Commemorative Medals

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Commemorative Medals (Dutch gedenkpenningen) are medals made of gold, silver, or other metal to commemorate certain historical events. There are a few memorial medals concerning Mennonite history:

A medal in silver and also in pewter engraved in 1736 by Martinus Holtzhey, to celebrate Menno Simons'leaving the Roman Catholic Church in 1536. This medal shows on one side a portrait of Menno and on the other side a poem in the Dutch language.

 The 1736 medal by Martinus Holtzhey. Source:  
  • A medal was issued in 1835 to commemorate the centennial of the Amsterdam seminary and the tercentennial of Menno Simons' leaving the Catholic Church. The medal, engraved by van der Kellen, shows the muse of eloquence standing near a pulpit.
  • A medal in bronze, issued in 1845 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Mennonite conference in Friesland. This medal, engraved by T. A. Keikes, shows the conference represented as a woman with a cross on her breast. An old man on her right points at a ruin of an old church; at the left a young man and a new church; before her a cornucopia and a vase filled with coins. Legend: 1695 Friesche Doopsgezinde Sociëteit 1845. On the other side the inscription: ter gedagtenis aan III Julij MDCCCXLV.
  • A medal, issued in 1898 for the congregation of Hamburg-Altona for presentation to members who celebrated their silver wedding. The medal contains on one side a portrait of Menno Simons; the other side was intended for an inscription.
  • A medal commemorating the 350th anniversary of Menno Simons' death, engraved in 1909 by Johannes von Langa for the Hamburg-Altona congregation. This medal shows a portrait of Menno Simons and the symbols of the seal of the Hamburg-Altona congregation, that is, two palm trees divided by a body of water, and the all-seeing eye of God (exists in silver and bronze).
  • A medal engraved by Johannes von Langa in 1911 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Conference of German Mennonite congregations. One side shows the portrait of medal 4 (above) and laurel branches, other side an inscription with the names of the board of the Vereinigung der Mennoniten-Gemeinden im Deutschen Reich (exists in silver and in bronze).
  • A medal commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Mennonite congregation of Berlin, Germany, engraved by Johannes von Langa in 1912. One side shows the portrait of Menno (as 4 above, but without laurel), the other side the inscription: Zur Erinnerung a. d. 25-jährige Bestehen der Ber¬liner Mennoniten Gemeinde 1912 (silver and bronze).   (For Nos. 1-6 see Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 1916, 75 f., 95-98.)
  • A medal in bronze, engraved in 1935 by A. Mazotti, commemorating the fall of the Münsterite kingdom of Jan van Leyden, July 1535. The medal shows on one side the city of Münster according to an old picture, with the city coat of arms; the other side has portraits of Jan van Leyden, Knipperdolling, and Krechting.
  • There are also many medals of ca. 1647, often in silver or gold, issued by Dutch Mennonites to commemorate their silver or gold weddings. These medals are also important for Mennonite history.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Commemorative Medals." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 Nov 2017.

APA style

van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Commemorative Medals. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 November 2017, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 648-649; vol. 4, p. 1074. All rights reserved.

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