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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 195. Estimate CHF7500. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF6000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

FRANCE, Royal. Marie de’Medici. 1600-1642. Medal (Silver, 100mm, 159.56 g), original cast uniface with hollow back and integral suspension loop, by Guillaume Dupré, 1624. MARIA AVGVSTA GALLIÆ ET NAVARÆ REGINA (retrograde) Bust of Marie de’Medici to right, wearing tiara, large earring, necklace and elaborate robes with lace ruff and large pectoral cross; below shoulder truncation, G DVPRE F 1624 Rev. Uniface and slightly hollow as made. Jones 59. Kress 568. Extremely rare as an original cast in silver. A superb piece beautifully made in high relief. Attractively toned, good extremely fine.

Ex Astarte VIII, 11 October 2001, 127.

Marie de’Medici was born in 1575, the daughter of Francesco I, the Grand Duke of Tuscany and his wife Johanna, Archduchess of Austria; she married Henry IV of France in 1600. Her life was a turbulent and difficult one: she had problems with Henry’s mistresses and, after his assassination in 1610 when she became Queen Regent for the young Louis XIII, she was under the influence of Italian advisors to the detriment of French policies. She established a pro-Spanish, pro-Habsburg policy that was reversed by her son as soon as he took over the throne in 1617. He then exiled his mother and appointed Richelieu as his chief minister. She headed an unsuccessful revolt in 1619 but was reconciled with Louis and was part of the royal council in 1621. She tried another coup in 1630 and was once again exiled but escaped abroad in 1631, remaining outside France until her death in Cologne in 1642. This medal was made by Guillaume Dupré (1574-1643), one of the greatest French medalists of the 17th century and shows her as a mature woman of great presence. The curious way the legend is given in reverse was done in order for it be read in a mirror, to symbolize the fact that her glory was reflected from that of her son!