A Bavarian box Thaler

I was imaging this 1625 Thaler of Maximilian


when I noticed a slight seam around the edge


Holding it by the edge I managed to work at it with my right thumbnail until, violá, the seamed pulled apart to reveal…


…a love poem/note. Evidently the gent who bought and or commissioned the piece was pulling out all the stops. Some of the flourishes are accented with gold gilt.


The poem appears to be in an old German dialect, perhaps Low German (?) and I say gent because of the poem’s salutation which I take to read “Fair Maiden”

Another phrase which I’ve attempted to translate is “hertzen berguneuse” which I’m taking to mean ‘berguneuse heart’ as in Berguneuse, the place name.
Perhaps the fellow was wooing a French woman. I will admit to letting my imagination wander a bit regarding this 17th century piece.

If any member could help with this I’d be happy to send my amateurish translation of some of the phrases.


  • JCMhoustonJCMhouston Posts: 5,310 ✭✭✭
    That is very cool Swampboy!
  • IosephusIosephus Posts: 777 ✭✭✭
    Quite an interesting piece!
  • STLNATSSTLNATS Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭
    Wonderful piece. Wonder if there was other inserts, such as a pic of the giver, at one time. What fun!

    Always interested in St Louis MO & IL metro area and Evansville IN national bank notes and Vatican/papal states coins and medals!
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 7,757 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very cool? I don't know if I'd be thrilled or disappointed the coin is no longer a coin. Be awesome to find out it's an original work by a known poet, musician, or writer.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • ZoharZohar Posts: 6,055 ✭✭✭✭
    I have seen quite a few of these and its always intriguing to see the inserts and meaning. I guess the closest thing today is machine made elongated coins. We seem to have lost something over the centuries.
  • LochNESSLochNESS Posts: 4,754 ✭✭✭
    Very cool, I agree. On many levels.

    I'm impressed the paper and ink was able to survive all these years. Must have been a really good airtight and maybe watertight seal.

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  • SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 5,702 ✭✭✭✭
    That is very very cool. Far from being disappointed, I would be amazed to have such a treasure.
    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016
  • PatARPatAR Posts: 328 ✭✭✭
    A fascinating find! Thank you for sharing this.

    It would be interesting to discover the likely date of this secret message coin's creation or what role the persons sharing it may have had in history.
    Coins of Isabel 2

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  • AndresAndres Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭
    I like your coin - thaler holder , Swampboy image

    It says: hertzen vergünnen not hertzen berguneuze.

    Here's the translation from a dutch member,

    Fair Maiden

    Tell me, what is it ,that holds you back
    Dont you want to give your heart to me
    Give me your faithfull heart in exchange for a pledge (the thaler coin)
    So I can stay faithfull to you and raise my hand on that.
    collector of Greek banknotes - most beautifull world banknotes - Greek & Roman ancient coins.
  • ZoharZohar Posts: 6,055 ✭✭✭✭
    Andres - that's some good work! Folks were classy back then, iphone, IMs or texting!
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 10,782 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for all the replies.

    You can rest assured I consider this piece a treasure! And now, thanks to Andres' wonderful translation it actually speaks to me!!
    I can't thank you enough Andres. image
    But thank you.

    From that original photo session here are a few close ups of the gilding I referred to in my OP.

    I hope you enjoy....


  • nicholasz219nicholasz219 Posts: 1,388 ✭✭✭
    While it is a shame in one sense that the normal coin value is disrupted, I agree with SoarAlba in that you have acquired a piece of actual personal history from between two people centuries ago, which I feel is much more valuable. We are all attracted to history and pedigrees and how much more personal could it get than this? It would be great if there would have been a name too. I think it is fantastic.
  • worldcoinguyworldcoinguy Posts: 2,706 ✭✭✭
    Great post! You had my attention with the words "Bavarian taler"..... the hidden compartment and personal note is fascinating. I like it!
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 10,782 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My learning curve for thalers is pretty steep and I've since learned that this piece has a 1625 obverse and a reverse from a 1639 thaler.

    I also learned that I had the obverse/reverse wrong. Here is an updated image.


    The 1639 thaler is listed in Krause (KM #263.1) as rare.

    I've tried finding an online image of a 1639 so I can confirm my identification but no luck so far.

  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 40,939 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think the discovery is a definite plus, and NOT a detraction at all.
  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 7,178 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What a wonderful treasure! Great find, Swampboy!
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  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 40,939 ✭✭✭✭✭

    TTT, because the subject of "Box dollars" and such came up on CoinTalk recently, so I was retrieving this thread.

    Again, great find, Gil. Did you keep it?

  • ProfHaroldHillProfHaroldHill Posts: 1,276 ✭✭✭

    A 'Thank you!' to Lord M! Great 'coin', and I'd have never seen it if you hadn't bumped the thread.

    NumisMagician: Guardian of culture, purveyor of history.

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  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 10,782 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It was consigned to Josh at Civitas who found it a good home.
    It was a thrill to find and hold for awhile.

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 519 ✭✭✭

    That gilding and green accenting reminds me of inflection notes for a tune. Hebrew has something similar I believe. If not, it's a bit strange looking to just be decoration.

    Coin-specific photobucket alternative:

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