Gdański medal jubileuszowy z okazji trzechsetlecia inkorporacji Prus do Polski w roku 1754
Gdańsk jubilee medal on the 300th anniversary of the incorporation of Prussia into Poland in 1754
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The cultivation of the memory about the victorious battle with the Teutonic Order in Gdańsk historiography of the 16th-18th centuries constituted an important element of Gdańsk inhabitants’ identity. According to this tradition, in 1754 the city authorities of Gdańsk commemorated the 300th anniversary of the collapse of the power of the Teutonic Order and the incorporation of Prussia into Poland in 1454. Apart from organizing official celebrations and giving solemn speeches, another characteristic element of public celebrations in the early modern period became minting medals. In Gdańsk the city financed minting gold and silver medals to commemorate special events. Jubilee celebrations appear in the literature of the subject. That is why the aim of the article is the analysis of records included in Gdańsk account book for the year 1754/1755, which allow us to reconstruct unknown circumstances of minting the jubilee medal. Thanks to the research the author of the project was found and identified (Johann Donnet). What is more, it was revealed how many coins were minted and how high costs the city bore for this. From the collected precious ore there were minted 286 silver coins and 5 gold coins, which were given away to the most important people in the Gdańsk and in the country. The circle of people honoured by the jubilee medal reflected the hierarchy of power in Gdańsk. This costly form of the patronage of the city constituted also a hidden form of remuneration for politicians. Giving away medals was included in the costs of making politics, which required meeting the expectations created in the second half of the 17th and the 18th centuries. The magnitude of the expenses is considerable, for despite serious debts Gdańsk paid for minting medals the big sum of 15 853 florins, which constituted the sum of money comparable with annual expenses on the maintenance of the local garrison (14 391 florins).
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