Germany Prussia 1844 Literature & Science Gold Medal Of 20 Ducats

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  • Regular price £4,750.00

Gold. 42mm. 69.5g.

By J.L Jachtmann & C.Pfeuffer.

Wilhelm IV 1840-1861. The Great Gold Medal For Literature and Science. A superb medallion, the reverse of which depicts the Greek God Helios about a wagon of four rampant horses, above seven celestial zodiac signs. The obverse depicts the bust surrounded by the faculties of theology, archaeology, medicine and law.

The medal is accompanied by an old note which reads:

'Sir, On the 10th September 1844 the Great Gold Medal of Art and Science (illustrated here) was presented by order of His Majesty Frederick William IV, King of Prussia, to Dr Leonard Schmitz, a naturalized Englishman and at that time one of the foremost historians in England, and the founder of modern education in Scotland, in approbation of the success of Dr Schmitz's publication in the English language of the Niebuhr Lectures on Roman History.

Barthold Niebuhr - a Dane - (176-1821) [should read 1776-1831] was famous as a Statesman and Historian. As a young man he was an accountant in a Copenhagen bank; during a fire at the bank the ledger containing some 1800 accounts was destroyed, a seemingly irreplaceable loss, but to everybody's amazement Niebuhr re-wrote the 1800 accounts from memory, an incredible feat.'

A small edge test at 7 o'clock on reverse otherwise Extremely Fine with brilliance. Extremely rare.

A similar example realised a hammer price of 8,500CHF at a Sincona AG auction dated 14/10/2015 (lot 2628).