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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 5. Estimate CHF15000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF16000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Austria. Ferdinand I. 1521-1558-1564. Medal (Silver, 57mm, 69.3 g 12), Struck to commemorate the 20th birthdays of Ferdinand and Anna, unsigned and by an unknown German master, 1523. FERD:ARCH:AVSTR:ET ANNE HVG:REG.CONIVG//EFFIGIES AETA:VTRIVSQVE.ANNO.XX//M.D - XX/III Jugate three-quarter busts of Ferdinand and Anne of Hungary to left, both wearing elaborate robes and simple hair wreaths Rev. Order of the Golden Fleece surrounding the entwined initials F and A; below, to left and right of the Golden Fleece, and incised into the surface at a later date, the letters F - E (= Frédéric Engel, see below). Domanig 72. Mueller-Lebanon 69 (this piece). An original cast silver example, with an old ring mount of thick, twisted silver wire and a contemporary suspension ring; all with remains of contemporary gilding. A remarkably fine piece, with carefully stippled surfaces done after the casting process was completed. Good very fine.

From the collection of Hans Mueller-Lebanon, Cahn 53, 7 September 1925, 69 and from the collection of Frédéric Engel-Gros.

This astonishing medal, commonly found in cast bronze but very rare in cast silver, commemorates the 20th birthdays of Ferdinand and Anna (both were born in 1503, he on 10 March and she on 23 July). They had married in Linz on 25 May 1521, and their marriage seems to have been a happy one: they had fifteen children beginning in 1526 (it is somewhat surprising that their first child only arrived that year in July). Another gilt example, but without a mount, is in Vienna. This piece comes from the great collection of Hans Mueller, originally a bourbon distiller, who lived in the small town of Lebanon, Kentucky; he died at the early age of 56 and his rich collection, which contained an astounding quantity of first rate medals, was then dispersed by Cahn in Frankfurt. Cahn reports that Mueller had the chance to purchase a number of important medals, at very reasonable prices, from the collection of Max Rosenheim in London and that of F. Engel-Gros, which was, in part, dispersed in Basel after Engel’s death in 1918. The curious incised initials on the reverse of this medal almost surely refer to Frédéric Engel, its previous owner.