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Medal

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1703 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the late Jas. W. Fleming

  • Museum number:

    1803-1877

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 54, case 13

Object Type
This medal was struck to celebrate the British victories at Bonn, Luy and Limbourg in 1703. The British troops were led by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. One side of the medal shows a profile bust of Queen Anne, the other Marlborough on horseback. He is receiving three keys from a kneeling female allegorical figure, who wears a mural crown to represent the three cities.

Materials & Making
The medal was struck in bronze. Struck medals were produced from metal dies engraved with the design in reverse. A flat disc was placed between the dies, which were then compressed, so that the design was reproduced on the metal. This technique meant that a high number of medals could be made using the same dies over and over, whereas the technique of casting medals was generally more complex and suitable only for smaller numbers.

People
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought to resolve the question of the Spanish throne following the death of Charles II in 1700. Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV of France, had been named the sole heir but his claim was disputed. War ensued, with the Holy Roman Empire, the United Provinces (the Dutch) and Britain on one side, and France and Spain on the other.

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), was the supreme commander of the British forces and a great military strategist. He was created Duke in 1702, partly at the instigation of his wife, Sarah, a confidante of Queen Anne. His most famous victory was the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, when the French were defeated outside Vienna. With the return of the Tories to power, and his wife's quarrel with Queen Anne, he was dismissed. In 1711 he had to flee to Holland upon false charges of corruption. He returned to England at the accession of George I in 1714.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

ca. 1703 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Marks and inscriptions

'Bonn, Huo, Limbourg captured 1703'
Decoration; Reverse shows The Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) on horseback with inscription; bronze

Dimensions

Depth: 0.4 cm approx., Diameter: 4 cm

Object history note

Made in London by an unidentified maker

Descriptive line

Medal commemorating the conquests of Bonn, Luy and Limburg by Marlborough, 1703, made in London by an unidentified maker

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington, Acquired During the Year 1877, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition. London : Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O. p. 162.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
MEDALS commemorating military victories
These medals belong to a series designed to celebrate British victories against France in the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713). Each carries a scene recording a victory on one side, and Queen Anne's portrait on the other. The Royal Mint produced them in different metals. In 1695, a bronze medal cost about five shillings (25p), while a silver version might cost several pounds. Collectors often displayed medals like these in cabinets in private libraries. [27/03/2003]

Subjects depicted

Monarchs; Horses; Patriotism; Men; Jewellery; Noblemen; Allegory; War; Women; Equestrians; Keys; Commemoration; Classicism; Queens

Categories

Coins & Medals

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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