101832 | SWITZERLAND & ITALY. Completion of the Simplon Tunnel bronze Medal.

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    101832  |  SWITZERLAND & ITALY. Completion of the Simplon Tunnel bronze Medal. Issued 1905 (38mm, 25.53 g, 12h). By H. Frei.

     

    Six tunnel workers embracing in railway tunnel; to lower right, stone inscribed SOUVENIR / DE LA / RENCONTRE / DES GALERIES / FEVR 1903 in six lines / Mercury flying right, holding caduceus and palm frond; above and descending to left, AUX COLLABO= / RATEURS / ET OUVRIERS / DU / PERCEMENT / DU / SIMPLON / LONGEUER 19803m in eleven lines; to upper right, garnished coats-of-arms of Switzerland and Italy; to lower right, steam engine emerging from tunnel. Edge: «cornucopia» BRONZE.

     

    Döry/Kubinszky 178; Aeppli 56. Gem Mint State. Chocolate brown surfaces, with an alluring matte nature. A charming Art Nouveau issue.

     

    Forming a border between Switzerland (to the north) and Italy (to the south), the Alps have historically presented a challenge to travel and traversing them. As such, going through rather than over or around is the optimal route, though it requires a great deal of engineering. The Simplon Tunnel was meant to accomplish exactly this—connecting Brig to Domodossola—by means of a massive tunneling through the Lepontine Alps. At the time of its completion in 1905, it stood as the longest railway tunnel in the world until it was surpassed in 1982 by the Japanese Dai-Shimizu Tunnel (大清水トンネル).

     

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