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1637 Artischofski Medal
Betts-37, Fort Larrayal Captured

Betts-37. 1637 Artischofski Captures Fort Larrayal, Brazil. Brass, cast, once gilt. VF. 63.2 mm, 55.1 gm. Betts states that the capture of "Larrayal" is the subject of this rare medal, but as John W. Adams and Dim Verschoor point out in "The Artischofski Medal" (MCA Advisory, Medal Collectors of America, July-September 2011), the medal's actual purpose was to honor Polish nobleman Christopher Artischofski Arciszewski (born 1592) for his long and heroic service to the Dutch West India Company in the Americas. The medal design is misleading, depicting a commemorative pillar bearing the Portuguese shield that was never actually erected. The Latin legend announces, Having Conquered the Hostile Spaniards, He now Accepts the Laurels of Victory.
The reverse is occupied by a 13-line Latin tribute to Artischofski's bravery, loyalty and achievements in both arms and learning. The Polish nobleman was ousted from Brazil in a dispute with Governor Prince Jan Maurits of Nassau and had to fight to clear his good name. Ultimately he returned to Poland and additional military exploits. Adams and Verschoor have ascertained that four Artischofski medals exist in silver, four in bronze, the latter from two different dies. The present specimen shows the doubled lettering in the reverse inscription depicted in Adams' enlargements, figures 4, 5 and 6. Its gilding is now uneven, but the strike and detail are remarkably bold and full. A major rarity with an even rarer story to tell.

John W. Adams Commentary
"This is the Artischofski medal. It was written up in an extensive article in the MCA Advisory."
Ex: Johnson and Jensen (12/1981), lot 525; DNW (7/2011), lot 1731.
From The John W. Adams Collection.

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Auction Dates
January, 2013
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