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Virgil in a Basket

380, Lot: 645. Estimate $150.
Sold for $280. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GERMANY, Nürnberg (Stadt?). Gilt Æ Plaquette (33mm, 11.82 g). The Poet Virgil Abandoned in a Basket. By an uncertain artist. After a print by Jörg Pencz, circa 1500-1550. Virgil in basket on wall of house, being mocked by four townspeople, three standing, raising arms, one seated; all within wreath / Blank. VF, twice holed.

From the RBW Collection, purchased from Jan Lis, December 1997.

According to a popular medieval tale, the Roman poet Virgil had fallen in love with the Emperor’s daughter, but the girl did not share his feelings. The princess then lured him into a basket, to be raised up into her room, but left the poet hanging halfway between the street and her window, where he was mocked by the townspeople come morning.