40-ducat Břetislav II standard
Bretislav was the son of duke Oldřich and his would-be wife Božena. At young age his father appointed him as administrator of Moravia, and after Oldřich’s death his uncle Jaromír helped him to gain the Czech dukedom.
In 1021, Bretislav was involved in an event that is quite rare in the history of Czech ruling houses. Born out of wedlock, Břetislav did not have many chances to marry a girl from a noble family. He therefore kidnapped his future wife Judith (Guta) of Schweinfurt from a convent in Schweinfurt, the daughter of the Bavarian duke Henry of the Babenberg family.
In the first years of his more than 20-year reign he managed to expand his dominion at the expense of the neighbouring Poland. In 1038 he seized Krakow, one year later he captured Gniezno, from where he brought to Bohemia the relics of Saint Adalbert. In this town he also promulgated the oldest Bohemian Land Code, so-called Bretislav’s decrees. In 1054, he resolved (although temporarily) the issue of succession when he issued the famous Seniority Law. For the first time this act stated that Bohemia and Moravia would pass directly through the senior line of the Přemyslid dynasty. Břetislav died at Chrudim in 1055 – his relics are buried in St. Vitus’ Cathedral at the Prague Castle.
Author of the design Luboš Charvát placed on the obverse side of the medal the figure of Bretislav I, complemented in the lower part with the tender struck during his reign, and text (in Czech) in two lines “Břetislav I. – Čtyřicetidukát”.
On the reverse side there is a composition created by a drawing from the The Codex Vyssegradensis, also known as the Vyšehrad Codex or the Coronation Gospels of Vratislav II. The Codex originated on the occasion of coronation of Bretislav’s son Vratislav I. It is the oldest preserved legend on the kidnapping of Judith by Bretislav. The motif is encircled in a decorative frame and accompanied with text of the period related to the legend.
Limited edition 150 pieces, numbered.