Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Zeichen der falschen Gulden – prints from the late 15th century report on counterfeit coins

Sep 13, 2022, 2:00 PM
University of Warsaw

University of Warsaw

Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 Warsaw


Agnes Aspetsberger (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien)


The so-called ‘Zeichen der falschen Gulden’, prints from the late 15th century, warn of forgeries of gold coins, that are supposedly in circulation. Ten different printers located in the southern German region produced those prints, each describing and most of them also depicting the same five gulden.
Moreover, they report on the responsible forgers, who allegedly already had been caught and punished. The gold coins that served as models for the prints can be identified and placed in relation to the prints. Comparisons of the text and illustrations, as well as specifics of the prints can be used to show connections and dependencies between them. The ‘Zeichen der falschen Gulden’ have a very unofficial character, and mention neither the issuer or the recipient. Furthermore, the poor quality of the illustrations and the insufficient description of the coins make it impossible to identify forgeries using those prints as a guideline.

Primary author

Agnes Aspetsberger (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien)

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