Figure 1: Maria Theresia Gold Honor Medal, obverse. Image attributed to Reference Catalog Orders, Medals and Decorations of the World A-D. by Borna Barac.

Introduction: The Maria Theresia Honor Medal (Maria Theresia Gnadenmedaille) was founded in 1754 to honor those who provided especially meritorious service in support of the Empress.

Date Issued: 1754 –1765

Reason Issued: As a reward for especially meritorious service in support of the Empress.

Classes or Types:  Two classes with three subdivisions

  • Large Gold, Gold and Small Gold Medal
  • Large Silver, Silver and Small Silver Medal

Interesting Facts:

  • Maria Theresia was the first 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” should be interpreted as “honor” therefore the title in today’s terminology would be the Imperious Maria Theresia Honor Medal

Hallmarks: None Known

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

Figure 2: Maria Theresia Silver Honor Medal, obverse. Image attributed to Reference Catalog Orders, Medals and Decorations of the World A-D. by Borna Barac.

Obverse: Inside a raised rim is a bust of the Archduchess Maria Theresia, facing to the viewers right and wearing a gown clasped at the shoulder. The empress is wearing a diadem and has long flowing curly hair. The medal has a raised rim. Paralleling the rim around the upper three fourths of the medal is the inscription: MARIA THERESIA D.G. ROM. IMP. GER. HUNG. & BOH. RE. ARCH. AUST.  Translation: Maria Theresia with the grace of God Roman Empress of Germany, Hungary and Bohemia Queen and Archduchess of Austria. On the bottom edge of the medal in smaller letters is the name of the medal engraver: G.Toda. F. (Giuseppe Toda with the F standing for Fabrikat: manufactured)

Figure 3: Maria Theresia Gold Honor Medal, reverse. Image attributed to Reference Catalog Orders, Medals and Decorations of the World A-D. by Borna Barac.

Reverse:  Inside a raised rim is 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. Translation: Justice and Clemency.

Weight:

  • Large Gold Medal: 15 Ducats (52.5 grams)
  • Gold Medal: 10 Ducats (35 grams)
  • Small Gold Medal: 5 Ducats (17.5 grams)
  • Large Silver Medal: 35 grams
  • Silver: 26 grams
  • Small Silver Medal: 17.5 grams

Size: 

  • Large Gold Medal: 48 mm in diameter
  • Gold Medal: 39 mm in diameter
  • Small Gold Medal: 33 mm in diameter
  • Large Silver Medal: 48 mm in diameter
  • Silver Medal: 39 mm in diameter
  • Small Silver Medal: 33 mm in diameter

Type of Material: Gold and Silver

Variations: None Known

Designer: Medals of all types: Giuseppe Toda

Manufacturer: Unknown

Number Issued: Unknown

Case: Unknown

Figure 4: Maria Theresia Honor Medal ribbon. Image form author’s archive.

Ribbon: Dark Rose Red

Attachments: None

Miniature: None known

I hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time, I hope you find joy in our shared interest.

Rick

 

 

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7 Comments
  1. Hi Rick, I very much enjoyed your article on the Maria Theresia medal. I have the same, however it’s not gold. One of the FB moderators was kind enough to place an enquiry on the OMSA Facebook page. Do you know if these medals were cast or minted? The piece I have appears to be cast. Many thanks in advance for your feedback. Jeff

    • Mr. Bozart

      Thank you for your inquiry. As you may know the Order of Maria Theresia was the highest award for bravery issued from the time of its creation until the end of the empire. In answer to your query my research shows the following to be true. Because of its high status even in WWI when strategic metals were hard to come by, and many awards were made of base metal the Order of Maria Theresia in all classes continued to be issued in gold. After the war there were instances in which jewelers and medalist issued copies of the order in silver and in gold for the collector market. In some cases, these were very well made and hard to discern from the awarded orders. My research indicates that all issued awards were struck and then enameled. I have never seen a genuine order that was cast. In summation although I have learned over my many years of research to never think I know all there is to know about any award, I will say that any order of Maria Theresia that is not struck in gold and fully hallmarked I would l find very suspicious. I hope this information is of use to you and once again thank you for your thoughtful inquiry.

      Rick

      • Mr. Bozarth
        I am sorry I misspelled your name in my previous answer. I have the highest regard for those who seek to know more about the Orders, medals and decorations that are the focus of our interest.

        Rick

        • Hi its me again,I cannot Figure it out how to send direct msg, I suppose that this is an visible reply instead of private msg what I was saying Iam not quite sure that you understand me right,or I have not understand you. If this last part of yours comment is maybe also reffering to me,then thank you for that if not anyway,its nice to read kind thougts. My comment about Mr. Barac surname is still wrong written. I hope that you dont mind me cos Iam writing this,or maybe is Barac here?

          • Adria1981

            You are correct in that we are not communicating well. Please give me the full name of the person who I misspelled and in what context the error was made. If I can be made to understand what the error is and where it occurred, I can assure you I will be happy to correct it. However, at the moment I am not sure what to correct or in what context.

            Rick

  2. I have thought that we didnt understand each other, Iam trying to be polite and just saying without no bad intention, Borna Barac is the name,of person that you have use pictures from his catalog,he is from my country,he have an auction house in Zagreb,now in may is one,I have exchange mail already,only one at year for phaleristic,and he wrote 4 or 5 catalogs from which you quoting that are pictures are taken,and I know that I dont like when someone misspelled my name,its no big deal like I have said before,but he give his big efford and hard work to create each catalog of 400 pages,I think that he deserve that people atleast his name wrote corectly. With respect,Adnan Hamzić

    • Adria 1981
      Thank you for pointing out this error to me. First, I am always trying to improve my blogs and am very appreciative of your helping me to remove this error. Secondly, I always wish to give proper credit to those whose work has influenced my blog reports and of course want to properly credit Mr. Barac. Thank you for your help. I will correct this error immediately.

      Rick

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