The Royal Dutch Mint has released (2nd November) the fourth silver Proof ducat which is part of an ongoing series entitled “Historic Castles.” The series combines the traditional depiction of the Anonymous Knight in a new, detailed depiction along with representations of the 12 Dutch provinces that images of famous Dutch historic castles and the crests of the provinces they’re located in. Depicted on the fourth coin is the grand Muiderslot, which is one of the most famous castles in the Netherlands located about 15 kilometres (nine miles) southeast of Amsterdam. The castle is known, among other things, as the Dutch residence of Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) and visited in great numbers by parents and children in the weeks before Christmas. The history of the castle began towards the end of the 13th century when Muiderslot was first built in 1285, essentially with one goal, that of defence. Commissioned by Floris V (1254-1296), Count of Holland, unfortunately, after his death, the castle fell into disrepair and over the centuries the castle has been alternately used, inhabited, occupied, demolished, rebuilt, and refurbished.
The castle has been expanded over the years, and one of the castle’s more well-known residents was Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581-1647). A knight in the Order of Saint Michael who was a Dutch historian, poet, and playwright, he lived during what is remembered as the Dutch Golden Age. Hooft came to Muiderslot in 1609 and remained there until his death but is credited for the landscaping of the gardens at the castle. When Muiderslot Castle became a national museum since 1878, the Dutch government began an extensive restoration project under the direction of the architect Pierre Cuypers. The famous architect whose work includes Amsterdam’s Central Rail Station and the famed Rijksmuseum, Cuypers was also responsible for the appearance of the beautiful Kasteel de Haar in Haarzuilens in the province of Utrecht.
Today the castle is part of the Dutch National Museum collection and is a very popular tourist attraction. The interior of the castle including the main reception rooms and the kitchens were all restored to appear as they did in the 17th century with several of the rooms housing a significant collection of suits of armour and antique weaponry. Because of its beautifully preserved appearance, Muiderslot is very often featured in many television shows and films in which the story is set in the Middle Ages.
Depicted on the obverse is an image of Muider Castle, with its four corner towers, surrounding the moat and drawbridge. As part of the constant in terms of the design for this series, the standing image of the Anonymous Knight is in the person of Field Marshal Godard van Reede (1644-1703). Van Reede delivered great military achievements in both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. On the shield, is the historic crest of the province of North Holland along with the inscription MO.NO.ARG.REG.BELGII.HOL SEP., which is the Latin abbreviation for Moneta Nova Argenta Regni (“New Silver Coin of the Kingdom”) and denoting the province of North Holland.
On the reverse is the national coat of arms of the Netherlands with the royal crown between the numbers of the year of issue and the inscription CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT, or, “Unity Makes Strength,” the mint mark, and the privy mark.
|28.2 g||40 mm||Proof||
Available in December 2020, the coin can be ordered now for delivery beginning next month. Silver ducats have been minted in the Netherlands since 1659 and still retain their status as money in the realm and are included in the currency law though they are no longer used in transactions. Inspired by the knight’s armour, each coin is encapsulated and presented in a pressed metal cylindrical container with the logo of the “Castles” series and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about this coin, please visit the website of the Royal Dutch Mint.
U.S. collectors can also visit the website of the Coin and Currency Institute.