Kontributionsdukat der Reichsstadt Frankfurt am Main aus dem Jahr 1796
Picture on obverse: View of the city of Frankfurt with Main bridge, small cloud above.
Picture on reverse: Inscription in bound laurel wreath.
Writing on reverse: AUS DEN / GEFAESEN / DER KIRCHEN UND / BURGER / DER STADT / FRANCKFURT / 1796
During the First Coalition War (1792-1797), the imperial city of Frankfurt am Main suffered heavy damage during heavy bombardment by the French army on 13 and 14 July 1796 and was finally occupied by the troops of revolutionary France on 16 July 1796. Numerous councillors were taken hostage by the occupiers in order to lend weight to the demand for contributions (to cover French war costs) amounting to eight million livres (approx. 50 million euros in today’s purchasing power). The inscription on the reverse of this ducat bears witness to who had to pay for the war contributions with their precious metal: the churches and citizens of the city of Frankfurt. The gold and silver from public and private property was then minted into ducats and thalers and handed over to the French army of occupation, which, however, had to withdraw from Frankfurt on 8 September 1796 after losing the Battle of Würzburg (1-3 September 1796).