AUGUSTUS THE STRONG

by Wayne Bednersh

Augustus 11 aka Augustus the Strong  (1670–1733) was the king of Poland and Elector of Saxony. At one point in time he lost an unpopular war with Charles 11 of Sweden, but eventually regained his kingship.



Currently he is not considered to be one of the better kings of this area, but he is known for several accomplishments:

1. Augustus's great physical strength earned him the nicknames "the Strong," "the Saxon Hercules" and "Iron-Hand." He liked to show that he lived up to his name by breaking horseshoes with his bare hands. His ancestor Cymburgis of Masovia was also noted for her strength. He was only about 5'9" tall, but that was above average for his time period. There is a rare genetic condition called myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, or muscle enlargement. and it is likely that he inherited this condition. He is also know for having a number of illegitimate offspring.

2.  As Elector of Saxony, he is perhaps best remembered as a patron of the arts and architecture. He established the Saxon capital of Dresden as a major Baroque cultural centre, attracting artists and musicians from across Europe to his court. Augustus also amassed an impressive art collection and built fantastic baroque palaces at Dresden and Warsaw. Dresden is still well known for impressive art and architecture despite the fact that it was substantially destroyed by Allied bombing during the second world war.

3. Being a "party animal"  the King used every excuse to throw a party: His lavish  dance parties (balls), Venetian-style balli in maschera, gatherings, games and garden festivities were numerous and legendary. They are well documented by foreign princes, Saxon and Polish courtiers, and historians. They gave his court a fabulous reputation throughout Europe.

4. All of this lavish living culminated in diabetes which was a major cause of his death.



augustus ll silver server spoon
I have included a ruler and a normal sized tea spoon so you can judge size.
A spoon of this huge size is truly a fitting way to remember this larger than life King .
There are no identifying marks, but I suspect that this piece is made of 800 silver and is probably from Hanau, Germany ca. 1900

augustus ll silver spoon
The king is dressed in an extravagant outfit.
His right hand is holding a scroll and his left hand is resting on the hilt of his sword.
The boots are the type used when riding a horse.

augustus spoon back
The back of the finial is also nicely finished

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