Austrian Netherlands, Maria Theresa. Gold ½ Souverain d’or Coin. PCGS AU+
Mint Year: 1755 Engraver: Jacques Roettiers ® Denomination: ½ Souverain d’or Mint Place: Antwerp (privy mark: hand) References: Friedberg 135, KM-17. R! Condition: Certified and graded by PCGS as AU (Details: Repaired!) Material: Gold (.919) Diameter: 22mm Weight: 5.53gm
Obverse: Draped bust of Maria Theresia right, wearing small crown. Legend: MAR . TH . D : G . R . JMP . G . HUNG . BOH . R . Comment: Engraver´s intial ® at arm truncation. Reverse: Crowned oval arms within collar of the Golden Fleece Order. Cross of St. Andrew in background. Comment: Mint mark (hand) above date below coat-of-arms! Legend: ARCH . AUST . DUX I751 BURG . BRAB . C . FL .
Maria Theresa (German: Maria Theresia, see also other languages; May 13, 1717 – November 29, 1780) was a reigning Archduchess of Austria, a Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and a Holy Roman Empress.
Maria Theresa was the oldest daughter of Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Emperor Charles VI, who promulgated the Pragmatic Sanction to allow her to succeed to the Habsburg monarchy. Opposition to her acceding to the throne led to the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740. After Emperor Charles VII, who claimed the throne, died in 1745, Maria Theresa obtained the imperial crown for her husband, Francis I. Though she was technically empress consort, Maria Theresa was the de facto ruler of the nation, and she began styling herself Holy Roman Empress in 1745. Maria Theresa had in fact already begun her rule in 1740 during the Austrian War of Succession.
Maria Theresa helped initiate financial and educational reforms, promoted commerce and the development of agriculture, and reorganized the army, all of which strengthened Austria’s resources. Continued conflict with the Kingdom of Prussia led to the Seven Years' War and later to the War of the Bavarian Succession. She became dowager empress after the death of Francis and ascession of her son Joseph as emperor in 1765. Maria Theresa criticized many of Joseph’s actions but agreed to the First Partition of Poland (1772). A key figure in the power politics of 18th century Europe, Maria Theresa brought unity to the Habsburg Monarchy and was considered one of its most capable rulers. Her 16 children also included Marie Antoinette, queen consort of France, and Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor.