Figure 1: Type II Commemoration Medal for the 1864 Campaign in Schleswig-Holstein. Image from the author’s archive.


In this blog I am going to discuss the Commemoration Medal for the 1864 Campaign in Schleswig-Holstein (Erinnerungsmedaille an den Feldzug 1864 in Schleswig-Holstein) established by Emperor Franz Joseph in collaboration with Prussian King William I to reward those who participated in the 1864 campaign against Denmark in Schleswig-Holstein.

Date Issued: November 10, 1864

Reason Issued: As a commemoration medal for the Austrian Prussian Coalition victory over Denmark in the February 1-October 30 1864 Campaign in Schleswig-Holstein. The medal was issued to all Austrian military personnel of the Austrian Army Expeditionary Force and the Navy North Sea Squadron that participated in this campaign.

Classes or Types: One

Interesting Facts:

  • This medal was issued by agreement between the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I and the Prussian King William I.
  • The Prussians issued a medal of similar design and on a similar ribbon in bronze for combatants and iron for non-combatants for the same campaign
  • The original medals were struck from captured Danish cannon
  • The rim of the medal is inscribed AUS EROBERTEM GESCHUTZ which translates: “from captured cannon”
  • The chocolate bronze medals with the edge inscription were the original issue and the awards in bright medal with no edge inscription are a latter issue
  • There was no certificate or award document issued with this medal
  • Those who received this medal later qualified for the 1873 war medal

Hallmarks: None Known

Design: A round medal with a small rectangular suspension eye

Figure 2: Commemoration Medal for the 1864 Campaign in Schleswig-Holstein Type I obverse. Image  courtesy of  Dorotheum.

Obverse: Inside a raised rim is the monogram FJ (Franz Joseph) under the Austrian Imperial crown and W (Wilhelm) under the Prussian king’s crown. Both monograms are in Latin cursive script.  The Monogram FJ is on the viewer’s left and the W is on the right.

Figure 3: Commemoration Medal for the 1864 Campaign in Schleswig-Holstein Type I reverse. Image courtesy of Dorotheum.

Reverse:  Inside a raised rim is a laurel wreath which is tied at the bottom with a bow. Inside the wreath is an inscription in four lines: UNSERN/TAPFERN/KRIEGERN/1864. Translation: Our brave warriors, 1864


Type I medal = 14 grams

Type II medal = 11.5 grams

Size: 29-30 mm in diameter and 3 mm thick

Type of Material:

  • Chocolate Bronze
  • A copper medal with a bright finish


  • Type I medal: As described above in chocolate bronze and with the edge inscription: Aus Erobertem Geschutz. Translation, From captured cannon
  • Type II medal = as described above with the bright finish, no edge inscription and a ball shaped eye raised on a small pedestal (replacement medals)

Designer: Freidrich Leisek

Manufacturer: The Vienna Hauptmunzamt (Mint)

Number Issued: Unknown however there were 28,000 Austrian military personnel who participated in the campaign and thus were eligible for the medal.

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time, when I will describe the case, ribbon and miniature of this medal. I hope you find joy in our shared interest.


Please follow and like us:
  1. Hello, here are my two medals. The Prussian version on the triangular ribbon, the Austrian version on the straight ribbon. The medals differ in the arrangement of the insignia W (ilhelm, Prussia) and J (oseph, Austria).

    • Andreas

      Thank you for sharing the pictures of your medals. I will be happy to comment on them with the understanding that my expertise is in the area of Austrian medals and that although I have some familiarity with German medals I do not claim to be an expert in that area. With that in mind let me say the following: first the pictures are not clear enough to make out specific details. I Thus comment on the medals in general. If their are specific anomalies you want me to comment on please provide clearer pictures or describe them and I will do my best to answer. With regard to the two medals you are referencing let me say first that if the German medal is on the tri-fold ribbon and the Austrian on the straight ribbon this is the opposite of what one would expect. It is possible for the Austrian medal to be worn on a straight ribbon as it was issued to military chaplains on a straight ribbon. However I am not aware of any instances in which German military personnel would have worn the German medal on a tri-fold ribbon. As I said I am not an expert on German awards so perhaps their is an explanation but this seem anomalous to me. As you noted the medals differ in that the Austrian version has Franz Joseph’s initials on the viewer’s left which is the senior position while the German medal has Wilhelm’s monogram in the senior position. Both medals appear genuine. I cannot tell from the picture if it is the Austrian or German medal that is inscribed on the edge. If it is the Austrian that is as expected for an original issue medal.

      I hope this helps. If you have other specific questions I will be happy to attempt to answer them.


  2. picture 2

  3. pic 3

  4. Hello, thank you very much for the insightful information. I checked the two medals one more time. The Austrian variant is hallmarked with JO on the band ring, the German variant has no hallmark. In my opinion, the straight ribbon is not an original ribbon.
    The triangular ribbon was also worn in this form by the German armies. It makes an original impression, the band ring is sewn, on its backside is a hook.
    Greetings Andreas

    • pic

    • Andreas

      Thanks for the additional information. As I previously mentioned I am not expert on the German awards and thus was not aware that German recipients would have worn the German version of the medal on a tri-fold ribbon. If you could provide a contemporary regulation reference indicating that German military personnel were authorized to wear German or German state awards on a tri-fold ribbon I would find that very instructive. As regards the Hallmark on the Austrian version of the medal I have been collecting information on Austrian hallmarks for many years. To date I have not seen the mark JO. However it is possible that the mark is JD with the did not well formed. If that were the case then that would be the mark of Josef Domhart, a well known Austrian medalist. I would also say that hallmarked versions of the medal are pretty rare as in those I have examined over the years I have not seen hallmarked examples.


  5. pic2

  6. Could it be that the Austrian version was gold-plated?
    Greetings Andreas

    • Andreas

      The original medals were issued in chocolate bronze and with the inscription on the edge of the medal. These medals were not issued in a bright finish. Later issues of the medal were in a bright finish but did not have the edge inscription and they also had a different suspension then the one in the medal in your pictures. However having said this I would add that occasionally Austrian officers would have brass or bronze medals gilded by a jeweler. This was most often done because at this time many officers wore a white full dress tunic and the bronze and brass medals when worn would stain the tunic. Thus they would have them gilded to prevent this staining. This was not authorized but did happen and may have happened to your medal.



  7. Hello Rick, thanks for the information. So far I didn’t know that the gilding of the medals was to protect them from stains. I thought this was done out of the wearer’s vanity. Who is behind the J O marking on the ring?


    • Andreas

      As I noted in my early response regarding the Hallmark on the Austrian version of the medal it is possible that the mark is JD with the D not well formed. If so it would be the mark of Josef Domhart. If it is JO then this is a mark I have not previously seen and am unable to attribute.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.