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Loosing Interest In Coins: The New Hafner Maria Theresa Thaler Catalog

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 Posted 05/16/2019  03:43 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add austrokiwi to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I saw Jgenn's post asking about a possible Hafner reference for Java countermarks. That thread sparked this thread. In 2016 Dr(!) Walter Hafner with the Salzburg Firm Fruwald issued an updated version of his catalogue. It horrified me and put me off the coins for the last three years. Before I go on: I believe Numismatics is a science encompassing Economic History, Archeology, minting technology etc. As a science when new information that contradicts our views is found we investigate and adjust our understanding. Hafner's new Catalog is the antithesis of that. I won't go into all the details I will just cover one spectacular example of the research behind the catalog.

Florence is known to have struck Maria Theresa Thalers over the period 1814 - 1828) Through an analysis of coins, Micahel Broome identified that the MTTs with ST/SF had been struck in Florence. Franz Leypold(whom Hafner bases most of his catalogue on) in 1986 accepted Broome's analysis.

Now the new catalogue offers up a new myth( I do not use the word lightly). Based on an analysis of a single 1763 Thaler struck in Florence issued by Maria Theresa's husband. Hafner makes the stunning assessment that maybe some Guenzburg Struck coins ( of the 1790s) should now be regarded as possibly from Florence and be dated to 1814-1828. The basis of this speculation is that the 1763 thaler has a broken "M" and the coins he is now suggesting are from Florence also have a broken M". The broken M is not an uncommon occurrence, the M was applied to coins using a letter punch and the breaks are found at the point where the punch metal is at its thinnest.

I include here for people photographs of the relevant page ( the argument is made in German), a photograph of his bibliography. And a photograph of a Guenzburg mint coin with Broken Ms that can only be from That mint.

Some of you may not understand the effect of this catalogue on myself. I know very well that even a question mark about attribution(in a catalogue) is ignored and becomes a fact when people buy and sell the coins. So from my perspective, Hafnerscatalog is damaging to the hobby. Note: I have only explained the most easily understood fault in the book, there are other more egregious( my opinion) faults but they require much more in-depth knowledge to explain.

I am picking my self out of my Despondency over this I now only rely on Guenter Roecks Web site ( It was that web site that sparked my interest in the MTT series of coins

Edited by austrokiwi
05/16/2019 04:32 am
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