Transylvania 2 Ducat of Maria Theresia

Less than a month remains before the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio November Baltimore auction at the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo. As the month of October arrives it brings with it the season of Halloween. As it happens, our numismatic team is offering coinage from the region of Transylvania, an area long associated in the English speaking world with the vampire myth, thanks in no small part to the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Thankfully, there is nothing spooky about the coin we highlight here, a beautiful gold 2 Ducat from the middling portion of Maria Theresia’s reign. Maria Theresia is noted as the only female ruler of the Habsburg domains and as the last of the House of Habsburg. As the final scion of that House she ruled as the sovereign over a good portion of Europe, including the Principality of Transylvania, located in modern day Romania.

The obverse of the coin displays a mature bust of Maria, facing right. The first portion of the legend reads “M. THERESIA. D: G.” which is simply ‘Maria Theresia, By the Grace of God’. The resumed portion of the legend states “RO. IM. GE. HU. BO. RE” which enumerates the major titles and regions she held: Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia”. Technically speaking, her husband Francis I ruled the Holy Roman Empire and Germany in her stead. The reverse side of this coin bears the iconic double headed eagle of the Habsburg line. The eagles are surrounded by halos, with a massive crown above them. A crowned shield bearing the Transylvanian coat of arms covers the eagle’s body. The coat of arms displays the upper portion with the sun and moon to either side of an eagle, and seven towers below. The eagle represents the Hungarians, the sun and moon symbolizes the Szeklers, and the seven towers are a symbol for the seven fortified cities of the Transylvanian Saxons. The denomination is shown below this central device, as the numeral 2 within ornate scrollwork. The reverse legend continues Maria’s long list of titles and includes her title respective to the region of Transylvania, where the coin was intended for circulation. The legend begins: “AR. AU. DUX. BU. ME P. — TRAN. CO. TY. 1764” which stands for Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy, Grand Princess of Transylvania, Countess of Tyrol, 1764. This coin is graded Mint State 62 by PCGS, and its visual quality is superb. This coin may come from a region the Anglophone world deems haunted, but rest assured this Transylvanian piece will become a treasured item when it reaches its new collection.

Look for this and other World numismatic rarities in our upcoming November Baltimore Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this October at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Auction Schedule/Details link under Current Auctions at To schedule an appointment, please call 800.566.2580. While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio November Baltimore sale is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins for our January New York International, and April 2014 Hong Kong sales. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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