Simon, Jean Henri

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SIMON, JEAN HENRI (1752–1834), engraver. Born in Brussels, the son of a seal engraver, Jacob Simon, Simon worked as early as 1767 as a gem engraver for Prince Charles of Lorraine. Moving to Paris, he became an engraver to Louis xvi. He held this position until 1792, when he joined the forces of the French Republic and became a lieutenant colonel in the Republican army. Falsely accused of treason, he fled France and worked as an engraver to the court of Spain. Simon returned with the advent of Napoleon and, after being twice wounded when a colonel in a regiment of lancers, he left the army and was appointed an engraver to the cabinet of Napoleon and engraver of title seals to the empress Josephine. He returned to Brussels after the fall of Napoleon and became engraver to King William i of the Netherlands. The medal production of Simon, though not as well known as his gem engraving, is also extraordinary. The Hague Museum has a fine collection of some two dozen of his medals. Simon engraved a series of 100 medals of illustrious men of the Low Countries. His two brothers, mayer simon (1764–1821), better known as Simon de Paris, and samuel simon (b. 1760) had distinguished careers as engravers, as did jean marie amable simon, his son.


D.M. Friedenberg, in: The Numismatist (July 1969), 896–7.

[Daniel M. Friedenberg]