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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

 
90010189
Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 189. Estimate CHF4000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF3000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GERMANY, Saxony Ernestine Line. Johann Friedrich I. 1532-1554. Medal (Silver, 65mm, 66.5 g 12), cast and gilt, by Hans Reinhart the Elder, 1535. IOANNS.FRIDERCVS.ELECTOR.DVX.SAXONIE.FIERI.FECIT.ETATIS SVÆ. 32 Facing bust of Johann Friedrich, turned slightly to the right, wearing elaborate robes, a fur cloak and a neck band inscribed XRENXALSXINXEREN; he holds a broad sword in his right hand and his electoral cap in his left; below his right hand, incuse, monogram of HR (= Hans Reinhart) Rev. SPES MEA IN DEO EST ANNO NOSTRI SALVATORIS M.D.X.X.X.V (with a floral ornament between each word) Three crested helmets over elaborate arms. Domanig 154. Habich II, 1, p. 279, 1935. Kress p. 115, 605. Scher, Currency of Fame, 126. Rare. A superb original, chased cast with original gilding. Attractively toned. Holed and with suspension loop. Some minor marks, otherwise, good extremely fine.


Johann Friedrich I was the elector of Saxony who became a friend of Martin Luther and a champion of the Reformation in Germany. He was defeated by the emperor Charles V at the battle of Mühlberg in 1547, where he was captured and sentenced to death as a traitor, but was finally released in 1552. During his captivity he made plans for opening a university at Jena; it was opened by his sons in 1558. The portrait on this coin is one of the finest works of the famous German medalist Hans Reinhart the Elder (circa 1510-1581) who was himself a student of the painter Lucas Cranach,; the portrait on this medal is based on a woodcut made by Cranach in 1533. The motto on the ribbon around the Elector’s neck is, in full: Alles in Ehren kann Niemand wehren = no one can refuse anything honorable. This medal was a popular one due to Johann Friedrich’s importance during the Reformation and there are many later casts and copies - original gilt ones are quite rare, especially in this quality.