William III, Prince of Orange
Embarkation at Hellevoetsluis
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.
Schulman 358, 22 February 2019, lot 1258.