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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 35, August 30, 2009, Article 8

MORE ON DUTCH LION DOLLARS IN COLONIAL AMERICA

Last week, Joe Lasser responded to the query, "Did the Spanish Really Mint Lion Dollars in Mexico?" Michael E. Marotta writes:

The easy answer is, “I don’t know, either, but I, too, would like to see documented evidence.” In the mean time, I point to indirect evidence from a nice picture book by John Porteous. In Coins (London: Octopus Books, 1973), illustration 125 on page 61 is of a Brabant Philippsdaalder, 1557.

The cutline says: “Silver from America, in the form of bullion or roughly made pieces of eight, flooded into Spain the sixteenth century; this wealth was mortgaged by Philip to pay for his foreign commitments, and much of it found its way into the Netherlands.”

Popular books can be problematic sources, but according to the American Numismatic Society library, Porteous has to his credit these works:

  • The Nature of Coinage, in Origin and History of Coinage, Martin Jessop Price, editor (1980)
  • The Early Coinage of the Counts of Edessa, in Numismatic Chronicle. 7th series Vol. 15 (1975).

When the coin in question – a leuvendaalder dated 1643 – was struck, the Eighty Years War of Dutch independence from Spain was nearly over. Spain still had to pay for troops and supplies in the southern Netherlands. It would not be unreasonable for the Mexican mint to strike Dutch coins. But we will have to wait for direct documentary evidence from the Mint itself.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: JOE LASSER ON DUTCH LION DOLLARS IN COLONIAL AMERICA (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v12n34a12.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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