Dariusz F. Jasek
Vierkante gouden dukaten
PUBLISHED IN: De Beeldenaar July-August 2015 (Year 39, No. 4)
Dariusz F. Jasek
Gold ducats klippes
During my studies on the Dutch gold ducats I found a couple of square gold ducats, known as klippes. The square shape of the coin is unusual for Dutch ducats, but it was typical of siege coins (noodmunten), minted in various metals, including gold. These coins were often referred to as klippes or clippes.
A klippe is a coin usually struck on a square planchet, however it may be also a rectangular or lozenge-shaped planchet. These planchets were literally clipped (cut out) of a larger sheet of beaten gold or other metal with a pair of shears into the size and weight needed. The weight, and fineness, of the precious metal used in coins was as prescribed by law, regardless of what shape it was in. However, as we can easily see with the coins described below, the weight of the klippes is significantly higher than the weight of the regular strikes of ducats minted in the same year. The additional weight of the klippes is found in the additional area around the regular round shape. This is how and why we may often find klippes of approximately double ducat weight even though their thickness is similar to the thickness of regular single ducats, and piedfort klippes of approximately quadruple ducat weight which have a thickness double that of the regular single ducats.
Square gold ducats were minted in Low Countries by provincial mints of Gelderland, West Friesland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overijssel and by the city mints of some of these provinces.
Two dates when klippes of this province were minted are known: 1637 (gold ducat klippe) and 1643 (gold ducat piedfort klippe).
Three copies of the Gelderland 1637 gold ducat klippe are known. The first is found in the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, (inv.nr. KA 10469), weight: 7.28 gm, plain edge, dimensions 22×22 mm. The coin was donated to museum on October 28th, 1887, from the Jhr. A.P. Lopez Suasso collection. This exact specimen is listed by de Voogt in the Suasso collection as a â€œsquare proofâ€. There is a dot minted between knightâ€™s knees.
The second copy is found in De Nederlandsche Bank (The Dutch Bank), in the Nationale Numismatische Collectie NNC. Weight: 6.80 gm. The third copy is listed by Dick Purmer as a klippe of this date with the weight of 6.90 gm, but its provenance is unknown.
There is only one known copy of the Gelderland 1643 gold ducat piedfort klippe. It is in The State Hermitage Museum, inv. no. ĐĐ-Đ—-ĐĐ·-3307, weight: 13.99 gm, dimensions 25.0-25.5 mm. According to the information given me directly by Dr Tatiana Slepova, the curator of the Collection of The State Hermitage Museum, this coin comes from the Kiev-Pechersk treasure found in 1898. Subsequently, the coin was acquired, together with other coins, by the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg in 1899. This coin was presented in the State Hermitage Museum catalog â€œMĂ¼nzkabinett in the New Hermitageâ€ (â€œĐœĐ¸Đ½Ñ†ĐºĐ°Đ±Đ¸Đ½ĐµÑ‚ Đ² ĐĐ¾Đ²Đ¾Đ¼ ĐÑ€Đ¼Đ¸Ñ‚Đ°Đ¶Đµâ€), published in 2002.
In West Friesland both regular (1635, 1637, 1638 and 1662) and piedfort (1675) gold ducat klippes were minted. In some catalogs a hybrid klippe of 1663 with a double ducat obverse and a 1664 half ducaton reverse is found. However, it is in fact not a klippe, but a regular round coin (Teylers Museum TMNK 10106).
There is only one known copy of the West Friesland 1635 gold ducat klippe. It is in Teylers Museum TMNK 10024, weight: 6.945 gm, dimensions 23.5×23.7 mm, plain edge. This coin was bought by Mr. A. J. EnschedĂ© at the G. Theodoor Bom auction on February 11, 1880 (previously from the auction of the Tuinhout collection, Lot 1095). He bought the coin for 17.10 Dutch guilders (including Buyerâ€™s Premium fee). In 1896 Mr A. J. EnschedĂ© donated his collection to the Teylers Museum.
The West Friesland 1637 gold ducat klippe originated from the Nationale Numismatische Collectie, its weight is 6.87 gm.
Despite the fact that the West Friesland 1638 gold ducat klippe is listed in some catalogues as a klippe (about 7 gm) from Teylers Museum Coin Cabinet, it is in fact not a part of this collection. As Iâ€™ve learned from Mr Jan Pelsdonk, Curator of the Teylers Museum Coin Cabinet, â€œIf it was in Teylers Museum, it absolutely had to be from the former collection of EnschedĂ© (1896), but it is not mentioned in the inventory of 1909â€.
The West Friesland 1662 gold ducat klippe is listed by Kees Pannekeet as originating from the collections of West Friesland Museum in Hoorn with a weight of about 7 gm.
The only copy known of the West Friesland 1675 gold double ducat klippe is listed in the auction of G. Theodoor Bom, February 18, 1861, with a weight of 13.98 gm.
There are no Zeeland gold ducat klippes, minted in gold known. However, there are three afslags, klippes made of copper, minted with the dates of 1749, 1802 and 1804.
In the time period of the Dutch revolt, during the siege of Middelburg in 1573-74, so-called â€œgold ducat klippesâ€ were minted. Four of them were minted, based on the Ordinance dated January 20, 1574, with values of 1, 2, 3 and 4 crowns, weighing the equivalent of about 1, 2, 3 and 4 ducats (about 3.5, 7, 10.5 and 14 gm). The fifth one was minted in March 1574. It is in fact not a coin, but a commemorative medal with the date of 1574. All these 16th century Middelburg klippes were classified for a long time as being gold ducat klippes, however in the 1960â€™s Mr. Enno van Gelder classified them correctly as being gold crowns. An example of the last type is available in Teylers Museum collection, inv.nr. TMNK 05147, plain edge, dimensions 29.7×30 mm and weight 3.27 gm.
There are also piedfort klippes of the Zierikzee mint known. They were minted without date in the years of 1575-1576 and are listed by Delmonte with the numbers 921 and 922. However, those gold klippes were not minted in Zierikzee during the siege, but after it, as memorial pieces for collectors. Their appointment as being multiple ducats with a value of 6 or 4 Â½ ducats seems to be entirely artificial.
Three gold ducat afslag klippes of Utrecht are known: 1729 square afslag klippe made of copper, 1777 square afslag klippe made of brass (NNC) and 1777 drop-shaped afslag klippe made of lead, without city arms mintmark.
Regular and piedfort gold ducat klippes of Overijssel are known. Regular strikes were minted in 1615 and 1616, piedfort klippes in 1616. Some sources also mention 6.2 gm klippes, and silver afslag klippes from this province.
There is only one copy of the Overijssel 1615 gold ducat klippe known, it has a weight of 3.41 gm and the N of CONCORDIA is missing in the legend. It is from the H. K. Berghuys Collection and is listed with a picture by Delmonte in his catalog.
Overijssel 1616 gold ducat klippe: this klippe was sold at the SBV (Schweizerischer Bankverein) Auction 29, January 28, 1992, Lot 1117.  The coin was listed in the auction catalogue as VF+, weight 6.56 gm and was sold for 5,300 CHF (+ Buyerâ€™s Premium fee). This klippe type can be identified by the Roman I in the date â€“ the same as on regular Overijssel 1616 single gold ducats. The last digit in the date of this particular specimen is unclear; the picture in catalogue is too weak to read the date. It is also worth noting that the square planchet of the SBV klippe is significantly larger than the Amsterdams Historisch Museum copy of the same date, listed below. In addition, on the Amsterdams Historisch Museum copy there is no ribbon around the bunch of arrows in the knightâ€™s hand on the obverse. However, the copy auctioned in Switzerland has a single ribbon around the bunch of arrows, like on regular single ducats of this date.
Overijssel 1616 gold ducat piedfort klippe: this coin originated from the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, inv.nr. KA 11640, weight: 12.03 gr, plain edge, dimensions 24 x 23 mm. The coin, minted in Zwolle or Kampen, was donated to the museum on October 28th, 1887, formerly it was in the Jhr. A.P. Lopez Suasso collection. This klippe type has a decorative 1 in the date, (not a Roman I).
In 1615 afslags, klippes of gold ducats made of copper, were minted in Deventer in silver (NNC possesses a gilded copy). In addition, there is only one known copy of the Deventer 1666 afslag of a single gold ducat.
The Deventer 1615 gilded silver klippe is listed by Droogleever (and after him by other authors) as number 97bis. Deventer 1666 gold ducat klippe: this coin was sold in the Laurens Schulman auction 28, Lot 629 and Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co. auction 29 (1979), Lot 135 . Weight was 7.03 gm. This klippe type is usually incorrectly listed (Delmonte 1090, Droogleever 171bis) as a double ducat klippe. However, it is a single ducat klippe, but with the weight of a regular double ducat.
Two piedfort klippes were minted in Kampen with the dates of 1646 and 1664.Â The 1646 gold ducat klippe from Kampen was sold at the Jacques Schulman auction 182, Lot 798 (weight was 7 gm).Â As for the 1664 klippe, there is no further information known.
Generally, all klippes of gold ducats are an extremely rare.Â Their significant historical value and their rarity is reflected by the very high prices they bring in the few auctions in which they occur. A numberÂ of these klippesâ€™ origins from important collections, such as that of Johan Wilhelmus Stephanik (1860-1905) and Gerard Munnicks of Cleves (1797-1860). In addition to allÂ copies in private hands, there are pieces in museum collections, such as Teylers Museum, Nationale Numismatische Collectie and Amsterdam Museum.Â Square gold ducats are almost always well preserved â€“ they often show an amazing, almost mint condition.Â The klippe of the 1635 West Friesland gold ducat from Teylers Museum collection is one of the most beautiful Dutch gold ducats of the thousands of ducats Iâ€™ve even seen.
- Theodoor Bom, Catalogus van (…) kabinet van historische leg- en gedenkpenningen (…) munten (…) Dr. G. Munnicks van Cleeff te Utrecht (1861)
- Theodoor Bom, Veiling (February 11, 1880)
- Delmonte, Le BĂ©nĂ©lux Dâ€™Or – De Gouden Benelux (Amsterdam, 1964).
- Fortuyn Droogleever, De vorstelijke en de stedelijke muntslag te Deventer (Deventer, 1982).
- Enno van Gelder, De Nederlandse Noodmunten van de Tachtigjarige Oorlog (â€™s- Gravenhage, 1955).
- V. Kalinin, E.V. Lepehina Muntkabinet in de Nieuwe Hermitage [Đ².Đ².ĐºĐ°Đ»Đ¸Đ½Đ¸Đ½, Đµ.Đ². ĐµĐ¿ĐµÑ…Đ¸Đ½Đ°, ĐœĐ¸Ñ†ĐºĐ°Đ±Đ¸Đ½ĐµÑ‚ Đ² ĐĐ¾Đ²Đ¾Đ¼ ĐÑ€Đ¼Đ¸Ñ‚Đ°Đ¶Đµ. Đ“Đ¾ÑÑƒĐ´Đ°Ñ€ÑÑ‚Đ²ĐµĐ½Đ½ÑŒÑ–Đ¹ ĐÑ€ĐœĐ¸Ñ‚Đ°Đ¶ – ĐĐ°Ñ‚Đ°Đ»Đ¾Đ³ Đ²ÑŒÑ–ÑÑ‚Đ°Đ²ĐºĐ¸ (Saint Petersburg, 2002).
- Frederik Muller & Cie, Veiling van de Johan W. Stephanik Numismatisch Kabinet (December 12-20, 1904).
- Frederik Muller & Cie, Veiling van (…) Het Johan W. Stephanik Numismatisch Kabinet â€“ supplement (March 18-21, 1907).
- N. â€˜Nederlandâ€™ Muntkoerier 30 no 8 (2001), p. 20-25.
- G.J. Pannekeet, Catalogus Westfriese munten (Slootdorp, 2007).
- Purmer, Handboek van de Nederlandse Provinciale Muntslag 1568-1795. Deel II â€“ Gelderland â€“ Friesland â€“ Overijssel – Groningen (2009).
- Laurens Schulman, Auction 28 (November 18-19, 2002).
- Schweizerischer Bankverein, Auction 29 (January 28, 1992).
 Purmer D., Handboek van de Nederlandse Provinciale Muntslag 1568-1795. Deel II â€“ Gelderland â€“ Friesland â€“ Overijssel – Groningen (2009)., p. 52, nr GE46.3.
 According to Muntkoerier magazine from August 2001, â€œThe treasure was discovered in 1898 in the Pechersk Monastery in Kiev and consisted of 6,184 gold coins and medals with a combined weight of 27.41 kg, and of 9,895 silver coins with a combined weight of 273.44 kgâ€.
 V.V. Kalinin, E.V. Lepehina, Muntkabinet in de Nieuwe Hermitage, a catalog of an exhibition [Đ².Đ².ĐºĐ°Đ»Đ¸Đ½Đ¸Đ½, Đµ.Đ². ĐµĐ¿ĐµÑ…Đ¸Đ½Đ°, ĐœĐ¸Ñ†ĐºĐ°Đ±Đ¸Đ½ĐµÑ‚ Đ² ĐĐ¾Đ²Đ¾Đ¼ ĐÑ€Đ¼Đ¸Ñ‚Đ°Đ¶Đµ. Đ“Đ¾ÑÑƒĐ´Đ°Ñ€ÑÑ‚Đ²ĐµĐ½Đ½ÑŒÑ–Đ¹ ĐÑ€ĐœĐ¸Ñ‚Đ°Đ¶ – ĐĐ°Ñ‚Đ°Đ»Đ¾Đ³ Đ²ÑŒÑ–ÑÑ‚Đ°Đ²ĐºĐ¸], Saint Petersburg, 2002.
 C.G.J. Pannekeet, Catalogus Westfriese munten, Slootdorp, 2007, p. 185-186.
 H. Enno van Gelder, De Nederlandse Noodmunten van de Tachtigjarige Oorlog, â€™s- Gravenhage, 1955, p. 18-19.
 Delmonte A., Le BĂ©nĂ©lux Dâ€™Or – De Gouden Benelux, Amsterdam, 1964, p. 136.
 Delmonte A., Le BĂ©nĂ©lux Dâ€™Or – De Gouden Benelux, Amsterdam, 1964, p. 155, no 1054, plate 29.
 Schweizerischer Bankverein 1992, Lot 1117
 Fortuyn Droogleever, De vorstelijke en de stedelijke muntslag te Deventer, Deventer, 1982, no 97bis.
 Delmonte A., Le BĂ©nĂ©lux Dâ€™Or – De Gouden Benelux, Amsterdam, 1964, p. 159, no 1090; Fortuyn Droogleever, De vorstelijke en de stedelijke muntslag te Deventer, Deventer, 1982, no 171 bis.