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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
11100935

Defender of Martin Luther

CNG 111, Lot: 935. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $17000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.



GERMANY, Sachsen-Ernestinische Linie. Friedrich III der Weise (the Wise). 1485-1525. AR Breiter Guldengroschen (49mm, 29.30 g, 6h). In the name of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Dies by Ulrich Ursenthaler of Innsbruck. Undated, but struck 1508-1519. FRID’ · DVX SAX (shield) ELECT’ · IMPER (shield) QVE · LOCVM · TEN (shield) E’S · GENERA’ (shield), armored bust right, wearing snood; breastplate inscribed IHS : MARIA / (symbol) MAXIMILIANVS (symbol) ROMANORVM (symbol) REX · (rosette) · SEMPER (rosette) AVGVST, nimbate heraldic eagle facing, head left, with wings displayed; electoral arms on breast. Keilitz 70.2; Schnee 37; cf. Davenport 9699. Superb EF, toned, traces of underlying luster.


Friedrich the Wise was the first ruler of modern Saxony. He founded the University of Wittenburg in 1502, and in 1508 he appointed Martin Luther to a professorship in Philosophy. Later on, Friedrich was instrumental in protecting Luther from the wrath of the Church by refusing to enforce the Papal bull, which required Luther's writings be burned and the reformer be sent to Rome. When, in 1521, Luther was placed under the imperial ban by the diet at Worms, Friedrich had him brought to his castle for protection.