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King (reign): Maurice of Nassau (1590 - 1625)
Denomination/metal: Gold Cavalier d'Or
Type Provincial Issue
Ref. no: Del 997; F 286; KM 15
Obv. Armoured knight, sword in hand, on horse right, province arms below, MO AV PRO CONFOE BELG TRAIECO' (Gold coin of the Belgian confederation, Utrecht). Rev. Crowned Arms of the United Provinces, 'CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCVNTI' (small states flourish through concord).
38mm, 9.91g. GEF - Good Extremely Fine, well struck
Large and splendid gold coin of 'Utrecht', one of the seven Dutch 'United Provinces' formed a few years previously. In 1579 a number of the northern provinces of the Netherlands signed the Union of Utrecht, in which they promised to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army. This was followed in 1581 by the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence of the provinces from Philip II. In 1582 the United Provinces invited Francis, Duke of Anjou to lead them; but after a failed attempt to take Antwerp in 1583, the duke left the Netherlands again. After the assassination of William of Orange (10 July 1584), both Henry III of France and Elizabeth I of England declined the offer of sovereignty. However, the latter agreed to turn the United Provinces into a protectorate of England (Treaty of Nonsuch, 1585), and sent the Earl of Leicester as governor-general. This was unsuccessful and in 1588 the provinces became a republic. The Union of Utrecht is regarded as the foundation of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, which was not recognized by the Spanish Empire until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Thus, an early Dutch coin in superb condition - virtually no wear and just a few surface marks on the right of the reverse – a splendid and large piece.