The Medal Collectors of America produce a great series of annual medals. Some examples of the 2022 issue are still available - here's a description from the Fall 2022 MCA Advisory, excerpted from an article by Stephen Scher.
Antonio di Puccio Pisano (called Pisanello). JOHN VIII PALEOLOGUS, Emperor of Byzantium
(b. 1392; r. 1425-1448). ca. 1438. Lead, cast, 104.1 mm. obverse.
It is generally acknowledged that the modern medal was invented around 1438 by Antonio di Pucci Pisano, called
Pisanello (ca. 1395-1455) with his medal of the Byzantine emperor, John VIII Paleologus. This sculptural innovation was one manifestation in Italy of a new attitude towards
the history, art, philosophy, and cultures of ancient Greece and
Rome. One important result was a new understanding of the
place of man in the universe, celebrating his or her distinct
individuality, character, appearance, social position, beliefs,
and accomplishments, or by commemorating significant historic events in a durable, reproducible, widely distributable
medium. Yet Pisanello's medals and those that followed by
other artists did not, at first, physically follow the format from
which they were derived: ancient coinage.
Sesterius of AGRIPPINA THE ELDER (14 BCE-18 CE).
Minted 37-41 CE, bronze, struck, 36 mm. obverse
The Greeks had issued large commemorative coins such as the
decadrachms of Athens and Syracuse, and their coinage in
general achieved levels of extraordinary beauty. Roman coinage also displayed impressive quality in the portraits of Republican notables and subsequently the emperors and their imperial family members, especially in large bronze sestertii. In
addition, The Romans struck equally large, monetiform pieces
that were not active currency but were issued by emperors as
celebratory gifts and that have later been called medallions.
ORIGINS, obverse and reverse
For Renaissance Italy, coinage, which was readily available in
considerable numbers, along with many other forms of ancient art, was tangible evidence of the glories of ancient civilizations and a spiritual and ideological inspiration for contemporary artists and collectors.
It is this heritage that has been chosen as the subject of the
2022 Medal Collectors of America's annual medal. The obverse
displays a hand holding a contemporary medal showing a series of adjacent heads each speaking into the ear before it, thus
symbolizing the effective role of the medal as a means of communication.
On the reverse, referring to the inspiration of Roman coins for
the invention of the modern medal, is a representation of the
obverse of one of the most beautiful Roman sestertii shown
amidst the dirt and shards of a pot that once contained a buried hoard. The portrait is of Agrippina the Elder (c.
14 BC-33AD). a granddaughter of Emperor Augustus, wife of
Germanicus, and mother of Nero and Caligula, during whose
reign the coin was minted. On the reverse of the actual coin is
a carpentum drawn by mules probably containing the ashes of
SPECIFICATIONS AND PURCHASE DETAILS
Artist: Michael Meszaros
Date: November 2022
Material: Verbronze (chemically aged solid brass)
Size: 3 (76.2 mm)
Price: $150 (Includes fabric pouch) plus packing and shipping,
To order, see:
NOTE: there is an additional $5 Paypal fee when ordering online.
For more information on the Medal Collectors of America, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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