Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


ABEELE, Pieter van: France, 1660, Silver (cast), 69 mm
Obv: Cardinal Mazarin (r)   IVLIVS ST[anctae]. ROM[anae]. EC[c]L[esiae]. CARD[inalis]. MAZARINVS (Jules Mazarin, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church)
Rev: Temple of Peace. On roof two genii of Fame blowing trumpets.  On the tympanum, the double-faced head of Janus.  Below tympanum: GAL[liea]. M[onarchia]. P[acata]. (The Monarchy of France Pacified).  Around:  QVI. POSVIT. FINES SVOS. PACEM. PSA[lmo]. [1]47 (He Maketh Peace in Thy Borders; Psalms 147:14)   Below: D[eo]. I[vlivs]. EQVES. DED[icavit].  (The noble Julius Has Dedicated This to God).   On either side of temple: ANNO 1660 (The Year 1660).
Signed: PVA (Pieter van Abeele)
Ref: Van Loon II 440/3 (Very Rare);  Scher (Dutch Medals) 41/27; Nomos 28; Weiss BW001

Jules Mazarin (1602-1661) was a protégé of and successor to Cardinal Richelieu. Mazarin's diplomatic skills helped him negotiate the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659) (for which this medal was executed), which not only ended the war between France and Spain but also resulted in a Spanish bride for Louis XIV, Princess Maria Teresa, daughter of Philip IV of Spain, thereby giving Louis a legitimate claim to the Spanish throne. This treaty between France and Spain, completed the Peace of Westphalia (1648) negotiated at the end of the Thirty Years' War. The Peace reflected the decline of Spain and the ascendancy of France as the dominant power in Europe. Mazarin's policies were continued by his successor Jean Baptiste Colbert. (See also section on French medals).

The reverse of the medal relates to the Roman custom of closing the gates of the Temple of Janus at the conclusion of peace.

The medal consists of two cast and chased silver shells joined at the rim.