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Images That Inspired The Mint Master

 
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Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 01/09/2019  11:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think the Third Reich did not pratice Festina Lente.

Perhaps there is a moral there.

A very nice journey through Renaissance emblemata and WOlf Lauer tokens! Superb!
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 Posted 01/10/2019  4:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 1c5d7n5m to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


From Nuremberg to the Netherlands; we stay in the first decades of the 17th century. Below is a copper rekenpenning Gelderland entitled 'pamphlet against the armistice'



Reference: Dugniolle 3632 see http://www.dugniolle.com/dugniolle3601-3700.html for another piece
OBV: Ostrich with spread wings, NIL PENNA SED VSVS 1608
REV: Coat-of-arms of Gelderland, CALC CA COMP DV GEL z CO ZVI

While the reverse has the expected appearance of a jeton (coat-of-arms of the province of Ghelders and legend stating it is issued for the financial chambers of the province) the obverse (both image and legend) is curious and enigmatic. With the experience learned from the Nuremberg jetons of Wolf Laufer, I started searching for an emblematic link, and found three clues.

1) the emblem book "Nucleus Emblematum Selectissimorum" by Gabriel Rollenhagen (1583-1619), printed in 1611 in Arhem, Ghelders, about 10 miles from Harderwijk ! The motto reads like a legend: NIL PENNA SED VSVS


https://archive.org/details/nucleus...ll/page/n123

the emblem introduces the concept of deceptive outer display
like an ostrich with big feathers that cannot fly, any person holding a pen does not make this person a writer
the pun is that a writing pen in those days was made from bird pen feathers

2) the emblem book "A Collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne", by George Wither was printed in London in 1635. This book reviews the emblem, but the interpretation is different: the deceiving outer display is like the hypocrisy often present in human behavior.


https://publicdomainreview.org/coll...m-book-1635/

An interesting aspect is that the ostrich holds a horseshoe in its beak. It was believed in those days that ostriches could digest everything, even objects from stone and iron. What we know today is that all birds (including Struthio camelis the biggest of the paleognatea, flightless birds) are toothless dinosaurs that evolved to grind their food by a special stomach filled with small ingested stones.

But the horseshoe is missing on my coin. Moreover, the date of print of the Ghelders emblem book "Nucleus Emblematum Selectissimorum" is three years AFTER issue of the rekenpenning, so it is more likely that Gabriel Rollenhagen was influenced by the mint master than vice versa.

3) Interestingly, there is a third lead: Claude Paradin's "Devises heroïques" printed in Lyon (Jean de Tournes and Guillaume Gazeau) in 1557


https://www.emblems.arts.gla.ac.uk/...d=sm816_p049

Image of the ostrich standing with spread wings, looking to the left is exactly as on the rekenpenning

Epigram: (below the image in French) is about hypocrisy (in religious matters). I try to translate.

As the ostrich spreads its wings & beautiful plumes,
he gives a great show how to fly, but he does not lift
from the ground. Like the hypocrites, who by external
appearance excel in their display of religious piety.
But that is all & it is just for the show.
Because in reality all is the contrary.

The political bottom line of this Jeton is that the province of Gelderland had questions about the honesty of the two parties negotiating a truce in 1608. One year later, the "truce of 12 years" was signed between Albrecht and Isabelle, archdukes of the Spanish Netherlands and Maurice of Nassau and Johan van Oldenbarneveld, the leaders of the Dutch Republic. This truce (1609-1621) would give both sides some oxygen to recover from a war that started in 1568 (and that would end in 1648).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelv...ars%27_Truce
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 Posted 01/13/2019  04:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 1c5d7n5m to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
thanks, jbuck and thanks tdziemia for posting a number of very nice examples !

it would be fantastic to see other examples posted !

so may be there is more that could fit in:
showing your example of a connection between ideas were that going around at the time the mint master a made up his mind what image should be on the next coin, token or medal.
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 Posted 01/14/2019  8:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another example of religious iconography, leading to further curiosity about whether it is the ideas (iconography) or the mintmasters that are travelling around

The story of the archangel Michael (or St. Michael) slaying the dragon/Lucifer/Satan has its origins in the biblical book of Revelations, and begins showing up on European coins mid-15th century (if not even earlier?). Here is an early English gold angel of Edward IV (1472/73), in which Michael sports feathers on more than just his wings while stomping on Satan (not my coin ; current Kunker auction):


I thought this display of excess feathers was ... well ... odd. Until I found this depiction of Michael in a medieval French Book of Hours:


Of course, there was lots of exchange between the French and ENglish, so maybe this is not at all surprising.

At about the same time, Naples under Ferdinand of Aragon (1458-94) was issuing silver coronatos with a more militaristic St. Michael on the reverse, sporting armor and a shield (in place of the feathers):



A possible inspiration could be this depiction which I could only find attributed as "Sienese school, mid-1400s."


That puts it in Italy at the right time, but what is odd (for both the artwork and the coin) is that this is the cross of St. George, a piece of heraldry that I would normally expect to see is someplace other than Naples.

Edited by tdziemia
01/14/2019 8:42 pm
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 01/15/2019  02:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 1c5d7n5m to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Naples under Ferdinand of Aragon (1458-94) - silver coronato


very interesting example, tdziemia, thanks for sharing;

the contrast between the North European and South European image of the battle between good and evil is very clear, both on the coins and on the paintings; these are nice illustrations

it is also curious that in later times St George and not St Michael was used on the English Crowns and Pounds: with horse instead of wings, sword instead of spear and shield; this picture is one of the few remaining saints on modern coins; perhaps someone knows of any painting or engraving that could to precede the first image on the modern British coins

Edited by 1c5d7n5m
01/15/2019 02:17 am
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 Posted 01/15/2019  4:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 1c5d7n5m to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
After two weeks of digging I am convinced that we have a second name of a mint master who was clearly inspired by emblem books. Next to Wolf Laufer II (Meister from 1612-1651 in Nuremberg, Germany) we should consider Johan Alewijn (mint master between 1606-1635 of the mint of Harderwijk, The Netherlands).

Johan Alewijn was responsible for the enigmatic ostrich rekenpenning I posted a few days ago. Now it seems that he is also responsible for the new example posted below. How interesting would it be to know whether the two masters were aware of each other's work; whether they have communicated with each other in some way; traveled and visited each other. Both worked for decades in famous places for mint production; the trade between Gelderland and Germany was intense. So it is feasible; even likely that they were aware of their shared interest to combine the enigmatic world of emblem books to the enigmatic world of Rechenpfennige. More importantly for this thread is whether or not one could identify other mint masters from the first decades of the 17th century who were also inspired by emblems? Maybe other CCF members could bring some answer.



Rekenpenning produced in Harderwijk, Gelderland, in 1622 by mintmaster Johan Alewijn
Reference Dugniolle 3796, see http://www.dugniolle.com/dugniolle3701-3800.html
Obverse: a leopard (so far erroneously described as a lion) hiding its head in a vine; legend: ALLICIT VT PERIMAT (it lures to kill). Below coat-of-arms of Gelderland between 16 22

A similar image and legend can be found in an Emblem book published before the jeton was minted: "Symbolorvm & emblematvm ex animalibvs qvadrvpedibvs desvmtorvm centvria altera" by Joachim Camerarius, published in Nuremberg in 1595.



The short epigram below explains: "Luxuriem iuvenes, malefidos spernite amores, nam necat illectas Pardus odore feras".
I try to translate as "Luxurious youth, refrain from dishonest love, as it hides a leopard, ready to kill the fresh meat".

With the epigram, more details on the emblem make sense. Panthera pardus, is the African leopard, not a lion. A pair of young rabbits are,playing, very close to the leopard and unaware of its killing claws. Another rabbit can be seen in the background.

Against what danger in society Camerarius wanted to warn the juveniles? It should be mentioned that Camerarius was a practicing physician in Nuremberg. He was dean of the medical college of Nuremberg university until his death. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joach..._the_Younger
Therefore the epigram "refrain from dishonest love" could indicate that Camerarius wanted to warn the youth of his days against venereal disease, a severe and untreatable medical problem in that time. Indeed, in the 16th century people believed that "new plague" had been imported to Europe, but this was not the plague from the middle ages but syphilis and gonorrhea, which was rapidly spread by the many soldiers that moved around from sieged city to sacked town. For a medical history of venereal disease see : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23007208.

Because of the many religious tensions, Europe was in constant state of war: mercenary soldiers and veterans being present all the time followed by numerous prostitutes. There was a large army active in Gelderland, as the 12 years armistice ended in 1622 (see my previous post) and this may have influenced Johan Alewijn to use the emblem of Camerarius.



Comparison of the obverse of the rekenpenning by mintmaster Johan Alewijn (this piece is from the public collection of Gelderland, city museum of Harderwijk) and the emblem of the book of Joachim Camerarius (image mirrored for direct comparison).
https://www.collectiegelderland.nl/...werp-O-06827
https://archive.org/details/emblema...ame/page/n89



Edited by 1c5d7n5m
01/15/2019 4:30 pm
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 01/15/2019  6:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 1c5d7n5m to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
continued from previous post

What type of disease Camerarius had in mind is of course a wild guess; the leopard in the vine could also indicate alcohol abuse. But let us consider the reverse of the jeton of Johan Alewijn:


Reverse: Stork (male or female?) is feeding his or her partner in nest with an eel. Legend PIETAS TVTISSIMA VIRTVS (piety is the highest virtue)

The search term PIETAS TVTISSIMA VIRTVS fits to an emblem from the book of Francisco de Guzmán, Triumphos morales, published by Martinus Nutius, Antwerp 1557. An original is present in the Bibliothèque nationale de France RES-YG-340. I have not been able to see this book. But, according to information of the Chandler School of Theology of Emory University, http://www.pitts.emory.edu/dia/imag...fm?ID=106538
the same emblem was the printer's device of Martinus Nutius with the stork couple and the motto that is somewhat longer than on the coin: PIETAS HOMINI TVTISSIMA VIRTVS (piety is the highest virtue):



The emblem shows a stork nest on the typical roof top of a 16th century house from the Netherlands. Storks were very welcome guests - then and today. For instance, today stork families traditionally breed in the Zoo Planckendael, 25 miles South of Antwerp (near Mechelen) where quite a few couples return each spring after staying for the winter in Africa. The many-thousand-mile migration, full of danger is still awe-inspiring. Typically, the males arrive a few days prior to the females in order to make the old nest, always the one chosen of previous years, nice and tidy for the breeding season. The image shows one of the storks breeding the clutch of eggs while the other adult brings fresh food. With all the lakes, rivers and canals in cold Flanders and Netherlands an eel is much more likely than a snake as was proposed in the descriptions of this emblem.

After Nutius in the 16th century, other printers from the city of Antwerp adopted the a related image with the same motto. According to an online analysis of Laura Aydelotte
https://provenanceonlineproject.wor...-and-snakes/
a very similar engraving was associated with Jan Baptiste Verdussen II (1659-1759) from the Verdussen family of printers; again; the legend reads PIETAS HOMINI TVTISSIMA VIRTVS.



Below is a direct comparison of the reverse of the rekenpenning by mintmaster Johan Alewijn (left) and the emblem of the Martinus Nutius as it appears in a book by Luis de Granada (right).


https://www.collectiegelderland.nl/...werp-O-06827
http://www.pitts.emory.edu/dia/imag...fm?ID=106538
The jeton is a variant to my own piece, as it has an inner circle and a * in the legend; the Reference Dugniolle 3796b

the jeton has been entitled for centuries "siege of Geertruidenberg", which indeed took place in 1622 (see engraving by Baudartius below)


but considering the two emblem books and the link to the work of Camerarius, I believe that Johan Alewijn had another message in the year 1622, when the armistice had just ended and the hazards of the 80years war returned:
on the one hand he warns against the dangers of a reckless life, while on the other he inspires us with an example from the natural world where fidelity and paternal care are priorities in life.

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 Posted 01/15/2019  10:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another great piece of research leading to very interesting connections between the two art forms, and insights into moral lessons of that time and place.
Bravo!
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 Posted 01/16/2019  4:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 1c5d7n5m to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
thanks tdziemia and jbuck

I forgot to mention when discussing the reverse that the stork_parental care idea is still quite alive today in the baby delivery folklore that survives in Belgium and Holland; I do not know about the US, but read this interesting story:
https://www.livescience.com/62807-w...by-myth.html


Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 01/16/2019  5:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Indeed this myth about the stork is also alive in the U.S., at least from one generation ago when I was a child and still heard it (usually as a joke).

For me personally there is also a humorous connection. The first time I lived in Europe, I lived in "moderate income housing" ("projects" in American or "council flats" to a Brit) fancifully named "Les Cigognes" (the storks)
Had a stork actually landed there, I'm pretty sure it would have wound up in a pot.

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 Posted 01/17/2019  08:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
it is also curious that in later times St George and not St Michael was used on the English Crowns and Pounds


AND it is curious that the Sienese painting, and probably the Naples coin depict Michael with a shield that bears the cross of St. George (red on white). Maybe both artists have conflated the legends of these two saints? It is clear that the saint depicted in the artwork and the coin is Michael, as he has wings, and is on foot (George is normally on horseback).

Reacting to the question on the reverse design of the British soverign ... I think that on another thread we identified the first British coin minted with this St. George image as dating from 1817. It was a departure from tradition in a number of ways:
- it was the first British gold coin in some time to NOT have a heraldic reverse (coat of arms)
- the portrait of Saint George is also unconventional. Previously George had shown up on coins (and in art) in a medieval suit of armor (as on the Mansfeld thalersshown in the link in this thread http://goccf.com/t/336770). On the British sovereign the saint is nearly naked, wearing only a helmet, a cloak, and boots.

Here you can read about the development of the idea for this sovereign, and about the history its designer, Benedetto Pistrucci (his initials still show up in the exergue, right of the date): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sover...ritish_coin)
As with many WIkipedia articles, there are some conflicting parts.
What I find of interest is the comment that Pistrucci's St. George is a neoclassical depiction (neoclassicism being in vogue at the time), and that perhaps Pistrucci was influenced by the Elgin marbles.

What this comment misses is that Pistrucci was Italian, and had lived most of his prior life in Rome! He was already a successful engraver and cameo artist working in the neoclassical style before he came to Britain, and would likely have had easy access there to Roman sculpture of antiquity before he ever came to England.

So, where does this design come from?

I think Pistrucci has cast his image of St. George in the likeness of Mars, the Roman god of war. Sculptures of Mars from antiquity show him wearing a helmet (and sometimes nothing else. You can search on Hadrian as Mars to find at least two sculptures. The Venus and Mars was at the Louvre when Pistrucci lived there in 1814 and 1815). Here is a more G-rated Mars as fashioned by Sansovino during the renaissance (1567)


And, closest of all to Pistrucci's depiction, the statue of Mars on the Brandenburg gate, which was built in the 1790s ( I find no evidence that Pistrucci was ever in Berlin, but it at least suggests this may have been a common neoclassical form for Mars at the time that Pistrucci was conceiving his St. George). Here, Mars wears a helmet, cloak and sandals:


Maybe one of our UK colleagues has a reference on this coin with more of the history?



Edited by tdziemia
01/17/2019 08:52 am
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 Posted 01/17/2019  09:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Had a stork actually landed there, I'm pretty sure it would have wound up in a pot.
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