Bohemia, Croatia, Dalmatia and Hungary,
in the center the Austro-Castilian coat of arms.
The medal was given away to motivate officers in the fight against the approaching Turks.

Klippe of 6 Kreuzer 1529, Vienna17x18 mm, 3,26 g.  Brause-Mansfeld pl.42,13; Markl 298/305.
Obv.:   TVRCK | BLEGERT | WIEN | 15Z9   "Turks besiege Vienna" between leaf ornaments.
Rev.:   Cross, in the angles the coats of arms of Castille, Austria, Hungary and Bohemia.
In the city, siege money came into circulation in the shape of klippes made from
melted gold and silver equipment.

Klippe of ducat 1529, Vienna.     17x17 mm, 3,54 g.   Brause-Mansfeld pl.42,9; Markl 278.
Obv.:   TVRCK·BLE | GERT·WI | :EN:  -  Crowned and armored bust between 15 - Z9
Rev.:   Cross, in the angles the coats of arms of Austria, Castille, Hungary and Bohemia.

Ferdinand had asked the imperial estates for help. But they only wanted to help if the Turks also invaded imperial territory. When the siege began, most of the population had left the city. Vienna was defended by 2,600 cavalry and 17,000 foot soldiers. Tyrolean miners also fought the Turkish miners who were digging tunnels to undermine the city walls. The defenders were able to repel the Turkish attacks between October 9th and 14th, 1529. After 20 days of siege, the Turks withdrew due to the poor supply situation and the approaching winter.

While Vienna miraculously escaped the Turkish attack, Emperor Charles V negotiated with the Pope in Bologna about completely different matters. Imperial troops stood not in Vienna but near Florence :

Siege of Florence, 1529-30
- Pope and Emperor besiege the Republic of Florence in favor of the Medici -
On February 24, 1530, Charles V was crowned emperor in Bologna. This was preceded by almost 3 months of negotiations with Pope Clement VII. One of the Medici Pope's demands referred Florence. The Sacco di Roma had weakened the Pope so much that the Florentines drove out the unpopular Medici and reestablished the Republic. Clemens now demanded that his relative Alessandro de Medici be reinstated in his offices and his property. Charles V had to promise to conquer Florence. His army had been in front of the city since October 1529. Michelangelo, who was busy building a burial chapel for the Medici, now took care of strengthening the city walls, which is why he later had to flee himself for a time. The siege lasted 10 months. Charles was already back in the empire and had to deal with the Protestants in the Augsburg Diet when the city of Florence surrendered on August 12, 1530. Alessandro de Medic was able to return into the city.

1/2 Scudo n. d. (1529-30), Florence.   Ø 29 mm, 16,70 g.
Brause-Mansfeld pl.27,2; Bernocchi 4040.

Obv.:   SENATVS·POPVLVS·Que·FLORENTINVS·   "Council and people of Florence"
Florentine coat of arms.

Rev.:   IESVS·REX·NOSTER·ET·DEVS·NOSTER·   "Jesus, our King and God"
Cross decorated with a crown of thorns, in the angles: dot - dot - N - coat of arms (sign of the person responsible for the minting, Nicolo di Braccio Guicciardini)
Struck in the city of Florence during the siege by papal and imperial forces.

Emergency money from Wilhelm V of Jülich-Berg, 1543
Siege of Leipzig, 1547
Siege of Magdeburg, 1550-51
Siege of Metz, 1552
The Second Margravial War, 1552-54
Siege and capture of Gotha, 1567

References :
• Belagerung, Krieg und Frieden auf Münzen und Medaillen - Coll. Georg Baums, Künker, Auct.116 (27.9.2006).
Brause-Mansfeld, A., Feld-, Noth- und Belagerungsmünzen. 2 volumes. Berlin 1897 & 1903.
    As he writes, captain Brause has worked for five hours daily on the two books for 22 years.
    He made 5,000 hand-written pen drawings for the careful and precise illustrations.
    An incredible job that required you to be an officer in peacetime. [G. Baums]
• 300 Raritäten, Hess-Divo, 300th auction (27.10.2004), Zürich
From Pavia to the Sack of Rome - siege coins in Italy by Ursula Kapmann for
Emergency Money: A Short History of Siege Coins by Mike Markowitz for

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