Medals of Francis Stephen in Prague

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June 7, 2012 – Tomas Kleisner and Jan Boublik, two curators of the numismatic department of the National Museum in Prague present coins and medals of Maria Theresa’s husband, the Emperor Francis Stephen, kept there. They also discuss the Emperor as a keen numismatist who taught his children to collect medals.

Tomas Kleisner, Jan Boublik, Coins and Medals of the Emperor Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Collection of the National Museum, Prague, 2011. 208pp. ISBN: 978-80-7036-316-4.

Their book presents enlarged photographs accompanied by easy to read texts explaining medals from the point of view of cultural history. Latin inscriptions are translated and forgotten meanings and figures explained. The authors use the latest research as well as 18th century pamphlets and newspapers to put medals into a broader historical context and bring new information to numismatists and also to historians and art historians.

The bilingual text is clearly inspired by the official compendium of medals of Maria Theresa from 1782. Titled Schau- und Denkmünzen Maria Theresias it was published by the Emperor’s daughter Archduchess Maria Anna whose authorship is surprisingly denied here. It seems that she only translated the German text of P. Adaukt Voigt into French.

Nearly every medal is accompanied by a well chosen print, drawing, painting or Roman coin suggesting what inspired their makers. Collectors of orders and decorations will be pleased to see both sides of the Order of Maria Theresa presented to Alexander of Francquet on 4th December 1758, which has found its way into the National Museum in Prague.

The book ends with the entire series of medals portraying the House of Lorraine by Ferdinand St. Urbain.

You can find this title on the website of the National Museum in Prague.