101661 | GREAT BRITAIN, SPAIN & FRANCE. Battle of Toulon brass Medal.

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    101661  |  GREAT BRITAIN. Battle of Toulon brass Medal. Issued 1744. Satirizing the British missteps off coast of Toulon against the Spanish & French (38mm, 15.07 g, 12h).

     

    Harbor scene with aspects denoted by the following letters — A: in background, ships under sail on sea to right; B: in foreground, human body suspended from gibbet (D) to left; C: in background, smaller ships under sail on sea to left; 1743|4 in exergue. / Harbor scene with aspects denoted by the following letters — E: in background, fortified town under attack to right; F and G: in background, ships under sail right attacking town; H: in foreground, troops advancing left to right; I: in foreground, lion pouncing right upon cock. Edge: Plain.

     

    MI 584/224; Eimer 582. Choice Extremely Fine. Deep brown surfaces, with some hints of brilliance remaining.

     

    Emanating from the War of Austrian Succession, the Battle of Toulon (off the coast of France) took place in the Mediterranean theater between Great Britain, France, and Spain. In the American theater, Britain and Spain had already been at war in the form of the War of Jenkins' Ear (with a later conflict—the French and Indian War—also deriving from the same issue). In the Mediterranean, the French joined the Spanish when an upper hand against the British revealed itself, with the latter not effectively pursuing the former two and thus losing an advantage—a result that was viewed natively in Britain as a fiasco. On this medal, the superiority of the British is indicated by the lion (Britain) pouncing upon the cock (France), but the figure hanging from the gibbet is likely (mockingly) one of the two British admirals (Mathews or Lestock). In any event, an intriguing, tongue-in-cheek, and somewhat macabre poke at contemporary British affairs.

     

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