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Order of the Golden Fleece on coins and medals

Register of persons

1.   Signs of the Order on coins of the Sovereigns of the Order
here 1b. Continuation

Philip II, King of Spain 1556-1598
- 1555 sixth Sovereign of the Order -
The 23rd assembly of the Order elected a new member in Gent 1559 against the will of Philip, the sovereign of the Order. Philip answered by changing the statutes of the Order. The sovereign now had the sole right to appoint new members into the Order. As a pretext, Philip referred to the expansion of the Order into many countries, making regular assemblies of the Order difficult. The knightly order thus became an order of grace or merit of the Spanish king.

Philipsdaalder (écu Philippe) 1574, Antwerp.   Ø 42 mm, 34,01 g.   Dav.8634.
Obv.:  PHS·D:G:HISPaniarum Z[etc] REX DVX·BRAbantiae  15☝74.   ☝ (hand) mint mark of Antwerp.
Bust with Golden Fleece on a ribbon on the chest.

Rev.:   ·DOMINVS:MIHI·ADIVTOR·   "The Lord is my helper"
St. Andrew's cross, surmounted by the crowned escutcheon. Fire irons with fire stones and sparks on the sides. Under the shield the Golden Fleece hanging at a sparking fire stone.

Variants of the fire iron with fire stone and sparks on the reverse of the Philipsdaalder.

1/10 écu Philippe, 1584, Tournai.   Ø 25 mm, 3,32 g.   G.H.213-14; Hoc 291.
Obv.:   PHS·D:G:HISP·Z·REX·Domini·TORNaci·   -   Bust left, underneath date 15-84.
Rev.:   ·DOMINVS:MIHI·ADIVTOR·   -   Under a crown:
Burgundian Cross with hanging fire steel, underneath fire stone with the Golden Fleece attached to it.
In between several sparks.

Spanish Kings from the House of Habsburg, 1516-1700
On their first journey to Spain, both Philip the Handsome (1505) as well as the later Emperor Charles V (1517) brought coins with them as travel money, which had been minted in the Netherlands according to Spanish standards. These coins introduced the Burgundian cross (St. Andrew's cross with branch knots), the fire steel and the Golden Fleece to Spain. Since 1516 the sovereign of the Order was also king of Spain.
But although the Spanish king ruled over the Order, the Order's signs were hardly used on the Spanish coins of the Habsburgs. We find them only on two gold coins from Barcelona around 1521 and then only again on a few 8 reales and 8 escudos shortly from the end of the Habsburgs in Spain in 1700.

Carlos I. (Emperor Charles V), 1516-58.  2 Principats (double ducat) 1521, Barcelona.
Ø 28 mm, 6,9 g.   Cayón 1459 (Type 38); Friedb.35.
Obv.:   +IOANA ET CARLOLVS REGES ARAGONVM   "Joanna and Charles, Kings of Aragon"
The crowned busts of Charles and Joanna, between them a sceptre,
above a St Andrew's cross behind a fire iron.

Rev.:   COMITES BARCINONE·P·V·1521   "Counts of Barcelona"
Crown in the legend circle, in the field the divided coat of arms: Aragon and Naples
(Naples: Jerusalem|Hungary|Sicily).

Compare the golden fleece symbol
- St. Andrew's cross with suspended fire steel -
on the obverse of various pieces of these double ducats 1521 and 1532 from Barcelona.

166 years later that a symbol of the Order appeared again on a Spanish coin:

Carlos II., 1665-1700.  8 Escudos 1687, Segovia.     Ø 37 mm, 27,00 g.
Calico 145; C.T.14; Cayon 7906; Friedb.219.

Obv.:   CAROLVS - II · D · G
Coat of arms surrounded by the chain of the Order, with the Golden Fleece hanging from it.
Left: Mintmark Aqueduct (Segovia, roller mill) and monogram BR (guardian). Right: 8 (value indication).

Rev.:   HISPANIARVM·REX·1687   (7 out of 3 changed on the die).

The sovereignty of the Order was not tied to ownership of any particular country. According to the statutes, sovereignty passed to the head of the House of Burgundy, i.e. to the next heir in the direct line of the founder of the order. If the sovereign had no male heir, suzerainty passed to the husband of the heiress of the deceased. This happened in 1477 at the death of Charles the Bold and in 1740 at the death of Charles VI.
This territorial independence of the Order has been repeatedly affirmed. When Charles V renounced the Netherlands in favor of his son Philip II in 1555, he granted him the sovereignty of the order through a separate act of abdication. Similarly, Philip II retained the sovereignty of the Order when he ceded rule of the Spanish Netherlands to Albert and Isabella in 1598.

Separation of the Order into two branches
The childless Charles II of Spain, the last Spanish Habsburg, had named Philip V, grandson of King Louis XIV, the Sun King of the House of Bourbon, as his successor in his will. When he became Charles II's successor in 1700, the Austrian Habsburgs did not recognize him. This led to the War of the Spanish Succession, which involved the whole of Europe and only came to an end in 1713 with the Peace of Utrecht. The partition followed: Philip V kept Spain and the colonies, Emperor Charles VI received the Spanish Netherlands and the Spanish possessions in Italy. The treaty was silent on the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Philip V of Spain, 1700-1707/12 in the Netherlands
- 1701 the founder of the Spanish branch -
Philip V had already assumed supremacy of the order in 1701 as king-designate of Spain. He viewed the Order as tied to the Spanish Crown. He appointed many Bourbons and Habsburg opponents as knights of the order. He expelled many old members in 1704. When Emperor Charles VI founded his own branch of the Order in 1712, Philip demanded that his competitor renounce the dignity of Sovereign of the Order.

Ducaton 1703, Antwerp.   Ø 42 mm, 32,60 g.  v.G./H.365-1b; Delm.354b; W.1095; Dav.1703.
Portrait in ornamental armour, wig and Golden Fleece on the breast.   ☝ = hand = mint mark of Antwerp.
Rev.:   ARCHIDux·AVSTriae· - DVX·BURGundiae· - BRABANtiae·Zc(etc) 17-04·
Two lions hold crowned coat of arms of Spanish Netherlands:
Above: Castile|León|Granada & Aragón|Sicily.   Bottom: Habsburg(bind)|New Burgundy(lilies)|Old Burgundy(slanted stripes)|Flanders(lion)|Tyrol(eagle)|Brabant(lion).
Center: three French lilies.
Below the coat of arms: on separate chains, the French Order of the Holy Spirit and
the Order of the Golden Fleece.
The "Archduke" claim title is found as an addition on a subset of the Ducatone minted 1703-4.
The legend on the reverse is otherwise limited to: BURG - DUX - BRABAN.Z.

Archduke Charles III, 1707-11 in the Netherlands, 1711-40 Emperor Charles VI.
- 1512 the founder of the Austrian branch -
Archduke Charles, who had been admitted to the Order in 1697, was crowned Emperor at the end of 1711. In 1712 he founded the Austrian branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece and became its first sovereign. Since then, the two branches of the Order have developed independently of each other.

Patagon 1710, Antwerp.   Ø 39 mm, 28,1 g.   Delm.359b; Voglh.253; v.G./H.377-1b; Dav.1269.
Obv.:   CAROLVS III·D·G·HISP·ET INDIARVM REX ☝ (mint mark Antwerp)
The Burgundian St. Andrew's cross between two monograms (crowned triple C). A fire steel hangs in the middle of the cross, a crown above it, underneath a fire stone surrounded by 4 small fire steels and
sparks, below the Golden Fleece, sparks also between the crown and the central fire steel.

Crowned coat of arms surrounded by the chain of the Order, with the Golden Fleece attached.
Archduke Charles III, the later Emperor Charles VI, claims here Spain and its American colonies. In 1511 he succeeded his suddenly deceased brother Joseph I on the imperial throne. He continued the war against France after the Peace of Utrecht (1713) until the Peace of Rastatt (1714). In the Peace of Vienna of 1725, Charles VI was allowed to retain the assumed title of "Spanish King" and also to add HISP ET IND REX to his title on later thalers.

Spanish Bourbon branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece
The Spanish Bourbon branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece began in 1700 with Philip V. The Spanish kings from the House of Bourbon are still the sovereign of this branch of the order. The order developed into the highest Spanish state order and freed itself from old traditions.

Fernando VI, 1746-59.  8 Escudos 1753, Lima.   Ø 37 mm, 26,97 g.  Calico 717; C.T.19; Fr.16.
Obv.:  FERDinaND·VI·D·G·HISPAN·ET IND·REX  -  Bust with chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
The 5 of the date 1753 was accidentally rotated by 180°.

Rev.:   INITIUM SAPIENTIÆ TIMOR DOMINI   "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"
Crowned coat of arms surrounded by the chain of Orden of the Golden Fleece.
Inserted over the Golden Fleece is the French Order of the Holy Spirit.
Between the coat of arms and the order chain: sign J for the guardian in charge, 8 as the value number.
Below in the legend: twice ⁕ĹM⁕ for the Lima mint.

Initially, the kings from the House of Bourbon appreciated the traditional French Order of the Holy Spirit (see above coin) in addition to the newly acquired Order of the Golden Fleece. Later, the more attractive Order sufficed for them (see the following coin).

Carlos III, 1759-88.  8 Escudos 1778 M-PJ, Madrid.    Ø 37 mm, 27,12 g.  C./C./T. 8; Fr.282.
Obv.:   CAROL·III·D·G· - ·HISP·ET IND·R· - ·1778·
Bust with Golden Fleece and fire stone as a brooch on the chest.
"With God as protector - happy in both worlds, (the old and the new)"
Crowned coat of arms surrounded by a Order's chain.
The Golden Fleece between the mint marks: crowned M (Madrid) and PJ (guardian).

Josef (Napoleon) Bonaparte, 1808-13.   320 Reales, 1810, Madrid.
Ø 35 mm, 27,02 g.   Cayon 17887.
Napoleon's brothers, Josef and Louis Bonaparte, had the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece conferred on them in 1805. Josef Bonaparte interrupted the reign of the Spanish Bourbons. Emperor Napoleon wanted to introduce the "Order of the Three Fleeces" in 1809, at the height of his power, and make it superior to the Spanish and Austrian orders. But members of his "Légion d'honneur", founded in 1802, protested too vigorously.

Isabel II, 1833-68.   20 Reales 1850, Madrid C.L.   Ø 35 mm, 26,8 g.  CCT.163; Dav.332.
"Isabel the Second, by the Grace of God and according to the Constitution"
In 1833, just three years old, Isabel became queen and sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain. In their time, the order acquired a bourgeois character. Appointments became a state award and required state approval. The order could now also be bestowed on non-Catholic and non-noble personalities: a sultan, two Japanese emperors and three presidents of the French Republic.

Austrian branch of the Order
Emperor Charles VI founded the Austrian branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1712. The heads of the House of Habsburg are up to nowl the sovereigns of this branch of the order. The order remained a house order, is committed to old traditions and completely independent of the state.

Emperor Charles VI, 1711-1740.   Thaler 1716, Vienna.   Ø 43 mm, 29,84 g.   Dav.1035.
Obv.:  CAROLus9VI·D·G·RO·IMP·Semper·Augustus·GERmaniae·HISPaniae. - HUngariae BOhemiae REX
Laureate bust with alloge wig, draped ceremonial armour with an imperial eagle on the breastplate,
order chain with the Golden Fleece hanging on the chest.

Imperial crown over haloed double eagle.
In the claws of the double eagle sword (left) and scepter (right). Crowned breastplate: Castile & New Hungary (above) and Bohemia & Burgundy (below), heart shield: Austria with the archduke's hat.
Breastplate surrounded by the order chain with the Golden Fleece.

Emperor Francis I, 1745-65.   Thaler 1751 P-R, Prague.    Ø 42 mm, 832 fein, 28,12 g.
Halačka 1985; Voglh.289; Herinek 146; Dav.1152.

Obv.:   FRANCiscus·Dei·Gratia·ROmanorum·Imperator·Semper· - Augustus·GErmaniae·IERosolymorum·Rex·
"Francis, by the Grace of God, Roman Emperor, Ruler for ever, King of Germany and Jerusalem (title of claim), Duke of Lorraine and Burgundy, Grand Duke of Etruria (Tuscany)"
Armoured and draped bust with laurel wreath and Order of the Golden Fleece as brooch on the chest.

Rev.:  IN TE DOMINE - SPERAVI·1751·(Burgundian cross)
"In you, Lord, I have put my hope"
Crowned double-headed eagle with sword and scepter, crowned coat of arms on the breast:
coat of arms, above: Old Hungary, Anjou-Naples, Jerusalem, Aragon
coat of arms, below: Anjou, Geldern, Jülich, Bar (2 fishes between crosses)
heart coat of arms: Lorraine | Tuscany (6 pills)
Below the coat of arms the Tuscan Order Cross of St. Stephen on a ribbon.
The Fleece Order chain placed around the coat of arms.   Next to it in the field: P - R for the Prague mint.
Raised border lettering: PRO DEO ET IMPERIO and ornaments.

Emperor Josef II, 1765-90.   Order-thaler 1769 A, Vienna.   Ø 41 mm, 28,10 g, 833‰ fine.
Voglh.294; Dav.1162.

Obv.:   IOSEPH·II·Dei·Gratia·Romanorum·Imperator·Semper·Augustus· - A - CORregens & HEReditarius·Regnorum·Hungariae·Bohemiae·&c
Laureate bust with neckless armor and shoulder lamellae; wide sash with the Great Star of the Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephen; below the chain of the Order with the Golden Fleece.
Rev.:  ARCHidux·AUSTriae·Dux·BURGundiae· - LOTHaringiae·Magnus·Dux·HETruriae·1769 ᙭ (᙭ = Burgundian cross)
Imperial crown with fluttering ribbons above a haloed double-headed eagle; sword and scepter (left) and orb (right) in the eagle's claws. Breastplate: Hungary|Bohemia (above) and Burgundy|Tuscany (below). Heart shield: Austria|Lorraine with the Archduke's hat. Under the breastplate three orders: the Hungarian Order of St. Stephen on the order chain, below the Order of Maria Theresa on the order ribbon, below the Golden Fleece on its order chain. Mint master's mark IC-SK.

Emperor Francis II, 1792-1806. Kronentaler 1793, Milan.   Ø 41 mm, 29,40 g, 873‰ fine.
Voglh.307; Dav.1390

Stylised Burgundian branch cross, in between the imperial crown on top, symbolically the Hungarian royal crown on the left and the Bohemian royal crown on the right. In the centre the fire steel, above it flames, below it attached the fire stone, surrounded by flames, and the Golden Fleece.

The minting of the Kronentaler began in 1755 in the Austrian Netherlands: The Kronentaler with the title of Emperor Franz I show the image taken from his successors with the Burgundian branch cross, the fire steel in the middle, the three crowns, the fire stone and the Golden Fleece. The Kronentaler minted at the same time with the title of Maria Theresia show four crowns between the Burgundian branch cross; the firesteel in the middle, the fire stone and the Golden Fleece are missing. Symbols of the Order of the Golden Fleece do not appear on any of their coins, as she is not a member of the Order.
As with the heiress Maria of Burgundy, whose husband Maximilian I of Habsburg became sovereign of the order, Maria Theresa's husband Francis I of Lorraine also became sovereign in the Austrian branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

• Charles de Terlinden,  Der Orden vom Goldenen Vlies,  Wien 1970.   -   Excerpt as PDF
• Friedrich Johannes Kalff,  Funktion und Bedeutung des Ordens vom Goldenen Vlies in Spanien vom XVI.
    bis zum XX. Jh.
Dissertation, Bonn 1963
• Annemarie Weber,   Der Österreichische Orden vom Goldenen Vlies - Geschichte und Probleme,
    Dissertation, Bonn 1971
• La Toison d'Or,  Catalogue du Exposition, 14.7-30.9.1962,  Bruges.

continuation as   Part 2a: appointed knights

Order of the Golden Fleece on coins and medals
1. Sovereigns of the Order
Part 1a :   Philip the Good - Emperor Charles V
Part 1b :  King Philip II - Spanish / Austrian branch
2. Appointed knights
Part 2a :  Baden, Bavaria, Brunswick & Lueneburg,
Palatinate, Palatinate-Neuburg, Palatinate-Bavaria, Fürstenberg
Part 2b :  Poland, Saxony, Rietberg, Wuerttemberg
Part 2c :  Italy, Spain, ..., Transylvania
Part 2d :  Austrian new princes

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