102319 | GREAT BRITAIN. London. Westminster Abbey silvered bronze Medal.
102319 | GREAT BRITAIN. London. Westminster Abbey silvered bronze Medal. Issued 1855. Most Remarkable Edifices of Europe series (60mm, 104.47 g, 12h). By J. Wiener in Brussels & Elkington and Co., and struck at the Geerts mint in Ixelles.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY, exterior view of the abbey building from the west-northwest / Interior view of the Henry VII chapel from just to the right of the center aisle centerline looking toward the altar; in three lines in exergue, ST. PETER'S CHURCH FOUNDED ABOUT 612 / REBUILT AND ERECTED AN ABBEY / 958 AND 1049-1066; in four lines to left, THE PRESENT CHURCH CONSTRUCTED / 1220-1285 / RESTORED END OF THE / XVII CENTURY; in four lines to right, WESTMINSTER HALL BUILT 1397 / THE CHAPEL OF HENRY VII / COMMENCED 1503 / RESTORED 1809. Edge: A few inconsequential marks and some discoloration, otherwise plain.
Cf. Ross M189 (R1; bronze/silver); cf. van Hoydonck 142 (same); cf. Reinecke 35 (same); cf. Taylor 8b (same); cf. BHM 2592 (same); cf. Eimer 1506 (same). Mint State. Highly brilliant and mostly argent, with some subtle darkening nearer the peripheries. Undoubtedly one of the most attractive and intricate—if not the most intricate—medals in this ambitious series. Compare to a similar silvered bronze example in Stack's Bowers NYINC (14 January 2022) auction, lot 7335 (which realized a total of $960).
Michael Ross, noted author of Jacques Wiener's Most Remarkable Edifices of Europe: The Man, Monuments, and Medals, has found no evidence for medals in this series being issued in silvered bronze, only in separate silver and bronze strikings. Given the disparity in price between silver and bronze examples during their time of production, he believes it likely that an enterprising individual or two took bronze examples and silvered them privately, passing them off as the next best thing to the silver specimens. No matter their post-mint silvering, these silvered examples continue to be collected along with their bronze and silver brethren.
Easily one of the United Kingdom's most recognizable religious buildings, if not one of the most recognizable buildings in general, Westminster Abbey began as a monastery dedicated to St. Peter sometime prior to the 11th century. It was rebuilt during the time of Edward the Confessor in the Romanesque style, the first such of its kind in England. As the church grew in prestige, it came to be the site of coronations under the Normans. It was rebuilt again in the Gothic style in the 13th century, taking the form by which we now know it. Since William "the Conqueror" in 1066, some 39 British monarchs have been crowned there, with Charles III set to be crowned there in May 2023. Sixteen royal weddings have also taken place there, the most recent of which was that of the now-Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Cate Middleton, in April 2011.
From what is today eastern Netherlands and western Germany, the Wieners were a Jewish family of exceptional medalists, especially known for numerous numismatic works throughout the Kingdom of Belgium. Eldest brother Jacob (Jacques), along with younger brothers Leopold and Charles, created some of the finest works of medallic art of the 19th century, and all are particularly noted for their work in the highly detailed and intricate work of architectural renderings.
Upload: 1 February 2023.