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DANIEL HÖCKHINGER, Schraubtaler and 17 circular paper engravings chronicling the Salzburg expulsion of Protestants in 1732

17 hand-colored prints on paper housed in a metal (silver?) case
Germany (Augsburg), c. 1732

TM 845

One plain circular metal (silver) Schraubtaler, reverse and obverse with cast and chased scenes, each half inset with circular engraved maps, one signed by the maker, Daniel Höckhinger, containing a set of 17 circular paper medallions (complete) each c. 40 mm. in diameter, finely engraved and meticulously hand-colored, once attached to each other (small tabs still remain on several), small added manuscript numbers to keep them in order, versos hand-painted in various colors in floral designs. In excellent condition apart from minor wear on the verso of three of the paper medallions (numbers 2, 11, 16).  Dimensions (diameter) 42 mm.

Very rare schraubtaler or schraubmedaille (literally, a screw taler, or screw medal; in English often called a box taler) made to commemorate the expulsion of the Salzburg Protestants and their emigration to East Prussia.  Both halves of the medal are elaborately decorated with figurative scenes and open to reveal two maps and a complete series of 17 hand-colored engravings that tell the story.  Only four other copies of this remarkable artifact are known to us (one unverified), all in European collections.


1. Made in Augsburg c. 1732, soon after the events it commemorates;

2. New York, Swann’s, December 5, 2013; purchased from the successful bidder at a later date.


The schraubtaler and accompanying etchings depict biblical scenes and the history of the Salzburg Protestants from their expulsion by the Catholic Archbishop Leopold Anton Eleutherius Freiherr von Firmian (1679-1744) to their reception by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I (1713-1740), after their very long journey east and north to East Prussia (Prussian Lithuania).

The schraubtaler itself is decorated with figurative scenes on both sides; the obverse shows a crowd on their journey, lettered: “Gehe aus deinem Lande und von deiner Freundschafft Act 7, v 3”; the reverse, shows a ruler welcoming the exiles into their new home, is lettered: “Ze<uch?> in ein Land, das ich dir zeigen will. Act 7 v 3” (Go forth out your country, and from your kindred, and come into the land which I shall show you).

Maps of the journey are pasted inside both halves; one shows the beginning of journey in the diocese of Salzburg; the other, the end of the journey in East Prussia, labelled “Preussen” and “Königreich,” and showing Königsberg (now renamed Kalingrad) and other towns.  Both are colored in pink, yellow and green, and include rivers and simple details indicating mountains and forest.  The first map is lettered “Daniel Höckhinger exc. A. V.”

Series of seventeen hand-colored circular etchings, as follows:

1. “Gäste und Fremdlinge auf Erden” (guests and strangers on the earth; Hebrews 11:13); two men and women (Abraham and Sara) in biblical garb on the road, camel in the background; verso: yellow flower with black center (a sunflower?);

2. “Für Bild der Heilsamen Worte” (for the form of sound words; cf. 2 Timothy 1:13); three tonsured monks in black habits at a table, holding books; blue floral design on verso showing slight wear;

3. “Lehrer zur Gerechtigkeit” (a teacher of Justice; Joel 2:23); teacher holding a sheet of paper lettered “Es ist das Heil,” desk, chair and shelf of books in the background; verso, orange floral design;

4. “Um deinet willen wer den wir getödet” (for thy sake we will be killed; cf. Psalm 43[44]:22); crowd witnessing the beheading of a Protestant martyr; stake and fire on one side; red floral design on verso;

5. “Die Briefe sind schwer und Starck” (the letters are weighty and strong; 2 Corinthians 10:10); man writing a letter; in the background a man sets forth to deliver it; verso, floral design in yellow and brown;

6. “Mein Blut ist der rechte Tranck” (my blood is drink indeed: John 6:56);  group of men petitioning a bishop; one holds a sheet lettered “Bitt Schrifft”; verso, floral design in yellow and brown;

7. “Sie vermochten nicht in wider stehen” (and they could not resist; Acts 5:10); a man in a cell, with two Franciscan monks (pliers on wall); orange floral design on verso;

8. “Sie Forscheten taglich in der Schrifft” (they read the Scriptures daily); group of men, women and children at a table, reading; verso, floral design in red;

9. “Diese muss ich auch her fuhren” (I must also lead them here); Christ as a shepherd in a landscape with his sheep; verso, sunflower;

10. “Das Wort unsers Gottes bleibt Ewiglich” (the word of the Lord endures forever; Isaiah 40:8); men burning books in a bonfire; verso, red and white floral design;

11. “Gehet aus von Ihnen” (go out from among them; 2 Corinthians 6:17); crowd on the road;

two mounted men; landscape in background; blue floral design on verso, slightly damaged;

12. “Er f<üre>t uns auf rechter Strasse” (he leads on the right paths; cf. Psalm 22[23]:3); crowd meeting citizens on the road; verso, yellow and brown floral design;

13. “Kommet her Ihr gesegnete des Herrn” (come here you blessed of the Lord); two groups of citizens, a mounted man in the center; verso, red and white floral design;

14. “Predigets auf den Dächern” (preach on the roof tops); large crowd gathered to hear a sermon in a landscape; yellow floral design on verso;

15. “Wir werden in das Hauss des Herrn gehen” (we will go into the house of the Lord; cf. Psalm 121[122]:1); crowded interior of a church; verso, sunflower;

16. “Biss[?] sicher hat uns der Herr geholffen” (surely the Lord has led us); boats landing, with a crowd meeting them; blue floral design on verso with very slight damage;

17. “Auf dem Wort will ich das Netz auswerffen” (at your word I will let down the net; Luke 5:5); milking cows; plowing; sawing logs; building; orange floral design.

Each paper medallion has a narrow black border; small tabs, also with a black border, extend from some, evidence these were once connected; this is a very good impression with strong black lines, colored with a broad palate, including red, orange, yellow, blue, green, violet, black.  The engraving includes simple drapery, now skillfully shaded by the colorist to complement the design. Landscape scenes have clouds and other background, with a sense of distance; interior scenes are set in varied rooms appropriate to the scenes.  Each medallion includes a scroll at the top, with a German saying (most from the Bible).  The paper is slightly stiff and shiny (probably sized for durability).

In 1732, about 20,000 Protestants living in the diocese of Salzburg, an independent ecclesiastical state within the Holy Roman Empire, were expelled by Archbishop Leopold Anton von Firmian (1679-1744).  Most were resettled on farms in remote East Prussia (in and near modern-day Lithuania), after a dramatic journey across Europe (Ward, 1992).  One small group settled in the United States in Ebenezer, Georgia.  This was the largest exile of a religious minority in eighteenth-century Europe – and the most dramatic evidence of religious conflict in Germany since the Thirty Year’s War (1616-1648). The story of their exile and dramatic journey across Europe created a storm of outrage and protest from Protestant countries.  This event was commemorated in a flood of writings and artworks (Marsch, 1977).

The earliest “Schraubmedaillen” or “Schraubtalern” (literally screw medals or screw talers), which date from the end of the sixteenth century, were actual coins (talers) that were hollowed out; tiny paintings, often portraits, were pasted into each half, which were manipulated so they would fit back together.  In the eighteenth century, cast or embossed medals were made specially for this purpose.  They had a much larger internal volume, and artists began designing whole series of engravings that would fit within them.  Most were made in Augsburg, but by the nineteenth century examples were made in Nuremberg (and perhaps Vienna; the practice continued into first half of the twentieth century).

Several different artists commemorated the forced emigration from Salzburg in cycles of prints enclosed within decorated Schraubtalern; Angelika Marsch has stated that these series are “undoubtedly one of the finest expressions of this numismatic graphic art”(Marsch, 1977, p. 93). This series by Daniel Höckhinger (active in Augsburg c. 1732) is related to the earlier series by the Augsburg silver-maker Abraham Resmshard (with which it shared a few images), but it is clearly an independent, and probably less common work (Marsch, 1977, p. 95).  Only four copies are known to us (one unverified), and one in a different format:  Salzburg, Universitätsbibliothek, G 1553 I (in an unusual oval format); Berlin, Deutsches Historisches Museum, 1988/1331 (cf. Pressler, 2000, pp. 272, 276, no. 798); Stockholm (see Online Resources); and possibly Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum(not verified in their online catalogue).


L. Clauss, “Der Schraubtaler und seine Geschichte,” Mitteilungen der Bayerischen Numismatischen Gesellschaft 31 (1913), pp. 1-45.

Ehmer, Artur. Das Schrifttum zur Salzburger Emigration 1731/33, Hamburg, 1975- .

Marsch, Angelika. Die Salzburger Emigration in Bildern, mit Beiträgen von Gerhard Florey und Hans Wagner, Weissenhorn, Bayern, 1977.

Preßler, Ernst. Schraubtaler und Steckmedaillen: Verborgene Kostbarkeiten, Stuttgart, 2000.

Walker, Mack. The Salzburg Transaction: Expulsion and Redemption in Eighteenth-century Germany, Ithaca,1992.

Ward, William Reginald.  The Protestant Evangelical Awakening, Cambridge and New York, 1992.

Online Resources

The Protestant expulsion from Salzburg

Salzburg, Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg, G 1553 I

Peter Macho, “Seltene Emigrationseinlage bei der Stuttgarter Antiquariatsmesse,” Salzburger Numismatische Nachrichten (blog)

Berlin, Deutsches Historisches Museum, 1988/1331

Stockholm copy

TM 845