1599. Expedition to Brazil and capture of St. Thomas by admiral Van der Does. Betts 20


Obverse: EN ALTERA QVÆ VEHAT ARGO, the ship the Argo seen from the side, a standing soldier on the prow, the large sail with the name of Jehovah, the golden fleece hanging from the prow, S.C. underneath
Keerzijde: SIC NESCIA CEDERE FATA MDIC, bird’s-eye view of Bommeler- and Tielerwaard, two border posts in the shape of a human with the Hebrew text for Jehovah between them
The golden fleece on the prow refers to the myth of Jason and the golden fleece, who performed glorious feats with his argonauts. The caption, an adapted quote from Virgil, also refers to this: “alter erit tum Tiphys et altera quae vehat Argo delectos heroas” (“There will be another Tiphys and another Argo, which shall carry chosen heroes”).
Pieter van der Does was a Dutch admiral (1562-1599) who fought against the Spanish during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648). In 1599 he left on an expedition to Brazil with 66 ships, but not before entering into a confrontation with the Spanish to maintain Dutch hegemony at sea. He sailed towards the Spanish-Portuguese coast to set up a blockade there. This failed. He then sailed to Gran Canaria and took Las Palmas. However, he did not hold out here either and continued his journey to South America, where he stocked up on large quantities of wood (mahogany) and sugar in Brazil. He sailed back via the Cape Verde islands and also conquered the island of St. Thomas (São Tomé) on the African west coast. From this island they took 100 cannons, many chests of sugar, ivory and linen. Shortly afterwards, however, Van der Does, together with 1,000 crew members, became seriously ill and died within 15 days. This medal was issued after his death to commemorate his exploits.


In stock


Additional information


6.48 g


AE 30.0 mm


Extremely Fine


vL. 532.2; Dugn. 3472; Betts 20