Napoleon Victories of 1807 Medal
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Thread: Napoleon Victories of 1807 Medal

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  1. #1
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
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    1525 times
    Metal Detecting

    Napoleon Victories of 1807 Medal

    I dug this interesting medal in the town woods yesterday. I know nothing about the property's history yet, but I saw lots of stone walls, so I am thinking old farm, maybe late 1800s or early 1900s. I only had an hour, so I walked around randomly to scout and get a feel for the area. I was mostly finding shotgun shell head stamps (early 1900s UMC Co.) until I dug this medal near a small circle of rocks that I thought might have been an old campsite. I was not sure what it was, so I posted it on the What is It forum. Not five minutes later, nhbenz kindly posted a potential I.D.; a Napoleon Victories of 1807 Medal (see https://www.vcoins.com/en/stores/coi...0/Default.aspx). The medal shows the "Eagle of France, wings spread head facing right, standing on thunderbolt; above, Victory flying to left placing laurel wreath on eagle's head." The back should have the bust of Napoleon, but it seems to have been scraped or pried off - maybe in protest? I am not sure how old this medal is, or if it is genuine or a reproduction. However, I find it very interesting, and hope you do too. Thanks for looking, and for any comments or additional insights. Also, thanks to nhbenz for the link and I.D.

    Here is what it should look like ... Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Napoleon New.jpg 
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ID:	18014433
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Napoleon Back.jpg 
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Size:	1.98 MB 
ID:	1801347   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Napoleon Front.jpg 
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ID:	1801348  
    Last edited by lenmac65; Feb 14, 2020 at 09:01 AM.

  2. #2
    us
    Randy

    Aug 2017
    SW Missouri/Oklahoma
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    Very Nice!!! Congrats!!!
    lenmac65 and A2coins like this.
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  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Tommy

    Dec 2015
    Ann Arbor
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    Thats really cool good info and possible ID looks like Great find
    lenmac65 likes this.

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  4. #4
    us
    Can You Dig It?

    Aug 2017
    Milwaukee WI
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    That is very cool. Looks like nhbenz nailed the ID. Congrats. Would love that in my collection.
    lenmac65 likes this.
    My METAL DETECTOR is actually a TIME MACHINE

  5. #5
    us
    Jun 2014
    Salem, Indiana
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    Nice find. Very possible that the defacing of the medal was political. You'll find Napoleon's bust often defaced on some of the Italian States coins.
    lenmac65 likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    Jan 2017
    Western ny
    equinox 800, Whites mx sport, Garrot carrot, bounty hunter time ranger
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    as mentioned above he pissed off A LOT of people... lots of images of him were defaced.
    lenmac65 likes this.

  7. #7
    us
    May 2014
    Eastern Shore Maryland
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    Very interesting piece , definitely positive ID of you look closely you can still see the wreath , eye and lips
    lenmac65 likes this.
    I would rather see an authentic broken scraper posted than a G-10 Artifake!

  8. #8
    gb
    Dec 2019
    Surrey
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    Nice little piece of history.

    You may be interested in this extract from an article by Luca Einaudi - Joint Centre for History & Economics at Magdalene College & Kings College, University of Cambridge. Although he is talking specifically about the coinage of Napoleon III (the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte), the 1870s backlash also applies to medals/medallions and to some extent, unfairly, to the Napoleon name in general... whether Napoleon I, II or III.

    "The coinage of Napoleon III was subject to one of the largest episodes of political attack, mixed with vandalism, satire and commercial speculation. It began after the defeat of Sedan at the hands of a Prussian-led coalition of German States in September 1870. The Second Empire collapsed and the Third Republic was proclaimed, while the country was invaded. Paris was besieged until it surrendered in the winter of 1871, after the population had come close to starvation. Civil war between the Versaillais and the Communards extended death and destruction further, leaving substantial portions of Paris in ruins after bombing and fire. The enormous war indemnity of 5 billion francs to be paid to Germany and the loss of Alsace Lorraine extended further the feeling of unmitigated catastrophe looming over France in 1870-71.
    Napoleon's name was suddenly execrated as the author of national humiliation and his coins were defaced in massive numbers, in what is probably the most acute phenomenon of that kind in European monetary history. His portrait was mutilated by counterstamps with the words "Sedan", "1870", "lâche" (coward), "traitre" (traitor), "infame", "honte" (shame), "bourreau" (executioner), "putain", etc... Napoleon's head was given a Prussian helmet or a chain of slavery attached to his neck, when his face was not replaced by that of Bismarck or of the new German Emperor, who had achieved in the Palace of Versailles the unification of the German Reich so feared by the French.
    The nickname forged by Victor Hugo after the Coup d'Etat, "Napoleon the small", was resumed. The French imperial eagle was transformed in an owl, its thunder replaced by human bones and the "Empire français" was rechristened "vampire français". The 80,000 French soldiers taken prisoner after the surrender of Sedan were also part of the indictment. A cigarette was added to the lips of the fallen Emperor as a symbol of his indifference to the plight of his army, as it had been reported that he had been seen smoking on the battlefield. Such a sight would not have shocked anyone in the wars of the twentieth century, but at the time it was considered to be a sign of carelessness; the Emperor was also seen moving around on the front line by carriage and not on horseback, because of his illness. The violence of the damnatio memoriae was such that Napoleon's face could also be transformed into a skull or into the groin of a pig."

    One other thing to be aware of is that Napoleon Bonaparte celebratory medals/medallions continued to be struck by the Paris Medal Mint long after their original issue, using the same dies. The re-strikes come in a wider variety of metals and plating finishes. The exact number of variations and issue dates is not known because the official records were erased on the orders of King Louis XVIII and we only have complete records from later times; generally post-1879, and this medallion was certainly re-struck after that date.

    The original 1807 medal was commissioned to be struck in silver and had a plain edge. It may have been struck in other metals. The later re-strikes from the original dies are generally in bronze (sometimes silver plated) and as the information from the ‘vcoins’ website suggests, most usually have the word “bronze” stamped into the edge in capital letters (it’s the same word in French and English). The original strikes are the most valuable/desirable, but obviously not when in poor condition.
    lenmac65 likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
    568
    1525 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by arrow86 View Post
    Very interesting piece , definitely positive ID of you look closely you can still see the wreath , eye and lips
    Thank you. You have a keen eye for detail! I can see the remnants of the wreath and eye now. I think nhbenz definitely nailed the ID.

  10. #10
    us
    Jul 2009
    Massachusetts
    Garrett AT Pro, Equinox 800 (as of 10/2019)
    568
    1525 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Red-Coat View Post
    Nice little piece of history.

    You may be interested in this extract from an article by Luca Einaudi - Joint Centre for History & Economics at Magdalene College & Kings College, University of Cambridge. Although he is talking ......
    Thank you for the information; very interesting. I have no idea whether this is a re-strike or not, though I suspect that it is given the metal type and where I found it. I could not see "Bronze" on the edge, but there really isn't too much edge left. I understand this is not worth anything, but I was really excited to find something like this in America, and cannot recall one being posted here. While I am disappointed that Napoleon is scratched off, it adds to the story and suggests to me that the medal is on the older side, as the memory of the Napoleon(s) must have been fresh enough in the person's mind that they resorted to such action. Again, thanks for the information and taking the time to respond - very much appreciated!!
    Last edited by lenmac65; Feb 15, 2020 at 08:55 AM.

  11. #11
    us
    Standing Firm in the Faith, Wherever I May Roam- Nothing Else Matters

    Jan 2006
    Cape Cod
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    Great find fellow Mass hunter- Congrats!
    lenmac65 likes this.
    -- Jeff --

 

 

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