- In Greek mythology, Nike was invited to live on Mount Olympus by Zeus, the king of the gods, as a reward for becoming his charioteer during the Titan War. Guiding Zeus's horses through the battlefields, she is said to have bestowed fame and glory in the form of laurel wreaths on his victorious army.
Since classical times, artists have portrayed Nike as a winged figure symbolizing victory in both war and peaceful competition. One of the most remarkable representations of Nike, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, is thought to date from the 2nd century BC. Carved from Parian marble, it has been described as a masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture.
In Australia, she was the inspiration for Gilbert Doble's Winged Victory, created for the top of the Marrickville Soldiers' Memorial unveiled in Sydney after World War I. Having suffered considerably from the elements, the elegant copper statue was restored and permanently transferred to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra in 2013 as an object of national significance.
This installation encouraged The Perth Mint
, in artistic collaboration with John M. Mercanti, to craft new Australian numismatic pieces representing Nike as Winged Victory.Winged Victory 2021 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin
Winged Victory 2021 1oz Gold Proof High Relief Coin
One of the most famous coin engravers of the modern era, Mr Mercanti served as the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint where he designed more than 100 coins and medals. Subsequently, he has been responsible for a number of world coins, including The Perth Mint
's renowned Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle Series.
The Winged Victory coin design portrays an Art Deco style interpretation of Nike. Her muscular figure, symbolising strength, is seen kneeling as she honours an unseen hero with a victory laurel in the palm of her right hand. She holds a sword in a non-threatening position low on her left side as a gesture of respect. In a magnificent design flourish, Nike's figure is enveloped in a beautifully symmetrical representation of her feathered wings.
Superbly struck in high relief proof quality from 1oz of 99.99% pure silver
and 1oz of 99.99% pure gold
, these exclusive releases have limited mintages of just 3,000 and 250 respectively.