GREAT BRITAIN Peace of Utrecht, 1713, 35mm silver medal by J. Croker (MI II, 400/257; Eimer 460)
Obverse: laureate bust of Anne facing left, ANNA. D:G. MAG. BRI. HIB: REG:
Reverse: Anne stands as Britannia, sea and fleet in background. COMPOSITIS VENERANTVR ARMIS MDCCXIII
The Peace of Utrecht was a series of peace treaties signed by the belligerents in the War of the Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht between April 1713 and February 1715. The war involved three contenders for the vacant throne of Spain, and involved much of Europe for over a decade. The main action saw France as the defender of Spain against a multinational coalition. The war was very expensive and bloody and finally stalemated. Essentially, the treaties allowed Philip V (grandson of King Louis XIV of France) to keep the Spanish throne in return for permanently renouncing his claim to the French throne, along with other necessary guarantees that would ensure that France and Spain should not merge, thus preserving the balance of power in Europe.
The treaties between several European states, including Spain, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Savoy and the Dutch Republic, helped end the war. The treaties were concluded between the representatives of Louis XIV of France and of his grandson Philip on one hand, and representatives of Queen Anne of Great Britain, King Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia, King John V of Portugal and the United Provinces of the Netherlands on the other. Though the king of France ensured the Spanish crown for his dynasty, the treaties marked the end of French ambitions of hegemony in Europe expressed in the continuous wars of Louis XIV, and paved the way to the European system based on the balance of power. British historian G. M. Trevelyan argued that:
That Treaty, which ushered in the stable and characteristic period of Eighteenth-Century civilization, marked the end of danger to Europe from the old French monarchy, and it marked a change of no less significance to the world at large, — the maritime, commercial and financial supremacy of Great Britain
John Croker (1670–1741), engraver of English coins and medals, of German origin, was born at Dresden Germany. John Croker's godfather, took him as an apprentice to his business of goldsmith and jeweller at Dresden. During his leisure hours Croker worked at medal-engraving and tried to improve his knowledge of drawing and modelling. He later went to Holland, eventually coming to England towards the end of 1691. In England he worked with a jeweller, but later began to work exclusively as a medallist. In 1697 he was appointed an assistant to Captain Harris, the chief engraver of the mint. In this year Croker produced his first known English medal, relating to the peace of Ryswick. He was to become the chief engraver in 1705