About this artwork

This medal of the king’s Secretary for State for Scotland, John Maitland, was made in 1672 to commemorate Maitland being awarded the Order of the Garter and gaining the title the Duke of Lauderdale. The duke is shown in profile and wears Roman dress, classicising his image to remind viewers that, like images on antique coins, he represents imperial power. He wears a contemporary seventeenth-century wig and Roettier has expertly captured Maitland’s characteristic burly face with portly jowls, heavy eyelids and moustache. The reverse of the medal shows an image of Minerva, the goddess of war. This symbolises both the ongoing Third Dutch War and Lauderdale’s role in the stability of the country, as emphasised by the motto ‘Consilio et Animis’ [by counsel and courage].

John Roettier

John Roettier

The Roettier family was a successful Flemish dynasty of engravers and medallists. The name gained its reputation with Philip Roettier (1596-1669), whose support of Charles II whilst he was in exile secured future patronage for his sons. Following Charles’ restoration, Philips’s eldest son, John, was invited to work in England. John was unquestionably the most significant of the Roettier engravers and became Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint in 1670. Two of his brothers, Joseph and Philip, were also employed by the Mint and the three continued to work together until 1679. Although both brothers had returned to Europe by 1685, John continued in his role at the Mint, assisted by two of his sons, until 1689. He remained in London until his death in 1703.