- Museum number
Pewter medal. (whole)
Half-length figure of John Law, three-quarters, right, head facing, hair long, in cocked hat, embroidered coat, and the badge of the Order of the St. Esprit attached to a riband: in his right hand he holds an inscribed paper. (obverse)
- Production date
Diameter: 32.000 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Medallic Illustrations 2, published in 1885, states:
This piece was executed by Christian Wermuth at Gotha.
John Law of Lauriston, the famous financier and speculator, was the son of a goldsmith, and was born at Edinburgh, 21 April, 1671. In 1694, having killed his opponent in a duel, he was compelled to leave Scotland, and, after wandering about Italy for some years, he went in 1715 to Paris, where, shortly afterwards, he started with great success a private bank. His gigantic financial schemes and his monetary visions captivated the Regent, who established in 1718 the Royal Bank of France, with Law as Director-General. He also appointed him Comptroller-General of Finances. In 1719 Law floated the great bubble Mississippi Scheme, which failing in the next year, plunged thousands of families into ruin. Law was, in consequence, compelled to quit France, and, retiring for a while to Brussels, he afterwards settled at Venice, where he died in indigence, 21 March, 1729. This piece was struck soon after the crash of all Law's financial undertakings, which it ridicules.
See Van Loon, Gerard, ‘Histoire Métallique des XVII. Provinces des Pays-Bas’, 5 vol. La Haye, 1732-1837 (fol) [There is also an edition in Dutch, but with different paging], Suppl. iii. 31.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Coins and Medals
- Registration number
- C&M catalogue number
MB2 (Medallic Illustrations 2) (448) (55)