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Bermondsey Coins

World, Germany, Saxony, Augustus II, King of Poland, medallic gold ducat c. 1700

World, Germany, Saxony, Augustus II, King of Poland, medallic gold ducat c. 1700

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World, Germany, Saxony, Friederich August I (Augustus II, King of Poland), medallic gold ducat c. 1700. 

Such coins, known as "Coseldukats" after Anna Constantia von Brockdorff, Countess of Cosel, the sometime mistress of Augustus II, were struck only for circulation in courtly circles. The designs are often satirical, and bear aphorisms. Whist and other card games in which players could not speak to each other were popular at the time, and so these coins were used to communicate, as well as to gamble with. 

This particular piece shows a cupid holding up the ace of hearts with the legend "ICH HALT ES MIT EINEM" - i.e. "I'm going with this one" - seemingly in reference to picking a card in the game; other cards are scattered beneath his feet. But the reverse shows the true meaning; here the cupid protects a real heart (and not a card !) against a monster with three heads, with the legend "UND GEB ES AUCH KEINEM" - "I'm not giving it to anyone" - a statement of romantic loyalty. 

VF+, scuffed, wavy. Very rare. 

Hauschild 2657
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