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The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 10, March 8, 2015, Article 20

MEDALS OF THE NAPOLEONIC ERA

An article in the March 5, 2015 Coins Weekly discusses the exhibition “The Napoleonic era as mirrored in its medals” at the Liechtenstein National Museum in Vaduz from 19 February to 28 June 2015. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

Bronze medal Coronation of Napoleon in Paris 1804
Bronze medal: Coronation of Napoleon in Paris 1804

Spring, 200 years ago. Napoleon slipped back to France from his exile on the island of Elba. The “Hundred Days” of his rule began. Once again, Napoleon tried to turn the wheel of time back in his favour. Only on 18 June 1815 did the nightmarish “scourge of Napoleon” end with his defeat at Waterloo.

Shortly after Napoleon’s abdication, a certain Mr. Palmer – a collector from London – went to the coin and medal mint in Paris and bought the entire set of over 130 bronze medals depicting the emperor. The tanner and bookbinder Gainier created a leather casing for the medals. It features an embossed imperial eagle and drawers with holes that precisely fit the size of each medal. This unique little coin cabinet tells the history of Napoleon between 1796 and 1815 in a fascinating way and is now on public display for the first time.

The medals themselves span an almost twenty-year period in which much of Europe – from Madrid to Moscow and from Berlin to Naples – was beset by war and suffering. The continued survival of the Principality of Liechtenstein, which was seriously affected by all these developments, hung in the balance.

This fateful time for Europe and for Liechtenstein is presented both in this unique collection of medals and in original documents from the Princely Collections that have never been available for public viewing until now. They include unique documents which other great rulers of the time – Emperor Franz I of Austria, Tsar Alexander I of Russia and King George III of the United Kingdom – had addressed to Prince Johann I. Militaria from the Princely Collections and other items on display enhance the whole picture which the exhibition intends to convey.

To read the complete article, see:
The Napoleonic era as mirrored in its medals (http://coinsweekly.com/en/News/4?&id=3302)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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