World Coins

Large silver medal for 17th century Polish king in February auction

A large silver medal from 1642, issued in Poland, is among the highlights from Numismatic Auctions, LLC’s Feb. 7 to 11 auction.

Images courtesy of Numismatic Auctions LLC.

When Poland’s King Wladyslaw IV Vasa visited Danzig in 1642, the moment was so important that the city struck a medal to mark the event.

An example of this rare silver medal is offered in Numismatic Auctions LLC’s sale No. 66, scheduled to be held Feb. 7 to 11, the firm’s largest sale to date.

Famed medalist Sebastian Dadler designed the “Medal of Royal Glory,” the obverse of which depicts the king on horseback, facing the viewer’s right.

He wields a mace, and is crowned from above by angels, with a battleground landscape behind. Dadler’s initials “SD” appear on a rock at lower left.

The reverse shows the Hebrew letters for Jehovah radiant in clouds with cherubs above a city view of Gdansk (Danzig) and fortifications, with a coat of arms below.

Dadler was born in Strassburg and died in Hamburg. He was a goldsmith, medalist and etcher who worked for the imperial and Saxon courts. In 1634 the artist settled in Danzig (Gdansk), but moved to Hamburg by 1648.

A total of 146 medals, marking both events of contemporary history, and family events like births, are attributed to him.

A hefty medal

The medal measures 80 millimeters in diameter, or about twice the size of an American silver eagle, and weighs about 144 grams, or nearly 5 ounces.

Thought by many to be the most magnificent medal of the period, according to Numismatic Auctions’ catalog, it was ordered by the City Council in tribute to the monarch “on his Royal Visit extolling God’s support and favor to the victorious King who brought peace after three wars,” the firm said.

The medal is in Extremely Fine condition, according to the auction house, and has retoned after an old-time cleaning. It has some very faint hairlines or tooling and a few edge bumps or file marks, and is very rare.

The medal has an estimate of $10,000 to $12,000.

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