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Stanisław August Poniatowski - Public Education Commission

Popularization note

The medal commemorates the introduction in 1777 of the study of agriculture in public schools in the Republic of Poland, which were subordinate to the Commission of National Education (KEN). It was initiated by Major-General Stefan de Rieule (?-1785), the director of the royal palaces at the time of Stanisław August Poniatowski (1764-1795), the author of works on agronomy and the first botanical treatise published in Poland. He was also the originator of the first unrealised project of a natural history museum in Poland, which was to combine didactic functions with the role of a scientific and research institution.

In response to a competition announced by KEN, Stefan de Rieule prepared a project for a school textbook on botany, agriculture and horticultural issues. He used the 200-ducat prize he received for this project to found this medal, dedicated to the King and members of the Catholic Education Committee. Its obverse depicts the bust of Stanisław August Poniatowski with an oak wreath on his head. On the reverse, however, there is a fourteen-line Latin inscription, translating to, ‘During the reign of Stanislaus Augustus, eight men superiors of public institutions, Ignacy Prince Massalski, Michał Prince Poniatowski, August Prince Sulkowski, Joachim Chreptowicz, Ignacy Potocki, Adam Prince Czartoryski, Andrzej Zamoyski, Antoni Poniński because of the introduction of agricultural science in public schools Stefan de Rieule donated in the year 1777’.

The author of the work is Jan Filip Holzhaeusser (1741-1792), the most outstanding medal-maker of the Stanisław times. The artist's signature under the royal bust – I. P. HOLZHAEUSSER. F. –on our copy is practically illegible. It is most probably due to the fact that it was struck with a very worn obverse stamp. It probably happened already in the 19th century, on the wave of growing interest in the past and collectors' demand. On the reverse, on the other hand, damage to the stamp was recorded, which is also documented by medals created in the 18th century. The work measures 57 mm in diameter, which is 3 mm less than the medals of the period.

After the closure of the Warsaw Mint in 1768, the stamps of the medal were taken to St. Petersburg, and were returned to Poland in 1924.

Tomasz Markiewicz

Information about the object

Information about this object

Author / creator

Holzhaeusser, Jan Filip (1741-1792) (medalist)


cały obiekt: width: 57 mm

Object type



stamp minting



Creation time / dating


Creation / finding place

powstanie: Poland (Europe)


The National Museum in Lublin

Identification number


Location / status

object is not displayed now

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