Being a protestant republic, Zurich had no sovereigns or city saints to put on its coins. The town therefore glorified itself with it's own image. This coin is known as 'fortification taler' (Schanzentaler), after the city walls in the foreground. It originates from the early 18th century and was created by the famous Zurich mint master Hans Jakob Gessner.
On the obverse, a lion swings a sword over the city's coat of arms – in this way showing how the citizens of Zurich would defend their town in case of need: by force of arms.