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Auction: 23006 - The Official COINEX Auction at Spink
Lot: 587

The Wilhelm Hüffer (1821-1895) Collection | NGC MS63 | Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland, Louis Napoleon (1806-1810), Gold Ducat, 1809, Type I, LODEW. NAP. CON. VAN HOLL., bare head left, rev. EENDRAGT MAAKT MAGT, Knight standing facing right, obliquely milled edge, 3.47g, 7h (Schulman 130; DMP 1105; Fb. 323), lustrous, a most handsomely bold extremely fine, in NGC holder, graded MS63 (Cert. #6767910-001)


The Wilhelm Hüffer (1821-1895) Collection of European Coins and Medals

with his envelope

Louis Napoleon was made King of Holland in 1806 after his elder brother, Napoleon Bonaparte, felt the Batavian Republic was becoming too independent. It was intended that Holland would be little more than a 'puppet state' with Louis only there to give it legitimacy and make sure it was secure, however the youthful king had other ideas.

He wanted to be responsible and understand the country he was now found himself in charge of. He learnt the language, adopted the Dutch form of his name - Lodewijk (shown here within the obverse legend), and decided to consider himself of the Netherlands, rather than his native France. It must be said that despite Louis' significant efforts, he did have some trouble with integration, for example his poor language skills meant that he told the public he was the 'Konjin' rather than 'Koning' van Holland - essentially declaring himself a rabbit! Nonetheless, he won favour with his subject with his endeavours and entered a relationship of mutual respect.

In the year of this gold Ducat, 1809, there was a catastrophic flood in Walcheren. King Louis oversaw effective local relief efforts personally which helped him gain the epithet 'Louis the Good'. Napoleon was unhappy with this, saying to his younger brother, "when they say of some king or other that he is good, it means that he has failed in his rule".

The following year proved to be the last of Louis' short reign. He was at odds with his brother who wished to reduce the value of French loans from Dutch investors and was struggling to protect his States when the English landed a 40,000 strong army in a bid to take Antwerp and Flushing. He abdicated the throne on 13 December, 1810. This coin is the only Netherlands Ducat to feature a knight on the reverse, and the mintage of this issue was much smaller than the other 1809 Ducat, which had a coat on arms on it instead.

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Please note correct NGC Cert No: 6767910-002