SWITZERLAND. Bern. Sechszehnerpfennig (Silver, 57 mm, 73.56 g, 12 h), by J. Dassier. No date (since 1742). RESPUBLICA BERNENSIS. Bear standing left, head right, wearing belt and armor, holding sword surmounted by liberty cap in his right paw and resting his left on shield; arms and cannons at feet; to lower left, I•D•. Rev. FELICITAS - REPUBLICÆ• Religion standing facing, holding fasces in her left hand and sword and scepter in her right; to left, book inscribed LEGES / FUNDAMENT set on garlanded plinth; to lower left, stark standing right; to lower right, owl standing facing; to right of owl, small signature I•DASSIER / FECIT; in exergue, SENATUS ET SEDECIM / VIRI REIPUBLICÆ / •BERNENSIS•. SM 631. Beautifully toned and very attractive. Good extremely fine.
The impressive Sechszehnerpfennige were handed out since 1667 in Bern each year on Holy Thursday to the Sechszehnerausschuß des Großen Rats (Committee of Sixteen of the Grand Council). The dies of these impressive medals were crafted by the best artists of their time. With regards to this example, this artist was the famous Genevan medalist, Jean Dassier (1676-1763).