Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss



by WARIN, Jean: France, 1629, Bronze (early cast), 68 mm
Obv: Bust of Ruze (r) wearing ribbon and cross of the Order of the Holy Spirit.   A[ntoine]. RVZE. M[arquis]. DEFFIAT.ET.D[e]. LONIVMEAV. SVR[intentan]T. DES.FINANCES. (Antoine Ruzé, Marquis D’effiat et De Longjumeau, Superintendent of Finance)
Rev: Atlas and Hercules QVIDQVID.EST IVSSVM.LEVE.EST. (Whatever is ordered is easy).
Ref: Pollard II, 660; Jones vol 2, 181; Kress 569;  Scher 339/152; Weiss BW812

Antoine Coëffier, Marquis d’Effiat (1581-1632), called Ruzé in honor of his grandfather, Martin Ruzé, was a provincial governor and military leader under the patronage of Cardinal Richelieu. In 1624 Louis XIII sent him to England as ambassador extraordinary to negotiate the marriage of Princess Henrietta Maria of France with the Prince of Wales (later Charles I of England). In 1631 he became Marshal of France because of his success as commander of the French forces during the wars against Savoy and Piedmont. Ruzé was also instrumental in improving the administration of the iron mines of the kingdom and in rebuilding the castle of Effiat and in founding a hospital and college there.

In 1629 Ruzé was appointed Superintendent of Finances, the position celebrated by this medal. He is shown on the reverse as Atlas helping the French king Louis XIII, in the guise of Hercules, carrying the burdens of state, symbolized by a terrestrial globe.

This medal was often attributed to Guillaume Dupré, but Mark Jones, having found an example in silver that was signed by Warin, concluded that this medal in bronze is likely to be that of Warin as well. The excellent specimen in the Victoria and Albert Museum is in such high relief that Hercules' left arm stands out free of the field.

LINK to Portrait and Biography of Ruze (in French) (From Wikipedia)