Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss



DUVIVIER, Benjamin: France, 1781, Bronze, 72 mm
Obv: Bust of Louis XVI (r)    LUDOVICUS XVI FRANC. ET NAV. REX
Rev: Bust of Marie Antoinette    MAR. ANTON. AUSTR. FRANCIAE ET NAVARR. REGINA
Signed:  DU VIVIER F.
Ref:  Weiss BW118

For a brief biographical sketch of Louis XVI see the medal CORONATION OF LOUIS XVI AT RHEIMS.

Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) was the daughter of Emperor Francis I and Maria Theresa of Austria. She married Louis XVI in 1770, becoming the Queen consort. Marie Antoinette was never popular with the French public. (She was once to have exclaimed 'If I was not Queen, one would say that I had an insolent air'). She was often accused of putting Austrian interests ahead of those of her husband's kingdom. Her unpopularity was increased by her extravagant spending, which was often unfairly connected with the grave financial difficulties that beset France in the 1780s. This uncertain position put her in danger in the revolutionary period. This was not helped by her uncompromising stance to even the more moderate revolutionaries and her attempts at collusion with other European powers to try to suppress the insurgents. After the royal family failed to escape in 1791, and monarchy was abolished in 1792, Louis XVI was tried for treason and executed in January 1793. The former queen was tried by the National Assembly and executed a few months later that year.


LINK to Blog on Marie Antoinette  Versailles and More