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Médaille Militaire (Louis-Napoleon): CM.1460-2009

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Object information

Maker(s)

Paris (Mint)
Napoleon III (1852-70) (Ruler)
Barre, Albert-Désiré (Artist)
With the title of Louis Napoleon (Ruler)
Colmar, Paris (Mint)

Description

Many of the medals currently on issue in France date back to the reign of Emperor Napoléon III, in whose time France renewed its international rôle in politics without the ignominy of defeat that it had endured under Napoleon I. One such decoration is the Médaille Militaire, which was instituted in 1852 (within days of the then-President Louis Napoléon arrogating supreme power to himself), to be awarded to any junior officer or enlisted man who distinguished himself by an act of bravery. Commissioned officers could not be awarded the medal in these circumstances, but there is a variant of it which is awarded to generals for leadership; in this class Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt are numbered among the medal's very few foreign recipients.
This example of the medal bears the bust and name of Louis Napoléon; after his death a new version was struck in the name of the new Republic. Minor changes to the design that were made after the Crimean War are absent, so that the award of this medal must have been between 1852 and 1855. It is unnamed, so it cannot be known to whom it was awarded. Although this medal is part of the Watson Collection, Lester Watson's own lists give no provenance for it.

Notes

History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, no provenance.

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 25.4 mm
Weight: 17.32 g

Place(s) associated

  • Colmar

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2009) by Watson, Lester

Dating

1852 - 1855

Note

Gilt

Materials used in production

Silver

Techniques used in production

Struck

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Napoleon facing left with inscription around on blue enamel, laurel wreath around the whole surmounted by eagle to whose head is attached suspension

  • Text: LOUIS NAPOLEON
  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Inscription with laurel wreath around, whole surmounted by eagle's back

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1460-2009
Primary reference Number: 141554
Watson Catalogue: C
Ordering: M-0343
Previous object number: LW.0343
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Saturday 22 January 2022 Last processed: Sunday 23 January 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Médaille Militaire (Louis-Napoleon)" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141554 Accessed: 2022-06-25 06:05:02

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/141554 |title=Médaille Militaire (Louis-Napoleon) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-25 06:05:02|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Médaille Militaire (Louis-Napoleon)</figcaption>
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