Historical and Commemorative Medals
  Collection of Benjamin Weiss

     

MARRIAGE OF LOUIS XV AND MARIA OF POLAND

DUVIVIER, Jean: France, 1725, Silver , 32 mm
Obv: Bust of Louis XV    LUD. XV. REX CHRISTIANISS.
Rev: Bust of Maria    MARIA REGIS STANISL. FIL. FR. ET NAV. REGINA.
5. SEPT. 1725

Signed:  DU VIVIER / DU VIVIER
Ref:
  Weiss BW109

Louis XV (the well-beloved) (1710-1774) was King of France from1715-1774. He was the great-grandson and successor of Louis XIV. Until Louis reached his legal majority in 1723, France was ruled by Phillippe, Duc d'Orleans. In 1725 Louis married Marie Leszczynska, daughter of former king Stanislaw I of Poland, the subject commemorated by this medal. This dynastic link brought France into the War of the Polish Succession, from which it emerged with greater claims to the province of Lorraine. Stanislaw I (1677-1766), King of Poland and Duke of Lorraine, was made King of Poland when Charles XII of Sweden overran Poland and expelled King Augustus III. Stanislaw, who was totally dependent on Swedish arms, went into exile in 1709 when Charles was routed at Poltava by Peter I of Russia. He emerged from oblivion when his daughter Marie married Louis XV of France. Marie Leszczynska (17031768) bore 10 children and was the grandmother of Louis XVI. Of retiring disposition, she made no attempt to rival the king's mistresses.
During the reign of Louis XV, Andre Hercule de Fleury, Louis' chief minister stabilized the national finances, but was unable to prevent France from entering the War of the Austrian Succession against Austria and Great Britain. After Fleury's death in 1743, the government of France was dominated by Louis' mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. A poor foreign policy led to the Seven Years' War, which cost France most of its colonial possessions in North America and India. His weak rule contributed to the decline of royal authority that led to the French Revolution (1789-99). He was succeeded by his grandson Louis XVI.

LINK to Biography of Marie Leszczynska (from Wikipedia)

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