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13 May 2020

Abercromby in Egypt

Medals | World_Coin_Nut

I recently added another historical medal to my collection. When making additions I have some vague (only make sense to me) requirements. The most important is eye appeal, followed closely by historical importance.The obverse of this medal certainly didn’t catch my attention. The name Abercromby didn’t ring any bells and the portrait is, well, just another dead guy. The classical look of the reverse is what caught my attention. The horse is beautifully done but having the Egyptian pyramids in the background sealed the deal. I immediately decided I had to have one and after a quick search of all the available ones online ended up back at the first one I saw.After a bit of research, I realized it ticked off both requirements.Sellers Description:1801 Great Britain, British Army Arrives in Egypt, AE Medal, Mudie's National Series, Mudie-8, BHM-504, By Webb, Plain Edge. Deep toned brown bronze in color with some underlying surface reflectivity, couple small rim tics. Mudie's National Series of British Medals, published in 1820 by James Mudie and struck by Sir Edward Thomason's Manufactory in Birmingham consists of 40 different medals commemorating British military and Navy victories. The series is both important in history and design and was dedicated to George the Fourth.Obverse: Uniformed bust facing slightly leftReverse: Horse right before the Great PyramidsSize: 41 mmSir Ralph Abercromby (7 October 1734 – 28 March 1801) was a Scottish soldier and politician. He twice served as MP for Clackmannanshire rose to the rank of lieutenant-general in the British Army was appointed Governor of Trinidad, served as Commander-in-Chief, Ireland, and was noted for his services during the French Revolutionary Wars.In 1800 Abercromby commanded the expedition to the Mediterranean. After some brilliant operations defeated the French in the Battle of Alexandria, 21 March 1801. During the action, he was struck by a musket-ball in the thigh. It was not until the battle was won and he saw the enemy retreating did he show any sign of pain. He was removed from the field in a hammock, cheered by the blessings of the soldiers as he passed, and conveyed on board the flag-ship HMS Foudroyant which was moored in the harbor. The ball could not be extracted; mortification ensued, and seven days later, on 28 March 1801, he died.I found the above description of his death a little odd. Even with the medicine of the time, a leg wound should not have taken the life of this man. It may have cost him his leg, but not his life. So, I dug a little deeper and now wish I hadn't. Calling it a leg wound must have been the "polite" way to describe his injuries. Suffice it to say, you don't want to know.Abercromby's old friend and commander, the Duke of York, paid tribute to Abercromby's memory in general orders: "His steady observance of discipline, his ever-watchful attention to the health and wants of his troops, the persevering and unconquerable spirit which marked his military career, the splendor of his actions in the field and the heroism of his death, are worthy the imitation of all who desire, like him, a life of heroism and death of glory."He was buried on St John's Bastion within Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta, Malta. The British military renamed it Abercrombie's Bastion in his honor. The adjacent curtain wall linking this bastion to the fortifications of Valletta, originally called Santa Ubaldesca Curtain, was also renamed Abercromby's Curtain.In general, the Mudie series of medals is not scarce however the individual pieces have a wide range of prices. Certain pieces command higher prices based on the subject matter. Of course, the condition has a large effect on pricing. Occasionally full sets become available to purchase but that is far outside this collectors pricing comfort level. The set in the photo is not mine.Sources:cngcoins.comwikipediahistoricalmedals.com

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07 May 2020

Eichstadt Sede Vacante Thaler

Coins-World | World_Coin_Nut

Going into this year's Heritage Central States auction there weren't very many lots that had caught my attention. I had only flagged 4 lots on my watch list pre-sale and the one below was the only one that I felt I "needed".The bishopric of Eichstadt (Eichstätt) was located in central Bavaria, south of Nuremberg. It was established around an old Roman station by St. Boniface about 745ad. The first bishop, St. Willibald, and his sister, St. Walburga, who was associated with him, were of royal Anglo-Saxon blood. The bishops subsequently became princes of the Empire and rulers of a domain at its height of 437 square miles and 56,000 subjects. Bishop Raimond Anton (1757-1781) wrote a well known “Instructio Pastoralis,” which is still much admired. Eichstadt was secularized in 1803 and turned over to Bavaria.This (picture #2) is a Sede Vacante (vacant seat) thaler struck after the passing of Bishop Johann Anton II von Freinerg-Hopferau. Less is known of him than of his successor mentioned above.Lot Description: Eichstätt-Bishopric. Sede Vacante Taler 1757 MF-I.L. AU55 PCGS, Nürnberg mint, KM75, Dav-2208, Cahn-133. A most desirable and generally elusive taler type, featuring slate gray surface coloration with darkened toning accents around the devices.Description:Obverse: Shield within the center, date below, 15 oval arms surroundObverse Legend: CAPITULUM REGNANS SEDE VACANTE, in center: FORTIS CONCORDIA NEXUS, 10 EINE FEINE MARCK at bottomReverse: Radiant symbol above figures of Saints Willibald and Walburga, shield lower centerReverse Legend: HIC PLANTAVIT: DEUS INCREMENTUM DEDIT: HAEC RIGAVIT:, I. L. OEXLEIN fec. at bottomSubject: Sede Vacante IssueNote: Dav. #2208Composition: SilverDiameter: 43mmWeight: 27.98gSaint Willibald​Information about his life is largely drawn from the Hodoeporicon of Saint Willibald, a text written in the 8th century by Huneberc, an Anglo-Saxon nun from Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm who knew Willibald and his brother personally. The text of the Hodoeporicon was dictated to Huneberc by Willibald shortly before he died.Willibald's father was Saint Richard the Pilgrim, and his mother Saint Wuna of Wessex. His brother was Saint Winibald and his sister was Saint Walburga.Willibald was well-traveled and the first known Englishman to visit the Holy Land. His shrine is at the Eichstätt Cathedral in Germany, where his body and relics from his journeys are preserved.St. Walburga​Walburga was born in Devonshire England, around 710. She was the daughter of a West Saxon chieftain and the sister of St. Willibald and Winebald. Walburga was educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of the double monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother Winebald. At the death of Winebald, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by her brother Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt. She remained superior of both men and women until her death in 779. She was buried first at Heidenheim, but later her body was interred next to that of her brother, St. Winebald, at Eichstadt. at a small church called Holy Cross around which a group of canonesses was gathered.This medal is signed I. L. Oexlein. This intrigued me because it wasn't a name that I had come across before. Turns out he was quite accomplished.Johann Leonhard Oexlein​Oexlein was a medallist and gem-engraver in Nuremberg. During his career, Oexlein often traveled to other cities for work. In 1737, he was appointed mint master at Ratisbon. Shortly thereafter, the King of Poland hired him to fit a new mint.Among his medallic accomplishments is this (picture#5 not mine) French Libertas Americana medal celebrating the United States victory over Great Britain in the Revolutionary War.So, obviously, I won this lot. The other three went to others for a multitude of reasons. The main one being that they just didn't do anything for me as this one does. I found prices at this sale continued to be very strong.After picking up the piece in the auction it made me curious about Oexlein. Unless I am missing it there isn't much information on him personally but he left quite the legacy when you consider the coinage and medals attributed to him. I just picked up the below medal (picture#6) to go with my Thaler.UNITED STATES & GERMANY. Colonial America and Preußen (Prussia) silver Medal. Issued in 1763. The Treaty of Hubertusburg and the end of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War in America)Diameter: 44mmWeight: 21.76 gBy J. L. Oexlein.Obverse: IAM REDIRE AVDET (now she dares to return...), Germania standing facing, head right, holding scepter and grain ear; mountains and plowman in the background; in two lines in exergue, GERMANIA / PACATA (...with Germany being at peace)Reverse: NVNCIA PACIS (the messenger of Peace), view of the Hubertusburg Palace; above, Fama (Rumor) flying right, blowing in one trumpet and holding another; D 15 FEBR MDCCLXIII in exergue. Edge: Plain, with a few light marks.Betts 446; Pax in Nummis 595; Olding 931; Henckel 1658.References:Davenport –German Talers 1700-1800Wikipediacatholic.orgha.com

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