Esterházy is a Hungarian noble family with origins in the Middle Ages. Since the 17th century, they were among the great landowner magnates of the Kingdom of Hungary during the time it was part of the Habsburg Empire and later Austria-Hungary. During the history of the Habsburg empire, the Esterházys were consistently loyal to the Habsburg rulers. They received the title of count in 1626 and the Forchtenstein line received the title of Fürst (Ruling Prince) from the Holy Roman Emperor in 1712.
1770. AUSTRIA. Nikolaus Josef (1762-90), Prince of Eszterhazy 1/2 Taler. Vienna Mint. KM-1. RARE type with a published mintage of only 500 pieces. Luminous in the fields with attractive olive tone sweeping over both sides. NGC MS-64.
Nikolaus Josef, Prince of Eszterhazy, was a Hungarian nobleman reputed to be richer than the Emperor himself. Granted the coinage right for his military services, he exercised it only in 1770 to mint this half Taler, a full Taler (Dav-1187) and a Ducat, all of which are rare.
Provenance: From the Collection of Dr. James Eustace Bizzell, II.