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1701 Austria Leopold Thaler - Lovely!

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Hi everyone! Here’s a nice thaler I bought recently, a 1701 Austrian hall mint featuring Leopold I KM644.4:




Emperor Leopold I, the Hogmouth, was not destined to become emperor by birth as he was the second son of Ferdinand III. However, the death of his older bother Ferdinand IV (already designated Heir Apparent as King of the Romans) in July 1654 placed him the next Hapsburg in line for the throne. However, since the empires succession was elective rather than hereditary Leopold had to survive electoral intrigue on behalf of the Duke/Elector to before becoming Emperor in July 1658. Overall the succession of Leopold was fortunate as his guidance served the empire well throughout the almost constant wars of his reign. While wars were fought with Sweden, Ottoman Turkey, rebellious Transylvania, rebellious Hungary and Ottoman Turkey again, the main opponent was Louis XIV’s France. Three major wars with France were fought during Leopold’s reign: one over defense of the United Provinces (modern day Holland) the second over French aggression against Germany and the last over who would be the Spanish king (War of Spanish Succession).


I’ll discuss just the first French war. At first, distracted by Turkey and bound to Louis XIV by personal affection and marriage ties, Leopold wanted no part of the war between the France and the United Provinces despite Louis’ aid to Turkey, even signing a treaty of neutrality in 1671. However by 1672 Louis’ provocations became intolerable and war began. Due to the defection of the Empires principal ally the Margrave of Brandenburg the war quickly petered out. In best Monty Python tradition they made another alliance which proved more durable, including Spain and several German princes. Since the empire was by this time more a loose confederation of states central direction proved impossible and the war ended unfavorably to Leopold in 1678 with the Treaty of Nijmegan where France gained territorial concessions, mainly from Spain.


Since Leopold coins are rather common I’m sure I’ll add a few more to my collection in the future so I’ll continue the narrative then. As for this coin, it’s currently in an NGC MS64 holder (pop 4, 1 higher if you care about stuff like that) accurately graded IMO. Lovely sharp strike and beautiful patina throughout but especially near the obverse rims. Planchet is good quality and no distracting adjustment marks. Probably one of the top two or three coins in my collection, and without question my current favorite.


God I love e-bay seller with crappy pictures. cloud9.gif


Comments welcome.


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What a great story and a crazy looking coin! I love the pursed lips. Was that to make Leopold look tougher or more of a lover than a fighter? 27_laughing.gif



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