Lion Dollar, West Friesland
Origin: Europe, Netherlands, West Friesland
Diameter: 40 mm
Weight: 25.3 grams
Gift of the Lasser family
Acc. No. 1996-872,46
Obverse legend: "MO.ORD. WEST. FR. VALOR. HOL "
Reverse legend: "DEVS. FORTITVDO. ET. SPES. NOSTRA"
Label:Minted from 1575 to 1731, Lion Dollars were produced by all of the Dutch provinces and the three Imperial cities, Deventer, Campen and Zwolle. Huge quantities were struck and although their weight was consistent and their silver quality was high, they were not like modern issues where virtually each and every piece is an exact duplicate of its predecessor and successor. Handmade dies were created with individual punches for letters, emblems and flourishes, etc, and a limited lifespan insured the creation of innumerable dies, resulting in countless variants of Lion Dollars.
They were common throughout the Mediterranean and eastward along the Silk Road to Persia. Fleets carried them not only to the Spice Islands and Philippines, but also to Latin America and North America, including the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (later New York). Everywhere Dutch sailors and merchants traded, Lion Dollars, also popularly known as "Dog Dollars" were readily accepted as payment not only for food and supplies but also for exotic silks and spices.
This coin was countermarked with the shield of Alof de Wignacourt of Malta.
Provenance:Glendinings, Lot # 240, 3/11/1992.