Cologne 1688 thaler Dav-5153

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UBS sale 85, lot 337
Cologne in 1789
This specimen was lot 337 in UBS sale 85 (Zurich, September 2010), where it sold for 1050 CHF (about US$1,198 including buyer's fee). The catalog description[1] noted,
"DEUTSCHLAND, Köln, Erzbistum, Sedisvakanz 1688. Taler 1688. Hüftbild des hl. Petrus halbrechts hinter Wappenschild. Rv. Die Anbetung der Drei Könige. Gutes sehr schön." (Germany, Archbishopric of Cologne, sede vacante thaler of 1688. Half portrait of St. Peter holding arms; reverse: the deceased archbishop prays to the Mother and Child along with the Three Kings. Good Very Fine.)
The archbishopric of Cologne, like Mainz and Trier, was an ecclesiastical state along the river Rhine whose ruler was one of the Electors of the Empire. In 1688 the old archbishop (Maximilian Henry of Bavaria, r. 1650-88) had died and his replacement (Joseph Clemens of Bavaria, r. 1688-1723) not yet elevated, hence this "vacant seat" issue. Thalers were issued both by the archbishop and the free city; all are rare from this period.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: silver, this specimen 29,06 g.

Catalog reference: Noss 548, Dav-5153, KM 68.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]UBS Auction 85: Gold and Silver Coins, Zurich: UBS AG, 2010.

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