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1801 Paix de Luneville, Prussia.


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1801 Paix de Luneville, Prussia

990105.jpg

42mm

Bramsen 124

d'Essling 895

 

This nice medal was engraved by Abraham Abramson who worked for the Berlin Mint. At some point in their lives the dies fell into a French entrepreneur (or the King's engraver as he styled himself) by the name of Brasseux. He stored his considerable collection of original dies with the Paris mint and sold copies to interested collectors. He wrote that in order to protect the value of those collectors' original strikes he was stamping the word "copie" onto the edge of the medal, later adopted by the Paris Mint itself using the personal symbol of the mint's director until 1880 on.

 

On the obverse Cybèle (Mother Earth in a sense) is drawn on her chariot by two lions. She is preceded by Peace.

The reverse features a male figure floating on the waves, possibly representing the river Elbe (d'Essling) or the Ocean (Bramsen). The Treaty of Luneville effectively dismantled the Holy Roman Empire and the river Elbe runs directly through the affected territory. Bramsen may have felt that the Ocean represented a return to freedom of trade on the ocean while the obverse more obviously represented peace on earth. What is certain is that the reverse engraving does not compare favorably to that of the obverse.

 

Another thing of interest to me was that this was struck by Prussia as opposed to Austria or France who were more directly involved in the peace treaty at Luneville.

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Very nice medal.

 

Whilst, because of the terms of the Treaty, the Austrian Empire, the German States including Prussia lost some Germanic territories west of the Rhine to France, this compelled Austria & the German states to secularize most of the eclastical lands(rich & heavily populated) they retained, which then were used to compensate Prussia, Bavaria, individual Princes, the house of Orange-Nassau etc. The independant free cities(again rich & well populated) were also assigned to German states.

 

The net effect was that Prussia's position vis-a-vis The Austrian Empire was considerably strenghtened, and lead her to dominant the remaining German territories, it was another step in Prussian dominance(within Germany) ultimately leading later to the unification of Germany, which had it's genesis when Frederick the Great had sought to end the Empires dominance of the Germanic territories.

 

One effect of the re-orgainization of the German territories was the loss of many "Electors" of the Holy Roman Empire, though since Napoleon had declared himselve Emperor of France and had swept all before him the old Holy Roman Empire was doomed anyway.

 

That Prussia(a neutral power since 1795 following the treaty of Basle, but in reality friendly to Napoleon & France in 1801, and earlier) would issue a celebratory medal for the Treaty of Luneville seems quite reasonable, considering her net gains and of course the Peace and hopes of increased trade.

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