Peace and Love

Medals were produced to commemorate peace and love (or the celebration of unions) at various levels of society. Derived stylistically from medieval coinage and with inscriptions in Gothic letters praising the Christian king, the Charles VII medal (no. 94) acclaims the establishment of peace in France after the expulsion of the English in 1453 and the end of the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453). Charles is depicted on horseback and covered, along with his horse, with fleurs-de-lis. The struck medal by Lutma the Younger (no. 89) commemorates the Peace of Breda, which brought an end to the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–67); the symbolic Dutch lion stands upon implements of war in impressively high relief.

Three of the medals in the exhibition celebrate the marriage of monarchs (no. 61), the silver wedding anniversary of a couple whose names and messages are inscribed on the back of the medal (no. 82), and the union of an unknown couple (no. 85); the latter is the kind of “stock” medal that would have been distributed at the celebration of an engagement or marriage.

  • Silver medal of a man and woman joining hands and receiving laurel wreaths from angels above

    Johann Blum (ca. 1599–after 1668; act. in Bremen)
    William II of Orange-Nassau (b. 1626; Stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands 1647–50) and Mary Henrietta Stuart, Princess Royal (1631–1660), 1641
    Silver, struck
    Diam.: 2 7/8 in. (7.28 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 61

  • Silver medal depicting, in the foreground, a rooster with hen and chicks beside a scythe and agricultural tools (including a spade and plow), behind which appears Cupid with arrows, which represent the seven provinces of the Netherlands and a lion of Holland looking at a couple (seated on a cart) who, hands clasped, face one another while stepping on a skull; in the middle ground, a man works the field before a chapel, outside which a mother and two children, as well as a figure with a cross and Bible, sit;

    After Wouter Muller (1604–1673), probably by Cornelis Coutrier (before 1730–1749)
    Silver Wedding of Johannis de Waal and Gerbreghie Valkes (dates unknown), dated 1718
    Silver, two cast shells soldered together
    Diam.: 2 11/16 in. (6.9 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 82

  • Silver medal depicting a seated couple bathed in sunlight, wearing fanciful classical dress and joined together by a chain from which hangs a heart, trample three serpents underfoot; in the background, a grapevine trained on two posts, and a flowering plant

    Attributed to Pieter van Abeele (1608–1684)
    Marriage and Prosperity, ca. 1655
    Silver, two cast shells soldered together
    Diam.: 3 in. (7.65 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 85

  • Silver medal depicting, in the foreground, lion standing upon implements of war, two cannons, a helmet, a shield, and an arquebus. In the background, warships are scattered over the sea

    Jan (Johannes) Lutma the Younger (1624–1685)
    The Peace of Breda, dated 1667
    Silver, struck
    Diam.: 2 3/4 in. (7.06 cm)
    Scher Collection; Promised gift to The Frick Collection

    Cat. 89

  • Silver portrait medal of Charles VII crowned and wearing, over armor, a surcoat with three fleurs-de-lis, visor closed and brandishing a sword, riding a horse in a fleur-de-lis-adorned caparison; pearled borders

    Unknown artist
    Charles VII, King of France (b. 1403; r. 1422–61), dated 1455
    Silver, struck
    Diam.: 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm)
    Scher Collection

    Cat. 94

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