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    Virtually Immaculate "Three Emperors" 5 Ducat

    Matthias II gold "Three Emperors" 5 Ducat ND (1612-1619) MS63 NGC, Prague mint, KM141 (Rare), Fr-14e (Rare), Horsky-1220 var. (under Rudolf; there, with rosette initial mark on reverse), Donebauer-1890 var. (under Matthias; there, with rose initial mark on reverse), Markl-1950 var. (same), Dietiker-552, Halacka-Type 2. 17.32gm. Benedikt Huebmer (?) as mintmaster. Struck from Taler dies (cf. Voglhuber-120/II). A coin whose enviable survivorship over the last 400+ years is almost unbelievable, even under close in-hand inspection. The surfaces are essentially immaculate, with Prooflike reflective brilliance that washes over the expanses. Flatness, an under-expression of detail are virtually absent, save for a spot of weakness on Maximilian's crown. Few locatable examples seem to have come to auction in recent decades, with perhaps the nearest contender being the plate coin in Friedberg, though no indication is provided as to the weight of that specimen. As such it is not at all improbable that this offering may be among the finest extent, and at the very least, seems to warrant a finer technical grade.

    The date surrounding the production of the "Three Emperors" (Dreikaiser) series with the busts of Maximilian I, Charles V, and Ferdinand I looking right is not fully agreed upon. From historical records, Halacka has argued against the traditional attribution of the type to the reign of Matthias II, instead suggesting that these were commemoratives for Rudolf II's coronation as Emperor. Zacharias Kempf, former die cutter at the Joachimsthal mint, was forced to leave his position for health reasons in 1590, receiving a pension of 15 Groschen per week. When approaching Emperor Rudolf, who resided in Prague for his entire reign, for a raise, he further sent along the dies for these coins. While Matthias would later use the same obverse dies on his coronation talers (cf. Dav-3064), which carried his portrait and name, it is indeed true that the transition from the previous Three Emperors type (cf. Dav-8105) had brought with it a change in the design of the crowns so that they featured a mitred style, in keeping with the structure of the famous crown of Rudolf II.

    From the Paramount Collection




    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2021
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 31
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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