Editor Ursula Kampmann has published an interesting article about
The Order of the Golden Fleece in the October 20 issue of Coins Weekly, illustrated with some coins including the Order's symbol.
Charles V. Cast silver medal after H. Reinhart. Half-length portrait with the Order of the Golden Fleece. Rev. double eagle with coat of arms. From auction Künker 189 (2011), 1570.
Countless coins from the Holy Roman Empire show something many catalogs briefly address as “neck chain” of the Order of the Golden Fleece. That order was created by Philipp the Good of Burgundy on the occasion of his wedding with Princess Isabella of Portugal on January 10, 1430.
On November 30, 1431, on the feast of St. Andrew, patron saint of the duke of Burgundy, Philipp invited to the first festive gathering of the order’s chapter to make the articles of the new order of chivalry public. When the order was founded, membership was restricted to 30 knights under a Grand Master – later, this number was increased significantly. They were supposed to be ‘noble people of name and coat of arms’. They had to be ‘truly devoted’ to the Duke of Burgundy, the Grand Master of the order – after all, membership was intended to bind important noble people to the Burgundian court. Main objective was and still is – for the order still exists – to promote and defend the Christian faith (although not only Christians belong to the order). That is why going to church and mass figure prominently in the order’s ritual.
The Golden Fleece was chosen as symbol – that, however, wasn’t a good choice. The duke who was very fond of antiquity probably had a knightly community in mind that had embarked to face adventures – just like Jason and his comrades. The knights, however, having a knowledge of ancient mythology at least as profound, objected against that – a raid to seize the Golden Fleece, a sorcerer whose interference only made the taking possible – the pious 15th century considered that a bit too pagan for an order of knights which explicitly dedicated itself to the protection of the faith. Since the name was already in existence, it was re-interpreted.
Maximilian I. Schauguldiner 1509, minted in 1517 in Antwerp on the assumption of the imperial title. Cuirassed emperor riding r. Rev. Crowned coat of arms, sorrounded by other coats of arms, around the inner one chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece. From auction Künker 188 (2011), 577.
To read the complete article, see:
The Order of the Golden Fleece
Wayne Homren, Editor
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