Roman iron age fibula, found today in Heradsbygd in Elverum, Hedmark, an area steeped in ancient history. It is broken off just at the base of the foot end of the bow, and the foot plate is missing. It is almost 40 mm in length and measures 26 mm across at the head plate.
This medallion, found in Ringsaker, has a rather interesting story. It originates from the time of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. The war was in many ways a culmination of France and Prussias vying for the influence over many of the western german minor states, Prussia on one hand seeking to unite all of germany into a single state, France on the other seeking to maintain their hegemony, and unrivaled position as the powerhouse, of Continental Europe.
The 19. of september, Paris was besieged by the Prussians, and to retain it’s comminucation with non-occupied France and the outside world in general, the French began employing hot air balloons (as well as homeing pigeons) carrying mail. To the end of the war, 66 manned balloon flights were launched from Paris. The Balloon “Ville d’Orleans”, while only meant to fly a novel distance outside paris, carrying among other things important information to the Minister of War Léon Gambetta, was caught up in a storm that would lead them on what would be the longest balloon flight on record. In the end, it touched ground in a remote mountainous region fo Lifjell in Norway, and the crew barely managed to leap out before the balloon was blown further inland, finally crashing at by a croft alongside Krøderen lake. The balloonists, Rolier and Bezier was celebrated as heroes in Norway, and 35 000 commemorative medals were made out the metal from the balloon by goldsmith Tostrup in the capital of Oslo (at that time known as Christiania). The proceeds would go to wounded French soldiers. This is one of these medals.
The war would eventually end in 1871 in the capitulation of France, with the cession of Alasace-Lorraine, and more importantly the dissolution of the French Empire and the establishment of the German Empire.