101531 | FRANCE & GREAT BRITAIN. Napoléon I bronze Medal.
101531 | FRANCE & GREAT BRITAIN. Napoléon I bronze Medal. Issued 1804. Commemorating the Construction of 2,000 Ships (40mm, 38.55 g, 12h). By Droz and Denon.
NAPOLEON EMPEREUR, laureate head right / EN L'AN XII 2000 BAR QUES SONT CONSTRUITES, Hercules (representing France) wrestling the lion (representing England). Edge: Plain.
Bramsen 320; Julius 1253; d'Essling 1019; Zeitz 36. Choice Mint State. Dark brown surfaces with some underlying brilliance.
Desiring to conquer the prize that was the British Isles, Napoléon knew that his only chance was through a direct invasion, an invasion that would require a tremendous amount of seafaring might. Though gathering nearly 2,000 ships between Brest and Antwerp, and receiving the assistance of Spain, he was nevertheless unable to surpass the superior naval skills of the British. This medal presents a rather romantic view of Napoléon's lofty goal, with Herculean France grappling with the British lion, though the outcome was anything but romantic.