Diameter: 42.000 mm
Bank of England Collection
Room 47: Europe 1800-1900
Silver medal of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Battle of Waterloo, by Emile Rogat
Paris, France, AD 1815
Napoleon's last stand – defeat at the hands of Wellington
The Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815) was the final defeat of Napoleon (1769-1821) after twenty-three years of war between France and the other major European countries. After his abdication as Emperor of France, banished to Elba in 1814, Napoleon returned to Paris, forcing Louis XVIII to flee and beginning his 'one hundred days' back in power. The Battle was fought at Waterloo, nine miles south of Brussels, between Bonaparte's French army and the allied forces of the Duke of Wellington and the Prussians. Napoleon's legendary skill as a general failed him, as he made the fatal mistake of delaying the start until midday, hoping for drier ground, but allowing the Prussian troops under Field Marshal von Blücher to join Wellington's army. The Emperor and his marshals were unable to withstand the attack, losing 25,000 men. Napoleon was forced to abdicate for the second time four days later.
Emile Rogat (1770-1852) was a sculptor and coin engraver, who produced a number of portrait medallions and medals of historical events. His portrait of Bonaparte conforms to other official images, showing his head crowned with a laurel wreath. The reverse shows a fallen eagle, representing the French army, surrounded by four vultures, which symbolize the victorious British, Prussians, Austrians and Dutch. The piece was made for the British market, a continuation of the hugely successful 'metallic history' of Napoleon, instigated by the emperor himself.
L. Forrer, Biographical dictionary of m-3, vol. 5 (London, Spink, 1912)