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Imperial city of Kempten
Kempten, the Roman Cambodunum, situated in the southwest of Bavaria, broke away from the abbey of Kempten in 1289. In 1525, after numerous setbacks, the city finally gained independence by paying 30,000 fl for its release from the abbey. The city became protestant in 1527. In 1609 they entered the protestant alliance. During the Thirty-Years-War the town was destroyed twice, by Swedish troups in 1632 and by imperial troups in 1633. In 1803 the town and its 3000 inhabitants fell to Bavaria, as did the abbey.
Emperor Maximilian I granted the right of coinage in gold and silver to Kempten on 14 July 1510. Three months later the emperor determined that the 1/3-Thalers should carry the effigy of his grandson Charles and their mintage began the same year.

1/3 Thaler 1511, thick pattern.     Ø 31 mm, 22,20 g.   Haertle 29; Nau 30; Bernhart 10.
city coat of arms (crowned double eagle), at the bottom a shield with double eagle.
young bust with long hair, crown and Krone und simple armor to the right,
according to the model of emperors Maximilian 1/4 Guldiner (after 1511) minted in Hall.
Charles, Archduke of Austria and Duke of Burgundy, was just 11 years old at the time.

1/3 Taler 1516.     Ø 30 mm, 9,35 g.   Nau 39; Bernhart 13.
city coat of arms (crowned double eagle); on the breast a shield with "K" for Kempten, just to make sure,
that the double eagle is recognized as arms of the city.
Renaissance bust of the youthful Charles V as before.
Central dot on both sides.

Gold coins were issued since 1511.
The mintage of thalers begann in 1537. They carry the effigy of Charles V. in several variants up to 1549.

Thaler n. d. (1537-39).    Ø 42 mm, 28,75 g.   Haertle 36; Nau 75; Dav.9356.
city arms between four firesteels with sparks and the arms of Austria, Tirol and Burgundy.
crowned bearded bust in armor with crown and orden of the Golden Fleece.

Thaler 1537.     Ø 42 mm, 28,44 g.   Haertle 47; Nau 80; Bernh.26; Dav.9360.
city arms between four firesteels with sparks and the arms of Austria, Tirol and Burgundy.
Emperors bust with beard, coat, flat cap and sceptre. Estrade with the date 1537.
Columns of Hercules with banderole and crown in the field.

Thaler 1538.     Ø 38 mm, 28,38 g.   Nau 81; Bernh.27; Schulten 1573; Dav.9361.
Obv.:   (mm. apple with stalk) DER·STAT·KEMPTEN (mm. rose leaf) MVINTZ·I538
Mintmarks : rose leaf (Lorenz Rosenbaum ?) and apple with stalk (Hans Apfelfelder).
Field with arms and firesteels with sparks as before.

Rev.:   + ICH·VERMAGS·ALS·DURCH·DEn·Der·Mich·STärkt
"I am able to do this through the power of the one who strengthens me"
crowned bust in armour with Golden Fleece.
Compare the copper-plate engraving published in "Köhler's "Historical Coin Amusement", 1729-1750.

Thaler 1542.     Ø 40 mm, 28,55 g.   Nau 97; Bernh.58; Schulten 1578; Dav.9364.
Obv.:   ✤ MONeta:NOva:CIVITATIS:CAMPIDOnum:I542
Field with arms and firesteels with sparks as before.
Rev.:   ✤ KAROLVS·V·ROMAnorum·IMPerator·SEMPer·AVGVSTus
crowned emperor in armor with sceptre, sword grip and a ribbon with Golden Fleece.

The Kempten coins differ from those of other Swabian towns in their eyecatching Habsburg coat of arms, thus demonstrating the town's dependance on Austria. The rich Kempten mintage is not conceivable without the substantial silver deliveries from the mines of the Inn Valley. Close contacts to Austria were also necessary because the Kempten abbey kept disputing the town's right to mintage. In 1513 the duke prior (Fürstabt) claimed that only the abbey had been vested with the right to mintage. In 1514, after numerous confrontations, the emperor's arbitration solved the conflict solomonically by confirming both the town's and the abbey's right to mintage.

CAROLVS writes mostly with C, sometimes with a K at the beginning.
A surprising feature (only Nau 130) :   CAROLVS VON instead of CAROLVS V

Thaler 1547.     Ø 41 mm.   Haertle 190; Nau 130; Dav.9365.

1/2 Thaler 1547.     Ø 35 mm.   Haertle 315; Nau 133b; Bernh.196.

1/4 Thaler 1547.     Ø 28 mm.   Haertle 355; Nau 137a.

The last thaler and its minors with the effigy of Charles V were issued in 1549.
The coinage continued only in 1552 when coinage had to comply to the imperial mint order of 1551:
On the revers, the emperor's effigy had to be replaced by the prescribed imperial double eagle.
Its value in Kreuzer was indicated in an orb on the eagle's breast.

Haertle, C. M.,  Die Münzen und Medaillen des Stifts und der Stadt Kempten - Bestands-, Typen- und
  Variantenkatalog des Allgäuer Heimatmuseums Kempten
, Museum für Kust und Kulturgeschichte,
  Kempten 1993.
Nau, Elisabeth,  Die Münzen und Medaillen der oberschwäbischen Städte,   1964
Bernhart, Max, Die Münzen der Reichsstadt Kempten,   Halle 1926   or   MBNG 44(1926)113-280 & 8 pl.

upgraded 10.2015.

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