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Mind Year: ca. 1640
Reference: Van Loon 1:160. R!
Mint Place: Haarlem City (Netherlands)
Denomination: Medal - 200th anniversary of Laurens Janszoon CosterÃ‚Â´s printing press invention!
Obverse: City goddess at printing press. TYPOGRAPHIA at l. marks the Bicentennial of Haarlem native Laurens Janszoon Coster purported invention of printing or movable type before Gutenberg.
Initials (S-C: Senatus Consultum = "By decree of the senate") at sides. City name (HARLEMUM) below.
Reverse: Sailing ship crashes through chain across harbor. Latin legend (VICIT VIM VIRTUS = "Virtue Conquers Strength!") above.
Laurens Janszoon Coster (ca. 1370, Haarlem, the Netherlands Ã¢â‚¬â€œ ca. 1440), or Laurens Jansz Koster, is the name of an inventor of a printing press from Haarlem. Since the late 1890s, Haarlem has been willing to concede that perhaps Mainz printed earlier, in the person of Johann Gutenberg.
Between 1483 and 1486, Jacob Bellaert worked in Haarlem. His books were known for their artistic woodcuts. Haarlem, Gouda, and Delft were all cities with early printing presses. This was because these cities did not have powerful religious institutions or universities, where competing copyist production (scriptoria) took place. Bellart did not enjoy much success, however, because there were few buyers for his books in Nederduits. Most people who could afford a book wanted it to be in French, since that was the common language of the ruling classes. Perhaps the strongest evidence in favor of Gutenberg is therefore that Mainz has in its possession today a first-edition of Erasmus' Lof der Zotheid (English translation: The Praise of Folly), which was written in Gouda, but printed in Mainz in 1511. The earliest printed book from the Netherlands that has been dated with any certainty is from 1473. It is in the possession of the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum and was printed in Utrecht, not Haarlem.
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Haarlem, in the past usually Harlem in English, is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic. Haarlem lies in the northern part of the Randstad, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Europe.
The Spanish occupators left the City in 1577 and under the Agreement of Veere, Protestants and Catholics were given equal rights, though in government the Protestants clearly had the upper hand and Catholic possessions once seized were never returned. To restore the economy and attract workers for the brewing and bleaching businesses (Haarlem was known for these, thanks to the clean water from the dunes), the Haarlem council decided to promote the pursuit of arts and history, showing tolerance for diversity among religious beliefs. This attracted a large influx of Flemish and French immigrants (Catholics and Hugenots alike) who were fleeing the Spanish occupation of their own cities. Expansion plans soon replaced plans of rebuilding the destroyed city walls. Just like the rest of the country, the Golden Age in the United Provinces had started.
The new citizens had a lot of expertise in linen and silk manufacture and trading, and the city's population grew from 18,000 in 1573 to around 40,000 in 1622. At one point, in 1621, over 50% of the population was Flemish-born. Haarlem's linen became notable and the city flourished.
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