Historical and Commemorative
Collection of Benjamin Weiss
PEACE OF THE PYRENEES BETWEEN FRANCE AND SPAIN:
ABEELE, Pieter van: France, 1660, Silver (cast), 69 mm
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.