Historical and Commemorative Medals
 Collection of Benjamin Weiss


? :  France, 1667, Bronze, 89 mm
Obv:   Louis XIV       LVDOVICVS. XIV. D. G. FRAN. ET NAV. REX.
Rev: Louis crowned by Victory. Personifications of the cities of Tournai and Courtrai kneel before him, watched by River Gods holding urns labeled LISA and SCALDIS.   Legend around: CIVITATES. TORNACENSIS. ET CVRTRACENSIS (The Cities of Tournay and Courtray)
Ref: see Monnaie De Paris, Vol I; Obv:33rd Effigy; Rev: p.180(B);  Europese Penningen # 34; Weiss BW365

Starting in 1667 and lasting until the turn of the century, Louis fought a series of wars to accomplish his goals of expanding the French empire. The first was the so-called War of Devolution (1667-1668). The Spanish king, Philip IV, had recently died, and Louis saw his chance to expand into the Spanish Netherlands. Using an old custom of Brabant and Hainaut in which the children of a first marriage supersede those of the second, he claimed the Spanish Netherlands had devolved to him in the name of his wife, Maria Therese, daughter of the deceased King by his first marriage. The French army, led by Marshal de Turenne, overran Flanders prompting the United Provinces, England and Sweden to form the Triple Alliance. Louis succeeded in retaining a number of captured cities, including Tournai and Courtrai, the subject of this medal. The capture of Tournai by Louis XIV in 1667 caused it to have as bishops a series of Frenchmen. After the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) the French bishops were replaced by Germans.

The Belgian town of Tournai has a magnificent cathedral built in the 12th century.

The Lisa (Dutch, Leie: French, Lys) is a river in France and Belgium.  It is a left tributary of the Scheldt.  It passes through Courtrai (Courtray; Dutch, Kortrijk) and flows into it in Ghent, Belgium.

The Scaldis (Scheldt) is a river in the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. It has its origin in northern France and passes through the town of Tournai (Tournay).  It empties into the North Sea.

The medal appears to be a mule, as the obverse and reverse may have been struck from dies from different medals. (See also Baldwin, Auction 95, lot 2680).


LINK to Painting of the Army of Louis XIV at Tournai in 1667 by Adam Frans van der MEULEN (from Web Gallery of Art)