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Marriage Celebration

Triton XXI, Lot: 956. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $13000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

AUSTRIA, Holy Roman Empire. Maximilian I, with Maria von Burgund. As Duke and Duchess of Burgundy, 1477-1482. AR Hochzeitsguldiner (42.5mm, 30.49 g, 7h). On their marriage. Hall mint. By Ulrich Ursentaler. Dated 1479 (though struck after 1511). (rosette) MAXIMILIAN’ · MAGNANIM’ · ARCHIDVX · AVSTRIE · BVRGVND, laureate and mantled bust of Maximilian right; ETA TIS ·19· across field / (rosette) MARIA · KAROLI · FILIA · HERES · BVRGVND · BRAB · CONIVGES, draped bust of Maria right; ·ETAT IS ·20· across field. Moser & Tursky 83. VF, guilding in hair, lightly chased. Includes a signed letter citing family ownership to the time of Maximilian, as well as a copy of a handwritten 1870 inventory by Friedrich von Vintler (1815-1892) describing the medal as part of the family collection.

Ex Dorotheum (16 November 2016), lot 656; Vintler zu Platsch und Runkelstein (Brunecker Linie) family.

The Tyrolean noble family of von Vintler zu Platsch und Runkelstein (Brunecker Linie) had a long and distinguished association with the House of Hapsburg, as well as other noble families in Tyrol and Germany. Due to the family’s wealth, Niklas Vintler, in 1385, purchased the Schloss Runkelstein, which became the family seat for the next 150 years. One member of the family, Konrad III (died 1480), was so well respected that he helped negotiate a treaty between Tyrol and Bavaria, and was the tutor/confessor to Eleonora, the daughter of James I of Scotland and wife of Sigismund, the Archduke of Austria. Given the family tradition that family possession of this medal goes back to the time of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, it is possible that it was acquired by Konrad himself, who may have been somehow involved in the the marriage of Maximilian to Maria.

The union of Maria, the daughter of Charles the Bold and Duchess of Burgundy, with Maximilian, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III, and future Holy Roman Emperor himself, was the result of much political intrigue and resulted in the establishment of the Habsburgs as the preeminent political family in Europe. The untimely death of Charles the Bold in early 1477 left his ninteen-year-old daughter, Maria, the heiress of the sizable and far-reaching Duchy of Burgundy. Hoping to make inroads into the Burgundian Netherlands, Louis XI of France claimed the entire duchy on the grounds of the old Salic Law, which excluding females from the inheritance of a throne or fief. He proposed that Maria be betrothed to the Dauphin, an arrangement which Maria rejected. Advised by her step-mother, Margaret of York, the sister of both Edward IV and Richard III, Maria appealed to the Netherlands for assistance. In return, she was compelled to grant a number of concessions. Following her “Joyous Entry” into Ghent in February 1477, Maria signed the Great Privilege, a document laying out these concessions and one of the first steps on the road to Dutch independence. In the meantime, the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III, had begun proposing his son, Maximilian, as a possible suitor. Not wanting to ally herself with the French, Maria accepted Maximilian as her choice, marrying him in August 1477. Maximilian proved an effective husband and political ally. He stabilized the situation in the Netherlands, creating a bond between the Habsburgs and the populace. In addition, the son of Maximilian and Maria, Philip the Handsome, would marry Juana, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Their son, Charles (who was born in Ghent), would succeed Ferdinand as King of Spain in 1506, and Maximilian in 1519 as Holy Roman Emperor.