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King (reign): Maria II (1834 - 1853)
Denomination/metal: Gold Escudos, Four (Peca)
Date/mint mark: 1834
Type Lisbon Mint
Ref. no: Gomes 19.01; F 141
Obv. Diademed, draped bust left, hair up, 'MARIA II D G PORTUG ET ALGARB REGINA'. Rev. Crowned Royal Arms in a laurel and oaken wreath.
31mm, 14.31g. GEF - Good Extremely Fine, with much original mint bloom
Maria came to the throne in 1826 to 1828 and then again from 1834 to 1853 regaining it from her regent Miguel I who had taken the throne for himself! In 1835, at the age of fifteen, she married Auguste, Duke of Leuchtenberg, but he died only two months later. A year later she married the cultured and able Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and he received the title of King consort in 1837, in accordance with Portuguese custom, upon the birth of their first child Peter, an heir to the throne. Maria's reign saw a revolutionary insurrection on 16 May 1846, but this was crushed by royalist troops on 22 February 1847, and Portugal otherwise avoided the European upheavals of 1848. Maria's reign was notable for a public health act aimed at curbing the spread of cholera throughout the country. She also pursued policies aimed at raising the levels of education throughout the country. After constant pregnancies and births, doctors warned Maria of the dangers of giving birth nearly every year and while giving birth to her eleventh child, the stillborn Prince Eugene, she died. Very handsome coin of the 15 year old queen, a low mintage and only a two year type – lovely rose toning to the gold.