Waterloo Medal (designed by Pistrucci) SILVER by J. Pinches, Original box UNC

World Coins - Waterloo Medal (designed by Pistrucci) SILVER by J. Pinches, Original box UNC
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The Waterloo Medal was designed by Italian-born sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci. He worked on it from 1819 to 1849, when the completed matrices were presented to Britain's Royal Mint. The medal was commissioned by the British Government in 1819 on the instructions of George IV while Prince Regent; copies were to be presented to the generals who had been victorious in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, and to the leaders of Britain's allies. As most of the intended recipients had died by 1849, and relations with France had improved, the medals were never struck, though modern-day editions have been made for sale to collectors.

In 1816, the Prince Regent had first suggested a medal to be presented to allies and commanders from Waterloo. The Royal Academy proposed work by John Flaxman, one of its members, but Pistrucci, whose responsibility it was to engrave the dies, refused to copy another's work, and brought forth designs of his own. The Prince Regent and William Wellesley-Pole, Master of the Mint were impressed by Pistrucci's models, and he gained the commission.

Pistrucci fell from grace at the Royal Mint in 1823 by refusing to copy another's work for the coinage, and he was instructed to concentrate on the medal. He likely concluded that he would be sacked if he completed it, and progress was extremely slow. Health issues also played a part. He stayed on at the Mint, the medal uncompleted, despite repeated calls from Masters of the Mint to finish the project. In 1844, the Master, W. E. Gladstone, reached an accord with Pistrucci and the medal matrices were eventually submitted in 1849. Due to their great size, 5.3 inches (130 mm) in diameter, the Mint was unwilling to risk damaging the matrices by hardening them, and only electrotypes and soft impressions were taken. Pistrucci's designs have been greatly praised by numismatic writers.

Design

The centre of the obverse depicts the four allied rulers: George, Prince Regent (although not king, he was exercising the monarch's powers due to the illness of his father, George III), Emperor Francis I of Austria, Tsar Alexander I of Russia and King Frederick William III of Prussia.[3]

Aside from the rulers, who are seen grouped in profile, Pistrucci's design for both sides is entirely allegorical, with the subject the treaty of peace concluded after Waterloo. At top of the obverse Apollo is seen in his chariot; he restores the day. Following the chariot are Zephyr, who scatters flowers, symbolic of peace, and Iris. The carriage flies in the sky towards Castor and Pollux, representing the constellation Gemini and symbolising the period of the Zodiac when Waterloo took place. The twins are armed with spears, and are meant as the apotheses of the victorious generals, Wellington and Blücher. Themis, the goddess of justice, appears before the rulers, a reminder that justice, more than power, secures their rule. Under her are seen the Fates, their subservient position meaning that human fate will henceforth be determined by justice. Opposite Themis, behind the rulers, is a man armed with a club, seated under an oak tree, he represents power. Beneath him are the Furies, symbolising that human actions and passions are subject to power, and at the bottom is a figure representing night, fleeing.[3][8]

The reverse has at centre equestrian figures meant to be Wellington and Blücher, with Victory between them, guiding them to battle. They are in the Grecian style, similar to Pistrucci's earlier St George and the Dragon design for the sovereign coin. At the top of the reverse is Jupiter. Taking up the rest of the circumference of the medal are 19 figures of giants whom Jupiter has struck down; they are the defeated enemy and number one for every year of the war.[3][8]

Pistrucci placed inscriptions on the wax model that he did not keep for the final version of the design. Above the royal heads was seen their countries, thus: ANGLIA (England) AUSTRIA RUSSIA PRUSSIA and below, FŒDERE JUNCTIS (Joint League). On the reverse he placed above and below the figures in the centre: WATERLOO and 18 JUNE 1815 (the date of the battle).[9] These inscriptions were restored on the version of the medal struck by the Royal Mint in 2015 for the bicentenary of the battle.


In 1990, the Royal Mint struck a reduced-size collector's version in bronze for the 175th anniversary of the battle.[3] It struck one in silver, also for collectors, for the 200th anniversary in 2015, with Pistrucci's inscriptions from the wax models restored.[10] In 2014, as part of the preparations for the battle's bicentenary, the Worcestershire Medal Service (Queen Elizabeth II's official medallist), on behalf of the London Mint (a private firm) prepared full-size versions in silver. They were presented to the ambassadors of Austria, Russia and Germany (as successor to Prussia), with the Queen to receive one later, and were also made available for sale to the public at £3,900 each. Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, chairman of the Waterloo 200 Committee described the medal, weighing 4.5 pounds (2.0 kg), as a "thumping great thing"
Minted : 1972
Weight:  124 grams
Silver 0.925 , #950 out of 5000 minted by John Pinches, Ltd.
World Coins - Waterloo Medal (designed by Pistrucci) SILVER by J. Pinches, Original box UNC
World Coins - Waterloo Medal (designed by Pistrucci) SILVER by J. Pinches, Original box UNC
World Coins - Waterloo Medal (designed by Pistrucci) SILVER by J. Pinches, Original box UNC
World Coins - Waterloo Medal (designed by Pistrucci) SILVER by J. Pinches, Original box UNC
Price SKU: waterloo
US$ 275.00
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Rates for: 10/01/20

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