German City-State of Lübeck 1625 Taler

The Stack’s Bowers monthly iAuction offers a terrific opportunity to add choice material to any collection, at what is often a very attractive closing bid. The eclectic offerings insure there is always something of interest for every collector. Be sure you don’t miss out!

This month’s featured iAuction coin hails from Germany — the city-state of Lübeck to be precise. It is a 1625 Taler, which was also known as a 32 Shilling piece.  Like all Talers from the era, the coin has a great iconic design, with much detail to be explored upon closer examination. 

The obverse depicts a haloed St. John holding a lamb, with the date split by the shield of the city. The shield of the presiding mayor at the time, Alexander Lüneburg, is seen in the form of small castle towers, which are located to the left and right of the date. An equally intricate reverse features a crowned double headed eagle with the number “32” at center.

Located in northern Germany at the western terminus of the Baltic Sea, Lübeck has a long and rich history, extending all the way back to end of the last ice age.  The modern town was founded in 1143 by Count Adolph II of Schauenburg and Holstein when he erected an island castle (now in ruins) between the Trave and Wakenitz rivers.  The town and castle eventually became part of the Duchy of Saxony, then Holstein, and finally part of Denmark until the Battle of Bornhöved when Count Adolph IV liberated the city.

By the 14th century, Lübeck had become an important German port serving the Baltic and North seas, and a powerful member of the Hanseatic League, the leading trade organization of the day.  By the 16th century, as European trade become more focused on the Atlantic, the importance of the city slowly declined. 

Like much of Europe in the early 19th century, Lübeck was annexed by France until Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, at which time the Vienna Congress of 1815 ended French domination.  In more recent history, Lübeck had the audacity to refuse Hitler access while campaigning in 1932, and in retaliation Hitler had the city incorporated into Schleswig-Holstein ending its 711-year independence. 

One of the early targets of Royal Air Force bombing in 1942, nearly all of the city was destroyed.  After the war, while remaining part of Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck became part of what was West Germany during the Cold War, forming part of the border between east and west.

Like most coins, this 1625 Taler provides a jumping-off point for all sorts of historical exploration, and very much expands the notion of “history in your hands.”  When this is combined with its phenomenal state of preservation, you have an offering that is sure to enhance the collection of the lucky winning bidder in this month’s Stack’s Bowers iAuction.

Look for this and other numismatic pieces in our upcoming monthly iAuction.  Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our iAuction items at the Browse Auctions link at If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency for future iAuctions (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors by calling 800.458.4646.

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