Mint Year: 1667 Reference: KM-A94. Mint Place: Krakow (Krakau) Denomination: Schilling (Solidus ,Szelag) Condition: Cleaned/polished, otherwise F-VF! Engraver/Mint official: Titus Livijus Boratinis in Tenant (T.L.B.) Diameter: 30mm Weight: 6.49gm Material: Silver
Obverse: Crowned, armored and draped bust of John II Casimir right, wearing Order of the Golden Fleece around neck. Initial (B) below. Legend: IOAN CASIM TR DG (shield) REE POL & SVE .
Reverse: Crowned and quartered Polish coat-of-arms with a centered shield of the House of Vasa. Value (1-8) split in fields. Legend: MONET . NOVA . ARG . REG . POL . 1667
John II Casimir (Polish: Jan II Kazimierz Waza; German: Johann II. Kasimir Wasa; Lithuanian: Jonas Kazimieras Vaza (22 March 1609 – 16 December 1672) was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania during the era of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Duke of Opole in Upper Silesia, and titular King of Sweden 1648-1660. His parents were Sigismund III Vasa (1566-1632) and Constance of Austria (1588-1631). His older brother, and predecessor on the throne, was Wladyslaw IV Vasa. Related to the Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire he was the third and last monarch on the Polish throne from the House of Vasa. He was the last ruler of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth bearing a dynastical blood of House of Gediminas and a branch of it, the Jagiellons, although from female line.
The collection of the Polish Vasas was looted by Swedes and Germans of Brandenburg who brutally sacked Warsaw in 1650s, during the Deluge. Though some of works survived hidden in Opole like The Rape of Europa by Guido Reni.
The most important additions to the collection were made by John II Casimir a passionate collector of Dutch paintings, and a patron of Daniel Schultz (who painted famous portrait of a son of Crimean Aga Dedesh, made Royal falconer in reward for his father's contribution in war with Russia in 1663). Major part of king's painting collection was acquired in 1660s, using an agent in Amsterdam, Hendrick van Uylenburgh and later his son Gerrit van Uylenburgh, mainly Dutch paintings and works by Rembrandt. The collection also included works by Rubens, Jordaens, Reni, Guercino, Brueghel, Bassano among others.
When John Casimir abdicated the Polish-Lithuanian throne, he took to France large number of his paintings. The collection remaining at Royal Castle in Warsaw was looted during the Great Northern War or appropriated in 1720 by Frederick Augustus I, Elector of Saxony, like two paintings by Rembrandt - Portrait of a Bearded Man in Black Beret (1657 also known as the Portrait of a Rabbi) and Portrait of a Man in the Hat Decorated with Pearls (1667), today displayed in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany.
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