100548 | MEXICO. Fernando VII bronze Proclamation Medal.
100548 | MEXICO. Fernando VII bronze Medal. Issued 1814. Proclamation issue: The cabildo eclesiástico (ecclesiastical council) at Mexico City (51mm, 50.75 g, 12h). By J. M. Guerrero.
FERDINANDO / OPTIMO REGI / SOLIO RESTITUTO / CAPITULUM / ECCLES MEXIC / 1814 in six lines / SUBACTA PERFIDIA FELICITER IMPERAT, Fernando, holding baton, seated left on throne within a draped enclosure; to lower right, figure of Discord (as a gorgon) prostrate right, holding serpent with both hands. Edge: Plain.
Grove F-23c. Mint State. Pleasing red-brown surfaces, with underlying luster and hints of cobalt throughout; some scattered, unobtrusive light marks are noted for completeness. Compare to a similar specimen, which realized a hammer of $1,300 (plus buyer's fee) in CNG 96 (14 May 2014), lot 1458.
Fernando ascended to the Spanish throne, as well as that of her colonies, following the abdication of his father, Carlos IV, in March 1808. Shortly thereafter, Fernando himself abdicated and looked to Napoleon I for aid. The latter held the former "under guard” for over five years at the Chateau de Valençay, a property owned by Napoleon's former foreign minister Talleyrand. During this time, Napoleon installed his brother, Joseph, as king—a move which was never accepted by the Spanish people nor her colonies. In Mexico, for example, coins continued to be struck in the name of Fernando, still recognized as the true Spanish king. Fernando was eventually allowed to return to the Spanish throne late in 1813, as Napoleon faced bigger issues closer to home. This particular medal was issued just after Fernando's return, showing him casting aside an allegorical representation of Discord—emblematic of the chaos ushered in by the Napoleonic Wars.
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