Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


DASSIER, Jean: England, 1731, Silver, 41 mm
Obv: Bust of Stephen STEPHANUS D.G. ANGLIAE REX.
Rev: A tomb upon which sits a winged infant leaning on globe. On the front and one side are bas reliefs: one representing the battle of Lincoln, where Stephen was made a prisoner, and the other representing Stephen’s queen beseeching his release from the Empress Maud (Matilda).
Exergue: NAT. J105, COR. J135. MORT. J154
Signed: J. D.
Ref: M.I. i, 3; Thompson 22/04; Eisler I, 254/6a;  Weiss BW541

Stephen (1096-1154) also called Stephen de Blois was King of England from 1135 to 1154. He was the third son of Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres, and Adela, daughter of King William I, the Conqueror. Stephen pledged to support Henry’s daughter, Matilda (Maud), as successor to the throne but English nobles were reluctant to accept a woman ruler and Stephen was crowned. Matilda invaded England and proceeded to bring most of western England under her control. In 1141 the Angevins captured Stephen in a battle at Lincoln. His cause might have been lost had not Matilda’s arrogance provoked a rebellion of the citizens of London. Stephen gradually gained the upper hand and in 1148 Matilda withdrew from England. (Thompson)