Figure 1: Gold Military Merit Medal of the Lower Austrian Mobilization, obverse. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 2: Large Silver Military Merit Medal of the Lower Austrian Mobilization, obverse. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Introduction: 

This decoration was issued by Emperor Franz II in 1797 to reward those persons who responded to the call to the leaders of Lower Austrian cities in 1797 to mobilize volunteer units to repel the French Invasion.  The medal was issued in four classes.

Date Issued:  April 28, 1797

Reason Issued:  Issued by Emperor Franz II in 1797 to reward those persons who responded to Chancellor Count Saurau’s call to the leaders of Lower Austrian cities in 1797 to mobilize volunteer units to repel the French Invasion.  As a result of this appeal the cities of Lower Austria sent 17 battalions of infantry, 1 battalion of Jaegers, 2 Squadrons of cavalry and 450 other troops to the battlefield.

Classes or Types:  Four

  • Gold Medal ( Highest Ranking Officers)
  • Large Silver Medal (Commemorative medal for officers)
  • Medium Silver Medal (Commemorative medal for non-commissioned officers)
  • Small Silver Medal (Commemorative medal for enlisted personnel)

Interesting Facts:

· Receipt of this Decoration exempted the recipient or his wife and children in the case of his death from taxes

· The gold medal was awarded to Count Saurau, Duke of Wurttemberg who commanded the mobilized troops, some district chiefs and high level government officials

· No examples of the small silver medal for soldiers is known to exist and therefore may never have been struck

· Cast Iron examples of this medal are reputed to have been struck, however, no examples of the cast iron medals are known to exist

· The Lower Austrian contingent consisted of 17 battalions of infantry, 1 Jager battalion and 2 squadrons of cavalry, as well as the Standkorps of 450 persons.

Hallmarks:  None Known

Design:  A round medal with a raised rim and a large flat attached circular suspension eye at the top

Figure 3: Large Silver Military Merit Medal of the Lower Austrian Mobilization, obverse. Image from Pinterest.

Obverse: The bust of Emperor Franz II, facing to the right, with long flowing hair and a laurel wreath on his head. Around the edge of the medal is an inscription which reads: FRANZ. II. ROM. KAI. ERZHERZOG. ZU. OESTERREICH. Translation: Franz II Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria. Below the bust is inscribed the name of the medalist I.N. Wirt F. Wirt (Johann Nepomuk Wirth, Wurth),  (The F following the name stands for fabrikat ,(fabricated).

Figure 4: Large Silver Military Merit Medal of the Lower Austrian Mobilization, reverse. Image from Pinterest.

Reverse: An oak wreath tied at the bottom with a bow. Inside the wreath in eight lines is inscribed: DEN/ BIEDEREN/ SOEHNEN/ OESTERREICHS/ DES/ LANDESVATERS/ DANK/ MDCCXCVII. Translation: The nation’s founders give thanks to its loyal sons 1797.

Weight:

  • Gold Medal = 10 Ducats (35 grams)
  • Large Silver Medal = 25 grams
  • Medium Silver Medal = 20 grams
  • Small Silver Medal = 18 grams

Size:

  • Gold Medal = 41 mm in diameter
  • Large Silver Medal = 41 mm in diameter
  • Silver Medal = 39 mm in diameter
  • Small Silver Medal = 37 mm

Type of Material: Gold and Silver

Variations: Medals of blackened Steel that are 39-40 mm in diameter have been noted in the literature, however no known copies exist

Designer: Johann Nepomuk Wirt

Manufacturer: The Vienna Hauptmunzampt (The Vienna Mint)

Number Issued: Unknown

Case: Unknown

Figure 5: Military Merit Medal of the Lower Austrian Mobilization ribbon. Image from the author’s archive

Ribbon: There are three ribbons reported for this medal

· A 39-40 mm wide half white and half red ribbon is usually associated with this medal.

Attachments:  None

Miniature:  None known

 

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

Rick

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