1642/1963, Archduke Ferdinand Charles. Silver 2 Ducats Coin. Official Restrike!
Mint Year: 1963
Mint Place: Vienna mint!
Denomination: 2 Ducats (official restrike!)
Condition: Nicely toned obverse, otherwise a lustre AU-UNC!
Obverse: Archduke on charger right, city view of Vienna in background. Date of issue (19-63) in fields.
Legend: FERDIN : CAROL . D : G : ARCHID : AV : D : B : COM : TIROL :
Reverse: Standing armoured figure of St. Leopold, holding model of church and Viennese flag. 14 shields around.
Legend: DIVVS . LEOPOL DVX . 2 . DVGA
For your consideration an official Vienna mint restrike of the very popular 1642 issue of Archduke Ferdinand Charles of Austria.
Ferdinand Charles was only 4 years old when his father, Leopold V, died in 1632. He ruled with his mother as regent until 1646 when he came of age (18) and took sole control of his inheritance. As the younger Tyrolean line, he was loyal to his family and took his place in the Holy Roman Empire behind his cousins of the elder line, first under Ferdinand IV and then under Leopold VI (as emperors known as Ferdinand III and Leopold I.) His mother and he were aided by the able and experienced advisor, minister Wilhelm Bienner whom, under the regency and under Ferdinand Charles, served as the chancellor of Tyrol.
Bienner had served under the Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian I and was later appointed by Emperor Ferdinand II to be a judge at the Imperial Court. He was assigned to Archduke Leopold V of Tyrol as an advisor and later as court chancellor under Claudia de'Medici. He continued in this capacity under the Archduke Ferdinand Charles.
As chancellor of Tyrol, Bienner not only strengthened and reaffirmed Tyrol's right to territories who looked to secede but he also took measures to stem official corruption. He was an able mediator and astute minister in foreign affairs who was often called on to settle disputes, both between internal factions as well as disputes between Austria and other nations. Through diplomacy he prevented a French invasion of the Münstertal in Switzerland and he prevented the secession of the ecclesiastical principalities Brixen and Trient by enforcing their contractual ties to Tyrol.
Bienner also took measures to strengthened the power of the sovereign, a move that might have strengthened his position as chancellor to the court but eventual lead to his downfall and demise. Placing greater powers in the hands of the hereditary monarch made him unpopular with powerful men who would in turn see their own powers diminished, and the young Archduke soon proved ill-suited to wield such power. An all too familiar story of the spoiled prince and the follies of inherited power.
Further Austria was the collective name given to the old possessions of the Habsburgs in Baden, Swabia (south-western Germany), Alsace and Vorarlberg after the focus of the Habsburgs had moved to Austria. Although he did enjoy a measure of autonomy, as the ruler of the younger line, the position of Ferdinand Charles was subordinate to his imperial cousins in the elder line, the rulers of Lower and Inner Austria. While other holy roman states were gaining more independence as a result of the Thirty Years War and the treaty of Westphalia, the Habsburg emperors chose to consolidate and reassert their control over hereditary lands in Austria and other such holdings, strengthening Habsburg family ties to preserve their power base.
Ferdinand Charles was, as is common with Habsburgs, an absolutist ruler who had little patience for advice or anyone who would oppose his will. He was more accustomed to luxury and leisure than the mundane matters of state or the mechanism of war. He did not call a Diet after 1648 and soon came into conflict with his chancellor by selling goods, entitlements, and even the rights to Tyrolean territory.
Chancellor Bienner protested in vain as Ferdinand Charles sold the Austrian held Prättigau and the Lower Engadin to Graubünden to finance his extravagant style of living. This opposition did not endear him to the young Archduke and in 1661 he fell from power. Bienner was charged with treason and embezzlement, and subsequently sentenced to death after a brief and secretive trial. Although he vehemently denied the charges he said were fabrications by his enemies, he was still executed in 1651 in the town of Rattenberg.
Ferdinand Charles married Anna de'Medici. She was a daughter of Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Maria Magdalena of Austria. They had two Daughters; Claudia Felicitas who married her cousin Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Magdalena. Claudia had two children who died young and she died soon after at the age of 22. Maria also died young at the age of 13.
In what had become a familiar ending at this time in the Habsburg Dynasty, Ferdinand Charles had yet to produced an heir by the time his death in 1662, at the age of 34. Further Austria passed to his younger brother Sigismund Francis who, by all accounts, appeared to have been more able than his brother in matters of state. After just three years, Sigismund also died at the rather young age of 35, thus ending the younger Tyrolean line. Their possessions passed to the the elder line and Austria was again united under Leopold VI (Emperor Leopold I.)
Only 1$ shipping for each additional item purchased!