Contemporaries in the Holy Roman Empire
Jacob Fugger II the Rich, merchant 1485-1525
The Fuggers were weavers and cloth merchants in Augsburg. Jacob I was involved in silver mining in the Tirol. His son Jacob II the Rich (*1459) aquired important trade concessions and set up an international trading net. James made substantial loans to Emperor Maximilian I and financed the election of Emperor Charles V. In recompense, mines in the Tirol were mortgaged to him. In 1514 he was made an imperial earl. He created a homestead for needy citizens, the "Fuggerei", a special quarter in the city of Augsburg to this day. He died childless and was succeeded by his nephews Anton and Raimund. They concentrated on enlarging their territories in an effort to break away from their costly engagements with the House of Habsburg.
Anton and Raimund were conceded the mint right in 1534.
1/2 Schauguldiner, 1518, Augsburg. Ø 38 mm, 14,7 g. Schulten 921; Forster 1060.
"Jacob Fugger from Augsburg, anno domini 1518" bust with cap
Rev.: APOLLO - ADSIT "Apollo may stand (me) by"
Discending Apollo crowns Neptun (Jacob Fugger?) holding a trident and standing on a dolphin as well as Mercur (Raimund Fugger?) standing on the globe. The allegory with Mercur, god of trade and traders, Neptun, god of the ocean, and Apollo, god of the arts, exemplifies James II outstanding position as a trader by land and by water.
This private commemorative pieces was also issued in the weight of a guldiner. They were distributed as gifts at the Imperial Diet at Augsburg in 1518. Jacob had no right of coinage. The right of coinage was given to the Fugger family by emperor Charles V. in 1535.
The commemorative was very likely modelled on a medal by Hans Schwarz (cast in lead, Ø 64 mm) at the coincabinet in Vienna.
Model for the effigy was the woodcut ca. 1511 (21x14 cm) from Hans Burgkmair (1473-1531), with the inscription "Jakob Fugger, citizen from Augsburg" on top. The model (looking to the right) was transfered to the die and resulted in a effigy looking to the left on the coin.