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529784

Biblical Allegory

529784. Sold For $2750

AUSTRIA, Holy Roman Empire. temp. Josef I. Emperor, 1705-1711. AR Medal (49mm, 37.17 g, 12h). The Recovery of Lille by Prince Eugene of Savoy and John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough. Dated 1708. CONFVNDAMVS LINGVAM EORVM VT NON AVDIAT VNVSQVISQVE VOCEM/PROXI MI SVI ·, the Building of the Tower of Babel and the Confusion of Tongues (Gen. 11:1-9); RYSSEL VELINSVLÆ PER/PRINCIPEM EVGENIVM OB=/SESSA 22 · AVG · ET 23 ·/OCT · RECEPTA/1708 · in five lines in exergue / SISTE SOL IN GIBEON ET LVNA IN VALLE AIALON, aerial view of the Siege of Lille; radiate sun to left; to right, moon above cittadelle; CASTELLVM RYSSEL OBSES :/SVM XXVII OCT · RECEPTVM/VERO IX DEC · in three lines in exergue. Edge: · VNITA VIRTVS VALET ·. Popelka 131; Senk 244; Julius 702; Montenuovo –; van Loon IV 544. Toned, small rim nick. EF.


The Siege of Lille occurred during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), a long and convoluted conflict that saw the Grand Alliance of Great Britain, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Dutch Republic pitted against France and Bourbon Spain, mainly to prevent the Bourbon dynasty from controlling the lion’s share of Europe. The protracted Siege of Lille was carried out by two of the Alliance’s best commanders, Prince Eugene of Savoy and John Churchill, the Duke of Marborough (and ancestor of Winston) versus a spirited defense carried out by France’s Marshal Boufflers. The siege of 1708 took 120 days and cost both sides thousands of lives, ending with the Alliance seizing the city but permitting the French to withdraw under honorable terms. This medal, struck in Vienna to honor the Alliance victory, equates the siege with Biblical account in Genesis 11:1-9 in which God prevented the completion of the Tower of Babel by confusing the tongues of men. The Tower of Babel, here rendered as a grand Renaissance edifice recalling the paintings of Bruegel and Valckenborch, represents the monstrous concept of a unified Bourbon monarchy ruling nearly all of continental Europe.