1591 Davenport 9806 Imperial Rix Dollar Christian I of Saxony - 1 Thaler
Obverse: CHRISTIAN · D : G · DVX · SAXO · SA · ROMA · IMP · [orb] · / 15 91
Reverse: · ARCHIMARS CHAL · ET · ELEC
Weight: 444.3 g (28.79 grams) Diameter: 40.6 mm
Comments: This is a silver thaler of Saxony. The obverse legend may be translated as: "Christian by the grace of God Duke of Saxony of the Holy Roman Empire." This is Christian I (1586-1591) of the Albertine line. The reverse legend translates as: "Archmarshal and elector" that is, one of the seven electors of the Holy Roman Emperor.
The Albertine line was founded by Albrecht the Courageous, who was a grandson of Friedrick, margrave of Meissen and Thuringia. Friedrick's gransdons Ernst and Albrecht divided the family property in 1495 ( into the Ernestine and Albertine lines) with Albert obtaining Meissn and Osterland, in what later became the kingdom of Saxony. The mintmaster's initials HB appear on the reverse of this coin at the upper right near the rim. Davenport does not mention the location of the mint, which was probably Leipzig. On this coin see: John S. Davenport, German Thalers 1500-1600, Frankfurt am Main: Numismatischer Verlag P.N. Schulten, 1979, p. 323.
In England and America coins of this type were called imperial rix dollars and came in many different iconographic styles. This particular example is very similar to the Dutch rix dollar as depicted in Mossman on page 66, figure 11 b.
Provenance: Acquired through the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment from EANA auction of November 16, 1996, lot 344.
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