Maurice Medallion

Prince of Orange medallion, brass, ca. 1615

Prince of Orange Medallion

This medallion, depicting Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, upon his 1612 induction into the Order of Knights of the Garter, was discovered by archaeologists at Flowerdew Hundred in the 1980s. Minted in 1615, this commemorative piece was to be worn to signify one’s connections with the Prince of Orange. This Dutch painting shows a Maurice medallion worn around the neck, as is suggested by the drilled hole of the medallion discovered at Flowerdew Hundred.  Some scholars have even suggested that some medallions of this sort might have held a mirror backing.

Several identical Maurice medallions have been discovered by archaeologists, including one at nearby Jamestown, a Native American grave in Rhode Island, and several others by hobbyist metal detectors in England. The two best examples are now held within London’s British Museum. It has also been suggested that the occurrence of this Maurice Medallion at Flowerdew Hundred, as well as at Jamestown, is not insignificant given that Sir George Yeardley, the first owner of Flowerdew Hundred and a governor of Virginia, might have owned such a piece to demonstrate his status and connections with the Prince of Orange.