German Renaissance Medal - Albert V, Duke of Bavaria

Albert V, Duke of Bavaria

Work of Hans Ässlinger, 1558.


Bronzed Tin, 124.0 mm Ø, 400.8 g

Obverse: Half-length bust of Albert V facing right with divided beard, wearing decorative armor and chain with the Order of the Golden Fleece. Around, ALBERTVS · COM : PALAT : RHENI · VTRI : Q : BAVARIÆ DVX (Albert V, Palatine of the Rhine and Duke of Bavaria).

Reverse: On the left, a lion attacking a bull. On the right, another lion protecting a lamb. Above, an angel in the clouds with outstretched arms holds two wreaths. In the background, two cities connected by a bridge over a river. Around, PARCERE SVBIECTIS ET DEBELLARE SVPERBOS 1558 (To spare the subjugated and defeat the haughty, 1558).

Albert V (b. 1528) was Duke of Bavaria from 1550 until his death in 1579. He was a leading figure in the German Counter-Reformation. The reverse is taken from Virgil's Aeneid (VI.853), and in this context refers to the Roman Catholic Church protecting the populace from the Protestant movement.

References: Cupperi et al. 2013, no. 158; Habich 1929-34, no. 3176

Comments

  • ZoharZohar Posts: 5,925 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh my. What a monster! Is this an original cast?

  • STLNATSSTLNATS Posts: 1,607 ✭✭✭

    What an amazing medal Joe with great and significant iconography on the reverse. At 400 grams that's a big boy too, over a troy pound.

    For some reason I'm always amazed by the use of base metal medals and how well they survived. This one looks pristine. Congrats!

    Always interested in St Louis MO & IL metro area and Evansville IN national bank notes and Vatican/papal states coins and medals!
  • IosephusIosephus Posts: 752 ✭✭✭

    @Zohar said:
    Oh my. What a monster! Is this an original cast?

    It's always hard to say. The detail is definitely there, and the diameter is proper. I could locate two other examples of this medal to compare against: a silver example in the Munich Münzsammlung (referenced by Habich and Cupperi et al.) and an example sold by Christie's in 1992 and then by Künker in 2014 (at least it looks like the same medal, though listed as pewter by Christie's and silver by Künker). Small marks throughout, including in the fields, are present on both of them as well as mine, so they would seem to be from the same source. However, the Munich piece is noted to have an HA monogram incised under the arm (for Hans Ässlinger), though Habich notes that it is indistinct. This is lacking on my example.

    For what it's worth, when sold in 2013 by Peus as part of the Günther Brockmann collection, it was listed as an "original cast" (and described as bronze). When sold recently by Künker as part of the Rainer Opitz collection, it was listed as a "contemporary cast" (also originally described as bronze, but updated to bronzed tin shortly before the sale).

    If not original, certainly an "early" cast. It can be compared to a later cast sold by CNG: https://cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=140813, which has loss of detail and loss of diameter.

    Larger image for detail:

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 15,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know much of anything about medals of this period ... but it almost looks too good to be true. Are any modern reproductions of this medal known?

    All glory is fleeting.
  • IosephusIosephus Posts: 752 ✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    I don't know much of anything about medals of this period ... but it almost looks too good to be true. Are any modern reproductions of this medal known?

    See link above to a more modern cast sold by CNG.

    Here is the silver piece in Munich:

    Of course, medals are reproduced all the time (not subject to controls like coins), so I'm sure there are other copies (both early and late) out there.

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