William III, Prince of Orange

Embarkation at Hellevoetsluis

Silver, 81.3 mm Ø, 112.8 g
Style of Wouter Muller, dated 1688.
Obverse:  Bust of William of Orange facing three-quarters right, with long hair, wearing armor, mantle, and lace cravat. To the left and right are figures of Prudence and Valor, who together hold a laurel wreath above the bust. Below, a cartouche with the incuse inscription DAT HY OP DE GOLVEN TRIUMPHERE 16 88 (May He Triumph Over the Waves, 1688). Around, incuse, ✲ DIT'S PRINS WILLEM D. III WIENS OORLOGS RAET EN DAET . D'EERSTE NIET BESWYKT MAER VEEL EER T' BOVEN GAET (This is Prince William the Third, who by his prudence and valor in war is not inferior but even surpasses the First).
Reverse:  A fleet of ships under sail, leaving harbor. In the foreground, a group of cheering people on a pier. Above, Fame flying left blowing two trumpets with the rays of the sun behind. Around, incuse, ✲ T VERTREK VAN SYN HOOGHYT DEN HEER PRINS VAN ORANJE, UYT HELLEVOETSLUYS NA T'KONINKRYK BRITTANJE, A°. 1688. den 11 November (The departure of His Highness the Prince of Orange from Hellevoetsluis for the kingdom of Britain, 11 November 1688).

In 1688 William III, Prince of Orange, was invited to invade England and assume the English crown, removing the Catholic king James II and restoring Protestant rule. On October 29, William set sail from Hellevoetsluis with his fleet, but had to turn back due to unfavorable winds. The inscription on the obverse cartouche alludes to this first failed crossing. A second departure occurred on November 11, and William arrived in Torbay on November 15. James fled for France on December 23, and William and his wife Mary assumed the crown early the following year. These events would later become known as the Glorious Revolution.

This medal is hollow, made from two shells that are joined with a rim. A number of medals were created in this unusual manner during the second half of the seventeenth century, though the artist behind this medal is unknown. Frederiks attributes it to Wouter Muller based on the high relief style, bust composition, and cartouche design. However, it is stylistically less refined than the other medals by Muller, and he is believed to have died in 1673. Hawkins gives this medal to an "O. Müller", and the Teylers Museum website gives it to an "F. W. Muller".

Van Loon, Hawkins, and Frederiks all provide a slightly different spelling of some words in the legends ( OORLOGS / OORLOGHS, BESWYKT / BESWYCKT, HOOGHYT / HOOGHEYT, KONINKRYK / KONINCKRYCK ). The examples in the British Museum and The Hague are also noted by Hawkins to lack the inscription on the obverse cartouche. The examples in the Teylers Museum and Royal Museums Greenwich, along with one sold in J. Schulman list XXXV in 1898, have the same legend spellings as this example. In addition to these alternative spellings, there are also slight differences in the design elements. Frederiks notes that he has not yet seen a real example of this medal.

Provenance:

Schulman 358, 22 February 2019, lot 1258.

References:

Van Loon 1732-37, vol. 3, p. 351.1

Hawkins 1885, vol. 1, p. 635, no. 59

Frederiks 1943, p. 46, no. 13/13a