100897 | BELGIUM. Anticatholic satirical lead Medal.
100897 | BELGIUM. Anticatholic satirical lead Medal. Issued 1875 (32mm, 10.17 g, 12h).
RENDEZ À CÉSAR QUI APPARTIENT À CÉSAR (render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar) / INDIGESTION D’ESCOBARD (the indigestion of Escobard [a famous Jesuit]), Jesuit priest bent over left, vomiting coins into satchel held open by convict—wearing ball and chain around ankle and the number 13 on his pants and coat—kneeling right / DÉDAIN ET MÉPRIS / À / L'HYPOCRISIE / ET AU FANATISME. / HONTE ET MALHEUR / AU PARTI PRÈTRE / GAND 23 9bre 1875. / WEG DE KLOKLUIDERSEN / JAPNEUZEN! / MASKERS AF!!! (Disdain and contempt for hypocrisy and fanaticism; shame and woe unto the party of the priests. Ghent, 23 September 1875. Away with the black-coated "yellow noses!" Masks off!!!) in ten lines. Edge: Plain. Cf. Numismagram 100849 & 100926 for similar pieces from the decade prior. Very Fine details. Numerous rim bruises, some spotting, and minor waviness to the planchet. Interesting satirical type.
The "de Buck Affair" was a legal matter which captivated the Kingdom of Belgium in 1864, whereby Benoît de Buck was accused of threatening to kill a Jesuit priest. The ensuing courtroom proceedings showed that the Jesuits in Antwerp had befriended a rather rich relative of de Buck, William de Boey, who had passed away in 1850, but not before Valentyns, an attorney for the Jesuits, had coerced de Boey's fortune away from his family. The court quickly acquitted de Buck—under the representation of Paul and Robert Janson—seeing that the Jesuits, along with their advocate, had acted unseemly in praying upon de Buck's ancestor. In the end, for their actions, the Jesuits were labeled as legacy hunters—essentially, gold diggers, and de Buck's threats upon the priest were discounted. This story is captured by a medal from the mid-1860's, while the medal here features a similar obverse and different reverse legend. It is not certain what specific event is referenced, though the tenor of the piece is cleary anticatholic and the creators chose the familiar satirical imagery from the de Buck Affair medal to evoke a similar sentiment. "Japneuzen" referred to the Catholic party, later the Christian democrats, eventually one of the more major parties in Belgian politics.
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