Medalii, plachete, ordine, decoraţii, monede şi bancnote cu portretele regelui Ferdinand I şi reginei Maria / Medals, plaquettes, orders, decorations, coins and banknotes with the portraits of the King Ferdinand I and Queen Marry

  • Subiect: Ferdinand of HohenzoUern-Sigmaringen, the eldest son of Prince Leopold, the brother of Charles, was designated Crown Prince of Romania, in 1880, is quite strange that the event was not commemorated by a special medallic issue. The first medallic portrait of the crown prince appeared as late as 1891, on a "popular" medal. The effigy of the crown prince is depicted next to those of Charles I and Elizabeth. The artistic and technical worth of the portrait, made by C. Schwartz, is, however, low. The first major portrait of Ferdinand, as crown prince, dates from 1893 and is owed to the great artist Anton Scharff. It is a medal struck on the occasion of the marriage of the Crown Prince of Romania to Princess Mary of Great Britain and Ireland. Scharff realized a delicate portrait of the young couple, suggesting serenity and youthfulness. This medallic portrait would be a model for the one depicted on a piece from 1894, modeled by Johann Schwertdner and Menachem Camiol the son. Unfortunately, the latter is only a poor copy of Scharff s work. A shy and unassuming person, Ferdinand would reappear in the Romanian medallic art in 1897, when he miraculously survived a disease, incurable at that time. The portrait made by Carniol the son depicts an already mature man. Very important are the portraits of Ferdinand from 1907 - 1914, most of them realized by Tony Szirmai. The crown prince is depicted as a man marked by disease, prematurely old, but who kept his serenity and dignity in the face of adverse fate. Later Szirmai, alone or in association with Lordonnois, realized the first portraits of Ferdinand as King of Romania, in 1914 and 1916. The last one appears on the design of a medal dedicated to Romania joining in the World War I , and on a medal dedicated to the Romanian-French alliance. The dramatic events of Romania joining in the war on the side of the Entente are reflected also in the work of the artist Constantin Dimitrescu. He made the design of a medal whose multiplication was prevented by the vicissitudes of the fate Romania faced in the autumn and winter of 1916. Dimitrescu's model is a masterpiece of the Romanian medallic art. It depicts best the existential drama of the King, caught between his loyalty as German Prince of HohenzoUern-Sigmaringen to his native country, and that of King of Romania, his foster land. The vigorous medallic art, reduced to essential lines, makes of the king's portrait one of a martyr. Although King Ferdinand I and Queen Mary used to be distinguished admirers of the medallic art, as proved by the numerous orders launched by the princely couple between 1894 and 1914, as well as by the quality and modernity of their artistry, the political and economic difficulties undergone in the history of the country between 1916 and 1921 influenced also the medal issuing in the first half of their reign. From those years we know about 70 medallic types, but most of them are extremely modest samples, from 1919-1920, made in provincial workshops. Most of them lack the effigy of the sovereign. In spite of all that, due attention should be paid to the medals modeled by Szirmai, in 1919. One is dedicated to the first commemoration of the founding of Greater Romania, and the other to the Unification of Transylvania with Romania and its freeing from the danger of the communism of the Hungarian Council Republic, although an older obverse is resumed. The year 1921 marked a turning point in the medallic art of King Ferdinand I , as it was then that it was decided to organize his solemn coronation together with Queen Mary, as kings of all Romanians. In honour of that ceremony, that took place at Alba Iulia, more medals were ordered. The Oradea artist Mihail Kara (or Cara) realized a series of medal designs, dedicated to all the members of the royal family of Romania. Those that have been preserved include one bearing the effigy of Ferdinand I , made in the art nouveau style. The Bucharest goldsmiths Joseph Resch made a design of a medal with handle, dedicated to the same event. On it are depicted the twinned effigies of the king and Emperor Trajan, an influence from similar medals, issued in 1906 by King Charles I . From that very year dates an original portrait created by the Reşiţa bom artist Anton Rudolf Weinberger, settled in Vienna. Also this work nears the mark of the art nouveau style. The coronation ceremony, initially planned for 1921, finally took place in October 1922. On that occasion were put into circulation the official and "popular" medals modelled by the Romanian artist, settled in Paris, Constantin Kristescu. In spite of its being appreciated at the time, the medals are not of an artistic and technical quality worthy of such an event. Mihail Kara made another coronation medal. The portraits realized by Kristescu will be resumed in 1925, on the medals dedicated to the General Exhibition of Bessarabia. A new medallic portrait of King Ferdinand I was made by Anton Rudolf Weinberger in 1925, on the medal commemorating half centennial of the Romanian Royal Society of Geography, on which he is depicted for the first time accompanied by the effigy of King Charles I . The following year, in 1926, the Romanian sculptor Wilhelmina Pesky modelled a medal consecrated to the anniversary of the ascension to the throne of the king, although the event had taken place in 1924. The last medal struck during Ferdinand's lifetime dates from the spring of 1927. It commemorated 50 years from the Independence of Romania. The royal effigy is due to Joseph Resch. In this article are presented also a few "popular" medals bearing the portrait of Ferdinand I . They are surprisingly rare and of a low quality. It is presupposed that the accomplishing of national unity and the numerous visits of the sovereigns of Romania to the new provinces was marked by issues of "popular" medals, but the lack of thorough researches into the local collections prevents us, for the time being, from reconstituting, the exact dimension of the Romanian medallic phenomenon, during the years following World War I . During the reign of Ferdinand I only one medal bearing the twinned portraits of certain Romanian historical personalities was made. It was a design by Joseph Resch, from 1921, on which the king is depicted next to the effigy of Emperor Trajan. Also the memory of King Ferdinand I benefited from several posthumous medals. The first one was modelled by his youngest daughter, Ileana. The portrait made by Ileana is one of the most interesting in the iconography of Ferdinand I . It is elaborately simple, and reveals the essentials trends of the personality of the late king: his spirit of sacrifice, his modesty and endurance in confronting the fate. Also to Princess Ileana we owe the portrait on the "King Ferdinand I " medal, from 1929. The medals designed by the Princess are an exception in the field. They seem to be the only works of this kind realized after the real model. The other medals were designed on the basis of photographs, often-official ones, therefore somehow hieratic. The models of Princess Ileana seem to have originated in the sketches made, in the privacy of family life, where Ferdinand felt no longer il l at ease because of the protocol that used to annoy him, and he did not have to wear the rigid mask of the official position. Other posthumous portraits of Ferdinand I are depicted on the medals issued in 1928, on the anniversary of 50 years from the reintegration of Dobrudja in the modem Romanian state. They were modelled by the Swiss artist Henri Huguenin. The effigy of Ferdinand I appear next to the child sovereign, Michael I , and of Charles I and Mircea the Elder. They were obviously meant for propaganda, taking into account the shaky situation of the dynasty, after Ferdinand's death, and after the first reign of King Michael L from 1929, date the medal made by sculptor Constantin Baraschi and A. Demian, dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the founding of Greater Romania. As a work from his early years, the medallic portrait realized by Baraschi hardly makes any impression by its artistic and technical design. The effigy of the king who accomplished Greater Romania appeared also on several medals issued during the reign of Charles II , in spite of the strained relations between Ferdinand I and his eldest son, who was elected in the last ten years of the life of the former. Although Charles I I never forgave his being denied the right the ascend to the throne of Romania, on propaganda grounds he had to consider the medallic representation of Ferdinand's effigy. The first medal of this kind is the one from 1933, commemorating 50 years from the inauguration of Peleş Castle, and sculptor Ion Jalea designed it. The series was continued in 1936, with a medal dedicated to the 70th anniversary from the election "of Charles I as Prince of Romania. On both medals, made by Emil W. Becker, the portrait of Ferdinand I is depicted next to those of Charles I and Charles II . Also Becker is the one to whom we owe a twinned portrait of Ferdinand I and Charles II , on the medal consecrated to the Mausoleum of Mărăşeşti, a true masterpiece of the genre. Worthy of appreciation is also the "a l'Antique" portrait of King Ferdinand I , obviously inspired by the one designed in 1878 by Anton Scharff, for Charles I . The portrait is depicted in the medal struck in 1940, on the occasion of the uncovering of the king's statue (itself a creation of the same artist, later destroyed, by order from the communist authorities). At the same time, there is a model of a medal made in 1940 by Haralambie Ionescu, for the design of a medal that had to commemorate the inauguration of the monument of King Ferdinand I . In spite of the classicising style of the author, Ferdinand's portrait is obviously better than other works by H. Ionescu. Princess, later Queen Mary, Ferdinand's wife has a special place in the Romanian medallic art. Her first portrait is these is the medal struck in 1913 to commemorate the activity of the princess during a cholera epidemics, which touched the Romanian army during a campaign against Bulgaria in the second Balkan war. The medals struck for Queen Mary include a remarkable one commemorating the Romania-French alliance, from 1916, bearing the twinned effigies of the Romanian sovereigns, as well as the one from 1918, issued on the occasion of her election as a corresponding member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. Both are due to Tony Szirmai, turned into the favourite médailleurs of the royal family of Romania. The obverse bearing the 1916 portrait, where she is depicted next to King Ferdinand I , would be reused for two medals struck in 1919, in order to celebrate the first anniversary of Greater Romania, the unification of Transylvania with Romania, and the freeing of the trans-Carpathian province from the communist menace. The coronation planned for 1921 should have been commemorated by the medals ordered by sculptor Mihail Kara. The design of such a piece has been preserved. It bears a superb art nouveau portrait of Queen Mary. The Alba Iulia ceremony from 1922 was an occasion for Constantin Kristescu to model some official and "popular" medals, bearing on the obverse the twinned portraits of King Ferdinand I and Queen Mary. The latter wears the famous crown with, designed by Costin Petrescu, after the type of that of Princess Despina-Miliţa, the wife of Neagoe Basarab, and a grand purple mantle. The same author designed the models of the medals from 1925, dedicated to the General Exhibition of Bessarabia, whose obverses reuse the design of the commemorative medal of the Alba Iulia coronation. In 1926, the commemoration of 50 years from the Red Cross Society of Romania was an occasion for the Swiss artist Henri Huguenin, from Le Lôcle, to make an allegorical representation of the celebrated institution, depicting a nurse. It is obvious, however, that it is Queen Mary. Huguenin was inspired by the queen's portrait in a nurse garb, from 1913, made by Tony Szirmai. Queen Mary's traits are obvious in the allegorical representation of Romania, on the medals struck in 1928, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the unification of Transylvania with Romania. The model is the work of French sculptor Pierre d'Autel. To a certain extent due to the strained relations with King Charles II , between 1930 and 1937, Queen Mary's effigy appeared only on a few modest "popular" medals. As late as 1940 a posthumous medal dedicated to Queen Mary was struck. It was "Stella Maris", a great art nouveau medallic work, owed to Emil W. Becker. The queen is depicted as a personification of the Silver Coast, in South Dobrudja, and its pearl, the Baltchik, where she wished that her heart should be deposited after her death.
  • Limba de redactare: română
  • Vezi publicația: Muzeul Naţional
  • Anul publicaţiei: 2003
  • Referinţă bibliografică pentru nr. revistă: XV; anul 2003
  • Paginaţia: 311-341
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