100406 | BELGIUM & THE NETHERLANDS. Peace Conference silver Medal.
100406 | BELGIUM & THE NETHERLANDS. Silver Medal. Issued 1907. The Belgo-Dutch Society of the Friends of Medallic Art: The Peace Conference at the Hague (64mm, 110.02 g, 12h). By Hippolyte le Roy.
Swords to Plowshares: War seated right upon plinth, in attitude of contemplation, cradling reversed sword and with shield to right; behind him, Peace standing right, holding branch and pointing out to him a different path; farmhand plowing in background to right; PRO PACE (for peace) in exergue / SPES (hope), ship under sail right upon tempestuous seas; in background, rising sun emerging from the clouds and horizon; in three lines in exergue, SOCIÉTÉ HOLLANDO BELGE / DES AMIS DE LA MÉDAILLE / D'ART. Edge: Plain, though a light mark is noted for completeness.
Médailles historiques de Belgique III 26; cf. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Contemporary Medals p. 194, 9 (bronze). Choice Mint State. Sublimely matte surfaces, with an attractive steel-gray cabinet appeal and rainbow tone near the peripheries. Extremely rare and interesting, with a mintage of just 51 pieces in silver. Compare to a similar example in Schulman 356 (29 June 2018), lot 1168 (which realized a hammer of €1,400 [plus buyer's fee]).
Proposed by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, the Second Hague Peace Conference didn't convene until 1907 due to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Called to order by Czar Nicholai II of Russia, the conference sat for four months, during which it further addressed the rules of engagement during warfare and its aftermath, such as several naval-related tactics and outcomes, while stopping short of reaffirming the ban of expanding bullets and asphyxiating gas (both of which had been outlawed at the previous Hague Peace Conference in 1899). The hope expressed at this conference, conveyed through this gorgeous medal, was met with despair just a few years later with the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
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