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Trial Strike 1807 Medal for Battle between France & Russia


constanius

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Obv: Napoleon EMP.ET.ROI. By DROZ FECIT. DENON DIREX MDCCCVI. Rev: VICTORIAE MANENTI. BATAILLE DE PREUSS EYLAU VIII FEVRIER MDCCCVII. By BRENET. 40MM Tin or lead Trial strike. Note the obverse is dated 1806 whereas the reverse is dated 1807. The battle was in effect a bloody draw, but the French were left in possession of the battlefield, after the Russians withdrew overnight.

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Very interesting! I found more info about this event:

 

Standard obverse by Andrieu.

Reverse: VICTORIAE MANENTI. A heroic nude seated on a pile of battle spoils, a sword in his right hand and a Victory in his left. In the left field, DENON D.; beneath the trophies, BRENET. Exergue: BATAILLE DE PREUSS EYLAU VIII. FEVRIER MDCCCVII.

The Battle of Eylau was another in which both sides lost, although both sides claimed the victory and issued medals to prove it. It was fought in a blizzard in mid-winter after both armies had settled down to wait for spring but had been awakened from their hibernation when Napoleon's Marshal Ney extended his men northward in an attempt against Koenigsberg (Kaliningrad), where the Prussian king had taken refuge. Bennigsen's Russians tried to break through the weakened French lines to relieve besieged Danzig (Gdansk), leading to the struggle for Eylau between two armies of seventy five thousand men. Casualties on each side amounted to twenty five thousand, counting dead, wounded, and stragglers.

 

Napoleon went all out to prove he had won the battle:

 

"Three plates giving a clear idea of the Battle of Eylau must be sent to the War Department in Paris. See to it that within three days these three plates are etched and spread through Paris. You can also order that a pamphlet be made up of the bulletins which describe that battle and the account of it by a French officer, with these three plates. You will send it to Milan, to Prince Eugene, who will have it translated into Italian, and to the king of Holland [Napoleon's brother Louis], who will have it translated into Dutch." Corres. 12160, 25 March 1807

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As you say, this medal has either the obverse by Andrieu or it has this one by Droz. You can see the start of a die break running across the lower bust and below MCCCVI. As this die was in use the previous year perhaps it broke and the Andrieu obverse was used from then on. Just my speculation. This is one of elverno's medals dated 1806 showing the same die break. used on a different medal Mariage du Prince de Bade.

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with this note This piece is an early strike with one of the original Droz obverses. By the time Captain Laskey wrote his book the beaded Droz obverses were no longer available and his piece was produced with the later Andrieu obverse described. Just found this on Droz and his obverse Napoleonic Medals (elverno's website)

 

 

I show mine again for comparison.

 

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