Medal, 1914

Commemorating the arrival of Prince/King Wilhelm I in Albania


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This medal commemorates the arrival of the recently-selected Prince/King (Mbret) of Albania, Wilhelm I (Wilhelm Wied-Neuwied) at the port of Durres, on 07 March 1914. The obverse shows his profile, sculpted by Austrian sculptor Gustav Gurschner (1873-1970). On the reverse is Wilhelm's cipher: a W ensigned with the newly-created Princely Crown of Albania. The novel design of this crown broke many conventions. The VII, III and 1914 refer to the monarch's date of arrival. This medal was independent Albania’s first decoration and served as a tangible token of the beginning of the Principality of Albania and of Prince Wilhelm's reign.

After Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1913, the Great Powers selected Wilhelm of Wied as its first monarch. His brief reign lasted from March to September of 1914, when he fled Albania, although he never renounced his claim to the throne. Fourteen years later, Albania would crown its second monarch, King Zog I. His self-proclaimed monarchy was dissolved in 1939 when Mussolini annexed Albania and Zog went into exile.

Medium & Techniques

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Bronze; ribbon


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39mm x 29mm

People involved

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Acquired from K. Georgios of Dracomedals (Tirana, Albania)