Finally, after a wait of nearly 200 years, the Allied powers who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo were today presented with the original commemorative Waterloo Medal at a ceremony held at Apsley House, official home of the Duke of Wellington.
Waterloo 200, the Government-backed organisation overseeing the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, has worked in partnership with The London Mint Office and Worcestershire Medal Service to have the Medal produced for the very first time in its original size. The Medal was originally commissioned in 1815 and designed by renowned engraver Benedetto Pistrucci – but never struck.
Their Excellencies Dr Emil Brix, Austrian Ambassador, Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador, and Ms Tania Freiin von Uslar-Gleichen, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy, each received the Pistrucci Medal on behalf of their country. These were presented to them by Lord Douro, son of the Duke of Wellington, following a number of talks including an account of the significance of the Battle of Waterloo and the Allied co-operation by historian Peter Snow.
Angela Pistrucci, 3rd great niece of the late engraver, Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter on behalf of the Waterloo Association, the Royal Mint Museum and the Waterloo Committee from Belgium were also presented with the Medal as well as Lord Douro himself, who received it on behalf of the Duke of Wellington.
Her Majesty the Queen will also be receiving the Waterloo Medal which will be presented to her on a later date.
In addition, His Excellency Mr Guy Trouveroy, Belgian Ambassador, and Mrs Margriet Leemhuis, Deputy Head of Mission at the Dutch Embassy, each received a commemorative silver Waterloo Campaign Medal on behalf of their country for the essential roles their nations also played in the
Battle of Waterloo.
The commemorative Pistrucci Medal was commissioned only 10 days after the Allied victory over Napoleon in Waterloo by the first Duke of Wellington’s brother, Sir William Wellesley Pole, who tasked Pistrucci with its design and production.
It took Pistrucci over 30 years to complete the moulds, known as dies, not only due to the mammoth dimensions of the Medal, which is 139mm in diameter, much larger than any previously created, but also due to the complexity and intricacy of the design itself. The Medal features on one side the four busts of the Allied rulers each wearing a laurel wreath, surrounded by allegorical scenes representing the battle and the peace that followed. On the reverse the Duke of Wellington and Prince Blücher, the Prussian Field Marshal, are depicted riding their horses into battle, while the Gigantomachy – the Greek mythological battle between the Giants and the gods of Olympia – is featured around the central figures.
By the time the dies were completed in 1849 the four Allied sovereigns who were to receive the Medal had all died and it was never struck.
At the event Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, Chairman of Waterloo 200, also announced that up to 500,000 commemorative Waterloo Campaign Medals, struck in bronze, are to be given free to the UK public as a gift from Waterloo 200, funded by the London Mint Office. These medals will be available on a first-come-first service via www.200waterloo.co.uk.
“The battle of Waterloo was a milestone in European history; it ended over 20 years of conflict in Europe and beyond, and impacted many thousands of lives for much of the 19th century by heralding over 50 years of relative peace and stability,” said Tim Cooke, Joint Chairman, Director and Trustee of Waterloo 200. “It is fitting that we can finally commemorate the military exploits of the Allied sovereigns by presenting their countries with the Waterloo Medal in the size Pistrucci originally intended – and also to enable so many people across the UK to own their own piece of history.”
“I am very pleased to receive this newly minted Waterloo Medal on behalf of my father, the Duke of Wellington”, added Lord Douro. “We remember the bravery of the thousands of men from many nations who fought and died in a few hours on the 18th of June 1815. It is very appropriate we do so on Remembrance Day."
“We are thrilled to be part of such an amazing initiative,” concluded James Deeny, Managing Director of The London Mint Office. “Telling history through coins and commemorative medals is at the heart of what we do; I can’t imagine a better example of this than bringing to life Pistrucci’s beautiful and amazingly detailed Waterloo Medal as originally intended by the master engraver.”
Worcestershire Medal Service, Medallist to Her Majesty the Queen, produced the medals on behalf of the London Mint Office, ensuring that every detail in Pistrucci’s legendary medal was faithfully reproduced. 2015 of the full size silver Pistrucci Medals have been minted, to honour the bicentenary next year, and these will be available for sale, also at www.200waterloo.co.uk, at a price of £3,900 each, along with a limited edition of the Medal at the smaller size of 89mm, priced at £297 each. A percentage of the revenue from all Waterloo medal sales will be donated to Waterloo 200 to fund its activities.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The London Mint Office is part of the Samlerhuset Group, one of Europe’s largest coin and medal companies, founded in 1994 and operating in 14 European countries. This European connection, and the fact that Group operates in most of the countries which participated in the Battle of Waterloo, is one of the main reasons why Waterloo 200 chose The London Mint Office as its official partner for distributing the Waterloo Medal and the Waterloo 200 coin sets.
Margherita Bartocci at Loudmouth PR:
T: 020 7981 9858, E firstname.lastname@example.org
Journalists: For more information and access to visuals please visit: http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/london-mint-office
About Waterloo 200: Waterloo 200 Ltd is an organisation approved and supported by government to oversee the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
In 2009 Waterloo 200 Ltd was granted charitable status. For more information visit: http://www.waterloo200.org/
About The London Mint Office: The London Mint Office is a trusted and respected partner for a large number of British coin collectors. Gold, silver and other precious metals have fascinated mankind for many centuries, making coin collecting a popular hobby the world over. The London Mint Office is at the centre of British numismatics, bringing the fascinating world of coin collecting to both existing and new collectors. Together with its sister organisations across Europe, The London Mint Office provides a wide range of coins from ancient to modern, originating from virtually every country in the world. Visit www.londonmintoffice.org for more information.
About Worcestershire Medal Service: Worcestershire Medal Service is one
of the largest suppliers of State Honours in the UK. Granted a Royal Warrant as Medallists to Her Majesty The Queen in 2008, it is best known for the Diamond Jubilee Medal issued in 2012 and its sister organisation Gladman & Norman which designed and produced the Elizabeth Cross. It currently supplies UK insignia ranging from the GCB to the BEM as well as awards to countries in Asia, Middle East and the Caribbean. It is this production heritage that led Waterloo 200 to choose Worcestershire Medal Service as its production partner. Visit www.worcmedals.com for more information.
The London Mint Office was established in 2006 and since that time has become the UK market leader in the provision of collector coins and medals. The London Mint Office is a member of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) in the UK and is an official distributor for many national mints.