Startpage Charles V TOUR :  George the Bearded of Saxony

      Contemporaries in the Holy Roman Empire      

John the Steadfast, 1525-1532 Elector of Saxony
John was a younger brother of Frederick III the Wise as well as his co-regent and successor as Elector of Saxony. Since 1513, John ruled part of the Electorate from Weimar. Externally, however, they ruled Electoral Saxony and the Ernestine parts of Thuringia together. John persistently promoted Luther and the Protestants, but without challenging imperial supremacy.
Because the Rhenish gold florin lost value, the Saxon coinage separation occurred in 1530-1533, when John lowered the silver content of the thalers, but not his minting partner Duke George. John's son and successor John Frederick I inherited substantial debts and renewed the Saxon common coinage, which was then lost in 1547 along with the electoral dignity.

1.  Elector Frederick III the Wise, Duke John and Duke Albert or his son George
in 1500-1525
The first Guldengroschen worth one gulden, later called "Klappmützentaler", show John on the reverse together with his uncle Albert or his son George, side by side but indistinguishable.

Guldengroschen (1st "Klappmützentaler") n.d. (1500), Annaberg.    Ø 43 mm, 28,70 g.
Schnee 1; Keilitz 4; Dav.9705.
For more information on the Klappmützentaler, see Frederick III the Wise.

2.  Elector Frederick III and Co-Ruler Duke John in 1486-1525


Double Guldengroschen 1522, Annaberg +.     Ø c.35 mm, ca.5,2 mm dick, 58,59 g.
Keilitz like 83; Schnee like 45; Dav. like 9710.     Obvers with double strike at top left.

Obv.: DEI·GRAcia - FRIDericus·DVX - SAXoniae·Sacri·ROani - IMPerii·ELECtor
between arms: Duchy Saxony (1h), Meissen (4h), Landgraviate Thuringia (7h), Electorate Saxony (10h).
Inner circle:
VERBVM·DOMINI·MANET·IN AETERNVM +   "God's word is eternal"
The mintmark + stands for Albrecht von Schreibersdorf, 1512-1523 mintmaster in Annaberg.
Bust of Elector Frederick III the Wise to the right, wearing a cap and fur coat.

Rev.: DEI·GRACIa - IOHANnes - DVX· SAXoniae - ·I·5·2·2·
Inner circle as on the obverse.   -   Bust of John to the left, cap with raised visor.


Thick Guldengroschen 1525, Buchholz T.     Ø c.35 mm, 28,98 g.
Keilitz 84; Schnee 49; Dav.9712.   From minting dies for intended half Guldengroschen.
Similar as before, but obverse with mintmark T and date MDXXV.


Guldengroschen 1523, Annaberg +.     Ø c.42 mm.
Keilitz 85; Schnee 44; Dav.9711.   From: J. Erbstein, "Aus Dresdner Sammlungen", 4th issue (1891).

Obv.:   FRIDeRIcus+ELECzor - ET· IOHANnes - FRAtres DVX - SAXONIE   between arms:
Electoral Saxony (10h), Duchy of Saxony (2h), Meissen, Thuringia)   -   Busts facing each other.

Rev.:   +·VERBVM·DOMINI·MANET·IN·AETERNVM·   "God's word is eternal"
Cross in a circle, at angles C-C-N-S (Crux Christi Nostra Salus = "Christ's cross is our salvation"),
around the date M D XX III

3.  Elector John and Duke George in 1525-1528


Guldengroschen n. d., Annaberg ♣.    Ø 38 mm.   Keilitz 86; Schnee 51; Dav.9717.
Obv.:   (1) IOhANnes⦂ (2) ELECtor⦂& (3) GEORgius⦂ (4) FIEri FEcit⦂     (Fieri Fecit = have ordered)
with the arms: (1) Electoral Saxony, (2) Meissen, (3) Duchy of Saxony, (4) Thuringia.
Bust of John to the right, shouldered electors sword and cap with raised visor.

Rev.:   (a) MONEta (b) NOVA⦂ (c) DVCVm (d) SAXOniae ♣     (♣ mark of the mint Annaberg)
Arms: (a) Duchy of Saxony, (b) Meissen, (c) Saxon Palatinate, (d) Thuringia.  -  Bust of George to the left.

4.   John alone in 1528-1533


Guldengroschen n.d. (1530-33), Zwickau X.     Ø 39,5 mm, 28,84 g.
Keilitz 95.2; Schnee 54A; Dav.9715.
Specimen of the Dresden State Art Collections, ex Coll. Horn.

Obv.:   (1) IOANNE (2) SᐩELEC (3) TORᐩFI (4) ERIᐩFEecitᐩX   (X = mint Zwickau)
between arms: (1) Electoral Saxony, (2) Margraviat Meissen, (3) Duchy of Saxony,
(4) Landgraviat of Thuringia.
Bust to the right with electoral sword in a circle of thread and ornament, cap pulled down at the back.

Rev.:   MONEta - NOVAᐩD _ VCISᐩSA - XONIaeᐩX  (X = mint Zwickau).

5.   John and his son John Frederick, 1530-1532


Cast silver medal,     contemporary, Ø 45 mm, 23,44 g.
On the presentation of the Augsburg Confession on 25 June 1530.
Dies from the workshop of the Annaberg and Freiberg goldsmith and die cutter Hieronymus Magdeburger.
Katz 37; Schnell 40; Coll. Lanna 854; Coll. Merseburger 436.

Obv.:   IOANNIS·E - LECTORIS·D - VCIS·SAXON - IAE·ET·FILI
inside circle: IOANNIS· - FRIDERICI· - EFFIGIES⁕ - ⁕M·D·XXX·
jugate busts of Elector John and Duke John Frederick in cap and robes right.
Rev.:   ⁕IOANNES·STRAFT·DEN·EheBRVC·HERODES·DRVM·MVST·ER·STERBEN·MAR·VI⁕
"John punishes Herod's adultery, that's why he had to die"
Herod's feast in the ballroom above,
executioner presenting the head of John the Baptist to Salome and her mother in the cellar.

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