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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Barthélemy Prieur (French, Berzieux ca. 1536–1611 Paris)
Date: late 16th–early 17th centuryAccession Number: 24.212.12
Medalist: Guillaume Dupré (French, 1579–1640)
Date: 1615Accession Number: 48.90.7
Medalist: Jean Varin (1606–1672)
Date: 1645Accession Number: 25.203.6
Guillaume Dupré (French, 1579–1640)
Date: 1605Accession Number: 1989.12.1
Watchmaker: Lambertus Vrythoff (recorded 1724–69)
Date: case ca. 1645, movement ca. 1750Accession Number: 17.190.1413
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Members of the French royal family and nobility are portrayed on many of the medals shown here. On the reverse of the medals are images and inscriptions celebrating the sitter's virtues or accomplishments, such as a military victory. Medals are both portable and durable and could be reproduced, making them ideal for spreading and preserving an individual's fame and achievements. Ancient Roman rulers who were admired in seventeenth-century France had used coins for this purpose. Louis XIV (1638–1715) relied on medals to promote the powerful royal image he had carefully cultivated as part of his mission to strengthen the monarchy. Also displayed in this gallery are carved hardstone cups, enameled watches, bronze statuettes, and other precious objects representative of the French nobility's taste for luxurious collectibles.
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