Mixed Metal Plaque Commemorating Ferdinand Ist, King of Hungary
Continental, 19th century. A sand-cast circular brass plaque consisting of a central medallion showing the reverse side of the seal of Ferdinand Ist as King of Hungary (1526-1564), surrounded by a wide rim with eight large coins featuring one of Ferdinand's Coat of Arms as King of Hungary and Bohemia, as well as various related historical figures. Some of these figures are identified as Laux Kreler, a goldsmith in Augsburg, Bavaria, his wife Elisabet Kreler, Laurentius Puccius, a Florentine Cardinal, Maria Anna, Archduchess of Austria, Gustav Adolphus II, King of Sweden. Two figures remain unidentified. The rim of the plaque is also embellished between each coin by alternating motifs of a winged female figure and a crowned and bearded male figure; plaque dia. 18 in., central medallion dia. 5.25 in., coins dia. 2.25-2.5 in.
Ferdinand Ist was born in Spain in 1503 and became King of Bohemia and Hungary in 1526. He was subsequently elected King of the Romans in Cologne in 1531, and eventually crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1556 upon his brother Charles Vth's abdication. He reigned until his death in 1564. Among his most celebrated accomplishments are his resistance against the advance of the Ottoman Empire in Europe during the late 1520s, and his critical role in the religious conflicts of the time opposing Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation, which culminated in 1555 with the Peace of Augsburg establishing the legal co-existence of the Catholic and the Lutheran faiths.