Maria Theresia Honor Medal, 1765-1780

Figure 1: Maria Theresia Honor Medal, 1765-1780, Obverse, Image from Author’s archive.

Introduction: 

In 1765 when Maria Theresia was ruling the Austrian Empire with her husband Franz Stephan von Lothringian as Empress Consort, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, medals were typically issued with her image and that of her husband on the obverse. In this case however the medal, which was called the Maria Theresia Gnadenmedaille Medal (Maria Theresia Honor Medal)  was issued with her image alone to recognize those who had rendered especially meritorious service to the Empress

Date Issued:  1765—1780

Medal Numismatics:

Date Issued:  1765—1780

Reason Issued:  Issued by Maria Theresia to reward those who had rendered meritorious service to her and to the empire.

 Classes or Types:  Two classes: gold and silver, with three subdivisions within each 

  • Large Gold Medal
  • Gold Medal
  • Small Gold Medal
  • Large Silver Medal
  • Silver Medal
  • Small Silver Medal

Interesting Facts:

  •  Maria Theresia was the first Austrian ruler to issue clear regulations for the award of  medals
  • The word Gnaden (grace) as used in the name of this medal had a different meaning when it was issued than it does today. Thus “grace” was interpreted at the time to be equivalent to today’s word “honor” therefore the title in today’s terminology would be the Empress Maria Theresia Honor Medal

Hallmarks:  None Known

Design:  A round medal with raised rim and with an attached suspension eyes at the top.

Figure 1: Gold Maria Theresia Honor Medal, 1765-1780, Obverse. Image from Author’s archive.

Obverse:  A bust of the Archduchess Maria Theresia, facing to the viewers right and wearing a gown clasped at the shoulder. The bust of the empress is also wearing a widow’s vail and a diadem and has long flowing curly hair. The medal has a raised rim. Paralleling the rim around the upper two thirds of the medal is the inscription:  THERESIA D.G. ROM. IMP. GER. HUNG. & BOH. REG. ARCH. AUST. Below the shoulder of the bust is the makers name: medals are known with three different makers marks. They are: A.W. (Anton Wideman) or I Wurth F (Franz Xaver Wurth) or I. Vinazer.F (Christian Vinazer).

Figure 2: Gold Maria Theresia Honor Medal, 1765-1780, Reverse. Image from Author’s archive..

Reverse:  The Lion of Bohemia with St. Wenzel’s crown on his head standing on a stylized platform. The lion holds in its right paw the Hungarian Patriarchs cross. Its left paw rests on the Austrian Herald’s shield. Paralleling the top edge of the medal is an inscription: IUSTITIA ET CLEMENTIA (Justice and Clemency)

Weight:

  • Large Gold Honor Medal = 15 Ducats (52.5 grams)
  • Gold Honor Medal = 10 Ducats (35 grams)
  • Small Gold Honor Medal = 5 Ducats (17.5 grams)
  • Large Silver Honor Medal = 43.7 grams
  • Silver Honor Medal = 35 grams
  • Small Silver Honor Medal = 26.3 grams

Size:   

  • Large Gold Honor Medal = 48 mm
  • Gold Honor Medal = 42.5 mm
  • Small Gold Medal = 33mm
  • Large Silver Honor Medal = 48 mm
  • Silver Honor Medal = 43.7 mm
  • Silver Honor Medal = 33 mm

Type of Material:  Gold and Silver

Variations: 

  • Type I: As described above
  • Type II: As described above but with the makers name A.Wideman
  • Type III: as described above but with the makers name I.Wurth.f (found on gold medals)
  • Type IV: As described above but with no makers name
  • Type V: As described above but with the obverse inscription MARIA THERESIA AUGUSTA and with the makers name I. Vinazer.F (Found on Large Silver Medals)

Designer:

  • Anton Wideman
  • Franz Xaver Wurth
  • Christian Vinazer

Manufacturer: Unknown

Number Issued:  Unknown

Case:  Unknown

Ribbon: Dark Rose Red                       

Figure 3: Dark Rose Red Ribbon of the Maria Theresia Honor Medal. Image from the author’s archive.

Attachments:  None

Miniature:  None known

 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Next time I will discuss the Franz Joseph Bravery medal as issued from 1866-1915.

 

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