101215 | HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE & FRANCE. Karl VI and Louis XIV tin Medal.
101215 | HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE & FRANCE. Karl VI and Louis XIV tin Medal. Issued 1714. Commemorating the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden, as well as the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (48mm, 36.70 g, 12h). By G. Vestner.
FEL • TEMP • REPARATIO / CAROLVS VI • D • G • ROM • IMP • ET LVD • XIIII • D • G • FR • ET NAV • REX •, laureate, draped, and armored busts of Karl and Louis facing one another / HIS IVNCTIS IVNGITVR ORBIS (the world is joined by those adjoining), crowned Jupiter (Karl), with eagle bearing thunderbolt, and radiant Apollo (Louis), with lyre and bow, placing between them a drapery over the globe split from the ravages of war; the split runs vertically down western Europe, dividing GALLIA (France) and GERMANIA (the Holy Roman Empire); in three lines in exergue, VNA DVOS ITERATA DEOS / CONCORDIA STRIN / GIT (a renewed harmony is drawn together by the two gods). Edge: Plain.
Bernheimer 50; Pax in Nummis 473; cf. Julius 1242 (silver); cf. Montenuovo 1432 (same); Montagu II 666 (same); van Loon V, pp. 244-5 (metal unspecified). Choice Mint State. Exceedingly lustrous and brilliant, with highly mirrored fields and some frosting to the devices; a few light, unobtrusive hairlines are mentioned for completeness. A very rare and interesting medal, especially in tin; typical copper plug in tact. Compare to similar pieces in silver—such as Künker 105 (27 September 2005), lot 2783; Künker 232 (17 June 2013), lot 348; and Peus 424 (15 May 2019), lot 829, which realized respective hammers of €9,100, €6,500, and €5,000 [all before buyer's fees].
The War of the Spanish Succession stemmed from the death in 1700 of the childless Carlos (Charles) II of Spain. Owing to the nexus of power presented by the Spanish throne, namely control in parts of Italy, the Spanish Netherlands, and vast territories in the New World, it offered great strategic importance. On account of the Habsburg familial ties to the Holy Roman Empire, it also presented a potential shift in the European balance of power. The deceased Carlos had named Philippe of Anjou as his successor, who ultimately agreed to the throne. The remainder of Europe, however, including the Holy Roman Empire, England, and the Dutch Republic, opposed this proclamation, with war breaking out among the various realms. Ultimately, the conflict changed little, as nothing decisive occurred through the hostilities, and the respective powers sought an end to the conflict, first at the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, then at the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden in 1714. Philippe would stay as king of Spain (as Felipe V), though he renounced any future French claims for himself or his successors. Additionally, Spain ceded some of her Italian possessions while retaining those in the New World. England garnered recognition of the Hanoverian line along with a repudiation of the Jacobite cause in France. The Holy Roman Empire saw a decrease in overall expanse from her heyday a little over a century prior; as such, her attentions turned to her southern borders and increasing conflicts with the Ottoman Empire.
Regarding this medal, a further point of interest is in the artistry itself, with Emperor Karl being depicted as Jupiter and French King Louis (the sun king) as Apollo—a great nod to the classics with respect to the two power brokers of the conflict.