French Revolution Medals
Pewter Medals (2) of the Storming of the Bastille & Arrival of the King in Paris (Louis XVI). Struck in pewter and known as Revolutionary Medals.
Storming of the Bastille, 1789, a uniface bronzed lead cliché by B. Andrieu, 85mm;
Struck pewter uniface medal.(obverse) Storming of the Bastille: lower centre, a crowd of armed civilians with soldiers of the French Guard firing cannon at the Bastille, with smoke and flames visible on the battlements and smoke across centre enveloping the crowd: right, the chains of the drawbridge are broken and the inner courtyard is stormed.
On the morning of 14 July 1789, a crowd advanced on the Bastille, the state prison. Their intention was to ask the governor to release the prisoners (there were only seven) and weapons in the building. The governor was evasive and the people stormed the fortress. The medal vividly captures the scene, showing the garrison firing onto the crowd pouring into the building over the broken drawbridge and the National Guard opening a breach in the wall. The revolutionary government subsequently demolished the Bastille, reinforcing the idea of overturning the old order and the beginning of the ‘era of liberty’.
Arrival of Louis XVI in Paris, 1789, a uniface bronzed lead cliché by B. Andrieu, 86mm
An angry crowd descended onto the palace of Versailles, including a band of some 6,000 women, who brought the King to Paris. This is the scene on the medal, where we see Louis XVI in his carriage in the Place Louis XIV, cowering before the statue of his illustrious predecessor.
Due to the size and detail of these pieces, Andrieu (1761-1822) had to strike the medals on one side only, using a soft lead alloy coloured to resemble bronze. His participation in producing works for the revolutionaries was limited, as he laid low until the rise of Napoleon. His two ‘revolutionary’ medals show the significance of the overthrow of the old regime; even to produce medals was an assertion of freedom, as it had previously been a royal monopoly.
Fantastic opportunity to have both French Revolution Medals together.
Take a look at the video to appreciate what the medals will look like in the hand
Both medals on the reverse, have transposed script, they also have additional metal or solder where they may have been attached to something. As these are uniface medals, this does not distract from the medals
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