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BM01349

Antichristian Confederacy, 1688.

James II, the Antichristian Confederacy, 1688, Silver Medal by Jan Smeltzing, standing figures of the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman III; Hajji Hussain Mezzomorto, privateer, Bey of Algiers and Admiral of the Ottoman Navy; Louis XIV of France; and James II, who take an oath of allegiance around a burning altar on which a crescent dominates a chi-rho, a snake can be seen amidst the flames, rev. a winged imp of Satan, wearing a Jesuit's cap, hovers over three lilies supporting a crescent, IN FOEDERE QUINTUS [the fifth in the confederacy], 1688, 37mm (Eimer 295; MI i 632/54). A rim knock and rectangular area of light tone, otherwise a darkly toned, extremely fine and a rare medal.

In the Protestant Netherlands, rumours spread that James II had offered safe harbor to Algerian Pirates who had attacked and robbed Dutch merchant vessels in the Mediterranean. Poised for a shift in power when Parliament was to reject James II and invite William of Orange to assume the throne, Smeltzing engraved these dies linking James II, Catholic France, and Islam, with the Devil. The three lilies may represent the fleurs de lis of France, the greater Catholic power, supporting or dominated by the crescent of Islam.

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