Nicoleta Demian

„All’austriaca marina… il supremo mio vale”. O medalie deosebită din colecția Muzeului Naţional al Banatului din Timişoara / „All’austriaca marina… il supremo mio vale”. A special medal in the collection of the National Museum of Banat in Timișoara

Jan. 1, 2019

silver medal
Maximilian of Austria
Johann Schilling
medalie de argint
Trieste, Josef Tautenhayn Senior
Maximilian de Austria
the collection of the National Museum of Banat



"e collection of medals in the National Museum of Banat from Timisoara boasts a silver medal (inv. no. 130) of great artistic, as well as memorialistic value. "e piece recalls the 1875 erection of the monument of Ferdinand Maximilian Josef of Habsburg (1832–1867), Archduke of Austria, Emperor of Mexico (1864–1867), in Trieste, who would remain in the memory of contemporaries due to his tragic fate. "e medal was made by Josef Tautenhayn Senior (1837–1911), one of the most important Austrian medalists of the 19th century, a perfectionist of forms, famous for the beauty of his medals. With a diameter of 70.4 mm and a weight of 133.97 grams, the medal was donated to the museum in 1881 by the Minister of War Szende (Frummer) Béla (1823–1882), a native of Banat, along with six other medals. It presents the biography of Maximilian, who had a brilliant career in the Navy, and the special relationship he had with the city of Trieste, chosen as his residence in 1854. Married on July 27th, 1857 to Princess Maria Charlotte of Belgium (1840–1927), the couple would settle in Trieste in 1859, in the splendid Miramare Castle built between 1856–1860 based on the plans of the architect Carl Junker (1827–1882). Here, for several years, Maximilian, who was passionate about natural sciences (especially botany), history, art and literature, devoted himself to travel, scientific and literary pursuits. From here, Maximilian and Carlota will leave on April 14th, 1864 by the frigate Novara for Veracruz, after Maximilian’s acceptance of the crown of Mexico, in an attempt doomed to failure from the beginning. After the execution of Maximilian by the republicans on June 19th, 1867, his lifeless body was brought here by the frigate Novara in January 1868, on the way to Vienna. On July 13th, 1867 a Committee was already formed in Trieste for the erection of a monument dedicated to the memory of Maximilian, which brought together personalities of the city and gathered the necessary funds by public subscription. "e monument, made by the German sculptor Johann Schilling (1828–1910) was inaugurated on April 3rd, 1875 in the presence of Emperor Franz Josef in Giuseppina Square, overlooking the harbour. For this festive moment, the medal which is the subject of this article was issued, made of gold, silver and bronze at the Vienna Mint, designed and drawn by Prof. Johann Schilling, the designer of the monument, and engraved by Josef Tautenhayn Senior. It should be noted that on February 27th, 1875, when the foundation of the monument was built, two medals (one silver, one bronze) were deposited in the foundation along with several silver coins circulating at the time and two documents documenting the erection of the monument. In 1921, when the monument was dismantled to be relocated, the medals, coins and documents deposited in the foundation in February 1875 were discovered, were donated to the Museum of History and Arts in Trieste. "e monument was stored behind an annex in the park of Miramare Castle until 1961, when it was placed in a touristic area of the park. In December 2008, the monument was relocated to its original location, Giuseppina Square (now Piazza Venezia), as a sign of acceptance of the past.