Michiel De Ruyter, the greatest Dutch naval hero
LOW COUNTRIES. Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden (Dutch Republic). 1581-1795. Medal (Silver, 70 mm, 122.19 g, 1 h), on the death of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter on 29 April 1676. Dies by Chr. Adolphzoon, no date (1676). MICHAEL DE RVITER PROVINCIARVM CONFOEDERAT: / BELGIC: ARCHITHA=LASSVS DVX ET EQVES. Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed half-length bust of de Ruyter facing slightly to left; wearing cravat and collar of the Order of St. Michael. Rev. PVGNANDO• Scene of the Four Days' Battle on 1-4 June 1666: Dutch and English warships in action; in the front, burning vessel. Eimer 238. Van Loon III, p. 186. Very rare. Lustrous and with beautiful old collection toning, a splendid example. Tiny marks, otherwise, good extremely fine.

Arguably the greatest of the many Dutch naval heroes, Michiel de Ruyter spent his life at sea, serving the Dutch Republic in a multitude of battles around the globe. As admiral, he commanded the Dutch fleet in many of the engangements of the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 1660s, scoring his most brilliant victory in the famous Raid on the Medway on 19-24 June 1667. In a daring push, the Dutch fleet sailed into the River Medway to the English naval base of Chatham, burning three capital ships and ten ships of the line, and capturing and towing away the English flagship, HMS Royal Charles. It was one of the worst defeats in the Royal Navy's history, and arguably the worst it ever suffered in home waters.

De Ruyter died ten years later from a wound sustained in the Battle of Augusta near Sicily, where he commanded a Dutch-Spanish fleet in an indecisive engagement with a superior French force. Revered by his sailors and respected by his enemies, it is said that even the French fleet honored him by firing a salute when his embalmed body was carried aboard his flagship to the Netherlands past the French line. De Ruyter was buried in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam in a lavish tomb designed by the Flemish sculptor, Rombout Verhulst.
Price: 9,500 CHF


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