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Silver medal commemorating the deliverence of Hamburg from plague, Germany, 1714

This silver medal commemorates Hamburg’s escape from a plague epidemic in 1714. A flying angel is engraved, armed with a shield protecting the city. The angel indicated the engraver’s intention to show Hamburg as a place looked after by God. At this time, plague was often viewed as a divine punishment. The reverse depicts a peaceful country complete with a rainbow. The rainbow is a Christian and Hebrew symbol of God’s promise being kept to the faithful. The inscription is in Latin.

Object number:

A108896

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Glossary:

Glossary: medal

Small pieces of metal, usually gold, silver, or bronze, bearing a relief design on one or both sides and having a commemorative purpose; not used as a medium of exchange. Medals may also be created to commemorate individuals or events or even as works of artistic expression in their own right.

Glossary: commemorative

Use for items produced, issued, or worn to commemorate a person, event, or occasion. For structures erected to preserve the memory of persons or events, use "memorials."

Glossary: plague

An acute contagious fever with high levels of mortality. Both the 'Black Death' that swept Europe in the 1340s and the Great Plague of London in 1665 are believed to have been bubonic plague.

Glossary: epidemic

A sudden widespread occurance of an infection with high numbers of people affected.