Merit Medal for Royal and Imperial Military Doctors and Regimental Surgeons

Figure 1: Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal, obverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Introduction:

In 1785 Joseph II established the Emperor Joseph Medical Academy in Vienna. The academy was founded as an academic institution for the training of military physicians and surgeons. On this occasion it was also deemed appropriate to create and award to recognize physicians and surgeons for their meritorious service in support of the armed forces of the Austrian Empire. What follows is a description of that award which was called the Merit Medal for Royal and Imperial Military Doctors and Regimental Surgeons (Verdienstmedaille für  K.K. Militärarzte und Regimentschirurgen).

Medal Numismatics:

Date Issued:  1785-1790

Reason Issued:  As a reward for meritorious service by military physicians and regimental surgeons who had distinguished themselves by their special proficiency and devotion in their respective professions.

Classes or Types:  Three

  • Large Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal
  • Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal
  • Small Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal

Interesting Facts: The eyes on the medals vary with the large medal having a large flat eye; the silver medal having a fleur-de-lis shaped eye and the small medal a serrated wedge shaped eye.

Hallmarks:  None Known

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

Figure 2: Large Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal, obverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Obverse:  For the large silver and silver medal a youthful bare shouldered bust of Joseph II, facing to the viewers right. He is depicted with long flowing hair in which is a laurel wreath. Paralleling the rim around the upper half of the medal is the inscription: IOSEPHVS II. AVGVSTVS (Joseph II Emperor). Near the lower edge of the medal is the signature of the medalist: I. N. Wurt F. (Johann Nepomuk Wirth, The F stands for Fabrikat: fabricated) (see Figure 2 above). For the Silver Medal, all is as described except that the suspension eye is in the form of a fleur-de-lis (See Figure at the top of the blog).  For the small silver medal as described above except the visage of the emperor’s image is slightly different and near the lower edge is ‘DONNER’ (Ignaz Donner) (see Figure 3 below)

Figure 3: Small Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal, obverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 4: Large Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal, reverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Reverse: Reverse: 

  • Large Silver and Silver Medal: The reverse of the medal is plain except for an inscription which reads in five lines: BENE MERENTIBVS/DE/ARTE MEDICO CHIRVR/GICA/PRAEMIVM, (Awarded for Outstanding Service in the Medical and Surgical Arts)
  • Small Silver medal: The reverse of the medal is plain except for an inscription which reads in four lines: ACADEMIA /MEDICO/ CHIRVRGICA /MILITARIS (Medial Surgical Military Academy).

Figure 5: Small Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal, reverse. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Weight:

  • Large Silver Medal = 113 grams
  • Silver Medal = 45 grams
  • Small Silver Medal = 14 grams

Size: 

  • Large Silver Medal = 50-51 mm in diameter and 5 mm thick
  • Silver Medal = 43 mm in diameter
  • Small Silver Medal = 35 mm in diameter

Type of Material:  Silver

Variations:

  • Type I Large Silver Medal as described above.
  • Type II Large Silver Medal as described above but the reverse inscription is in six lines as follows: BENE MERENTIBVS/DE ARTE. MED. CHIRVRG / PROEMIVM INSTITVIT./FR.ANTON.BRENDEL./CHIRVRG.MILIT./MDCCLXXXV.

Figure 6: Large Silver Physicians and Surgeons Medal, reverse Type II. Image from the author’s archive.

Designer:

  • Large silver and silver medal: Johann Nepomuk Wirth
  • Small silver medal: Ignaz Donner

Manufacturer: Vienna Hauptmunzampt (Vienna Mint)

Number Issued:  Unknown

Case:  Unknown

Figure 7: Physicians and Surgeons Medal ribbon. Image from authors archive.

Ribbon: A 43 mm wide ribbon with a Lemon-yellow center and with 10 mm black edge stripes

Attachments:  None

Miniature:  None known

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Next time I will discuss the Karl Bravery Medal issued from 1917-1922

Rick

 

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