Breslau 1653 3 ducats Fr-510

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Heritage sale 3029, lot 30062
Breslau 1653 3 ducats rev H3029-30062.jpg
This specimen was lot 30062 in Heritage sale 3029 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $58,750. The catalog description[1] noted,

"Highly Desirable Octagonal Klippe Breslau. Karl Ferdinand of Poland Octagonal Klippe gold 3 Ducats 1653, KM 78, Fr-510, MS63 NGC. An incredibly rare emission that is confirmed after consulting Kazimierz Wonsik's volumes of compiled records for German coin auction prices realized. We did not find a single example selling in the past decade. Further digging yields the same - an octagonal ducat of this type (including the 1632-dated examples) appears not to have sold publicly for at least 10 years. Not only does the present piece have rarity on its side, but its appearance also carries substantial merit. For obvious reasons, octagonal issues have long caught the collector's eye, as they boldly stand out against round issues. This desirable multi-sided construction has also clearly long been handled with care. The strike has been boldly pressed and the result reveals knife-like sharpness within Karl Ferdinand's hair strands - even the texture of his shirt is fully rendered! The reverse crowned arms also remain full. The fields, as is often the case for low-mintage strikings, hold prooflike qualities with delicate tone scattered about. One mark blends into Karl Ferdinand's cheek, but no other incidence of contact is noted. All told, one of the crown jewels in this fabulous collection and among the most distinctive.

Breslau, situated along the Oder River in Lower Silesia, was first settled under Bohemian control in the 10th century. Vital for its placement along several trade routes, the city over time passed through the control of Poland, the Austrian Empire, Prussia and Germany. During 17th century, while under occupation by Saxon and Swedish troops, the city was a focal point of the Counter-Reformation, and the Austrian emperor encouraged Catholic settlement in Breslau. Much of the city's present-day feel can be attributed to this period of growth. During the period in which the present coin was struck, Breslau operated as a Bishopric, with right to coin being held by the Bishop. Today, Breslau, now known as Wroclaw, is the largest city in western Poland and has a population over 600,000. Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate' Partnership of Eric P Newman/B.G. Johnson."

This type is listed in Friedberg for 1632 and 1653. This prince issued gold coins ranging from one ducat to fifteen ducats with some octagonal and square types thrown in. All are rare. Silesia fell under Austrian domination on the extinction of the Hungarian monarchy at the hands of the Ottomans in 1526.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 10.5 g, .986 fine gold.

Catalog reference: Fr-476, F&S-2532.

Source:

  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Stuart Levine and Bruce Lorich, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3029, featuring Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part III, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.

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