World Coins

Medal honors centennial of Napoleon’s Peninsular War

Portuguese medallic art has achieved some renown in recent years, but a piece from more than 100 years ago is a testament to the nation’s long history of artistry.

The giant gold medal marks the centennial of Portuguese and allied victory over Napoleon in the Peninsula War of 1808 to 1814. The medal, which weighs 230 grams and measures 70 millimeters in diameter, highlights Edition Victor Gadoury’s Dec. 2 auction in Monaco

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The medal’s obverse depicts a central flying, winged Victory, waving a palm frond in her left hand and holding a trumpet in her right hand, with an inscription translating to “centennial of the Peninsular War 1908 1914” also appearing. 

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The reverse shows Victory rallying troops and supporting citizenry, and an inscription translating to “To valor and patriotism of the people and army of Portugal” surrounds the scene.

The medal is graded Fleur de Coin by the auction house and has an opening bid of €30,000 (about $34,753 U.S.).

To learn more about the sale, visit

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