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All Posts Tagged With: "Medals"

Medallic Art Company Announces New Web Site

The world-famous Medallic Art Company announced today a new web site, , designed to better display its 100+ years of minting excellence and to provide ready access for customers and art historians to numerous product categories, galleries, and historic slide presentations and custom minting information.

The new is intuitive, which lets a site visitor navigate with ease, letting visitors examine Medallic Art Company’s custom medals, institutional chains and maces, stock and collectible medals, specialty items, lapel pins, and spinning medals and plaques. The ten new galleries feature outstanding creations of renowned sculptors such as James Earle Fraser (the Buffalo Nickel), Victor David Brenner (the Lincoln cent), and Augustus Saint-Gaudens (the ‘double eagle” coin). Since its creation, great artists have always been affiliated with Medallic Art Company.

The new website also provides a fascinating look at the entire minting process from concept to finished medallion, underscoring the complexity and artistry demanded of the sculptors, artists, die-makers, and production specialists in the creation of a fine work of art. Highlighted for visitors is the complete film, “The Medal Maker.” First shown to the Society of Medalists in 1929, it features multi-award winning coin and medal designer, sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser in her famous New York Studio in 1929 creating the models for the Special Medal of Honor for the National Sculpture Society, America’s highest sculptural award. Every step of creation and production is shown, including sketching, preparing background plate, transferring the drawing and applying clay pellets to the model, foundry casting of the pattern, die making and striking the medal at Medallic Art Company. This exceptional movie is narrated by Elizabeth Jones, sculptor, and former United States Mint Chief Engraver, from her studio in Philadelphia.

About Medallic Art Company

Medallic Art Company was formed in 1903 by Henry Weil, a highly respected French sculptor living in New York City. Through the years, the company has reproduced bas relief work of some of the most famous 20th century American sculptors, as well as many of the important medals and awards in the United States, including the Pulitzer Prize, Congressional Medal of Honor, National Medal of Science, President’s Medal for Freedom, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and the inaugural medals for 11 United States Presidents. (more…)

Profiles: Medal and Coin Artist Alex Shagin

Alex Shagin was born in Russia, near Leningrad, on January 21, 1947. Alexander George Shagin is the only child of George and Ekaterina Shagin. He studied at the Vera Mukhina School of Arts and Design, completing his education in 1971. Shortly after completing his education he was drafted into the soviet army where he spent a little over a year.

Following his discharge, he became an apprentice at the Leningrad Mint. As an apprentice, he submitted his diploma project, a medal of Peter the Great, to the Soviet authorities. His work was so admired that he was recommended for appointment as an artist of the mint. By 1974, Shagin had become a leading designer and sculptor.

In the 1970’s the Leningrad mint was involved mostly in the production of medals and commemorative coins. Shagin was responsible to produce at least one medal every two months. Although he was allowed a rather wide latitude in his work, all of his designs had to be approved by the Council of Art medals before they could be struck.

By the end of the 1970’s, Shagin began to become more and more concerned about the Soviet government’s control over his artistic expression. While visiting an exhibit of medals in Poland in 1978, Shagin was astonished to learn of the artistic freedom his Polish colleagues. During that visit Shagin became convinced that he had to seek artistic freedom in the West.

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David Lisot of Coin Television Interviews Alex Shagin at the recent Long Beach Expo

Upon his return to Leningrad, Shagin applied for an exit visa. This so angered the Soviet officials that he was immediately relieved of his position. After waiting more than a year, during which time he had no means of earning a living, he was finally given an exit visa. In 1979 Shagin emigrated to the United States and now resides in Santa Monica, California where he continues his art.

He has works in museums and private collections around the world, including the Hermitage Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, Yad Vashem Museum, the British Museum and the Swedish Royal Medallic Collection. In 2002, as First Vice President of the American Medallic Sculpture Association (A.M.S.A.) he participated in the Federation Internationale de le Medaille (F.I.D.E.M.) congress by designing a special presentation medal for the American Delegation–The Medal of Liberty presented to twelve individuals by Ronald Reagan in 1986.

Each project Alex Shagin designs is a personal tribute to the freedom and democracy he found since immigrating to America from Russia in the 1980’s. His work on the Moscow Olympics (1980) and Los Angeles Olympics (1984) led to international recognition culminating in the American Numismatic Society’s Saltus Award in 1995. He has created works for the US Mint, Singapore Mint, Israel Government Mint, American Numismatic Association, Leningrad Mint, The White House (Ronald Reagan) to name a few.

Baldwin’s Ancient and World Coin Auction 67 & 68: The Official COINEX Auction

September 2010 brings with it “Coinex”, one of the most exciting events of the numismatic calendar and the largest Numismatic coin show in the UK. This year Baldwin’s are proud sponsors of the occasion and, as hosts of the official Coinex auction, a spectacular event awaits.

Baldwin’s two day auction is to be held over the 28 th and 29 th September and begins with the third part of the Michael Hall Collection of Renaissance and later medals, of which, parts one and two were sold earlier this year through Baldwin’s.

New York based collector and art expert Michael Hall spent over fifty years putting together an awe-inspiring collection and this, the final part, offers an array of choice pieces. Lot 2090, a 1671 Louis XIV Damascened Medal (estimate £800-1,000) by Jean Warin II is a beautifully crafted piece by arguably the best and most powerful French engraver of coin dies of the 17 th Century.

Warin (or Varin) came from a family of artists and distinguished himself primarily as a painter and sculptor. He was one of the first engravers to use the power of the medallic form for propaganda purposes in France. Carrying the title of controleur general Warin imposed strict controls over artists that they were allowed no artistic license, but were instead forced to reproduce official designs that commemorated the magnificence of the state.

This lot is a prime example of the effectiveness of his creations to this end. Lot 2614, a Gustav II Adolf Silver medal of 6-Riksdalers by medallist Sebastian Dadler, estimate £1,200 – 1,500, is another one of the stand out pieces of the sale and distinguished by the intricacy of the artwork on both the obverse and reverse of the medal. Dadler was one of the leading medallists of the 17 th Century, working widely throughout the courts of Germany and princely houses of Europe, amassing an array of high profile supporters at the time.

The Hall Collection is immediately followed by a diverse selection of commemorative medals and a section of Orders, Decorations and Medals. The extensive Commemorative medal section includes lot 3005, a fantastic 1666 Dutch silver Medal (estimate £1,500 – 2,000) depicting the “Four Days” Naval fight on the obverse and crafted by medallist Jerian Pool. The medal commemorates the famous action and carries a poem on the reverse by the Dutch writer and playwright, Joost van Vondel, which appears to have been written especially for the medal.

Commemorative and historical medals have become a feature of Baldwin’s flagship London auctions and the variety on offer in this sale is testament to the accurate cataloguing and historical referencing that assure Baldwin’s achieve the highest possible prices.

A small collection of military medals and decorations from the Seddon-Brown family are some of the most interesting pieces in the sale, most notably lot 3196, The Order of the Nile group of awards to Lieutenant Colonel Seddon-Brown J.P.O.N. the lots includes three attractive copied pictures, one of which portrays Sir Winston Churchill, with whom he worked closely and was personal friends with through his role as chairman of the Conservative party in the North East. (more…)

Massachusetts Historical Society to Showcase Numismatic Treasures

While the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is in Boston this summer, the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) is taking the opportunity to show off some of its numismatic treasures.

From August 2 through September 11, “Precious Metals: From Au to Zn” will be on display in the Society’s building at 1154 Boylston Street—just three blocks west of the Hynes Convention Center.

Special guest curator John W. Adams and MHS Curator Anne E. Bentley have planned an exhibition to highlight many of the rare and unique pieces in the collection.

A small sampling includes the NE two pence and shilling and the 1776 Massachusetts Pine Tree copper penny for the coin collectors. A piece of original Massachusetts-Bay stock and the February 1690/1 Massachusetts Bill of Credit, along with some special colonial notes and obsolete bank bills will tempt the paper specialists.

Medal collectors will be drawn by the full set of Washington-Webster silver Comitia Americana medals, as well as what is possibly the only surviving example of an 18th century diplomatic medal, that was presented by the United States General of the Netherlands to envoy John Adams. Medals from the Betts series, Indian Peace Medals of colonial and federal issue, school and personal medals will also be on view.

The MHS will display a generous number of Washington medals from the Baker series and will feature some fascinating pieces from the Vernon medal series. As well, there will be a display of awards and badges that honor medical and military victories. There is something for everyone at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Regular public hours are from 1 to 4 PM, Monday through Saturday, and there are special ANA morning hours, from 9 AM to noon, on August 10-14. If convention attendees plan to research the MHS collection while in town, please contact Anne Bentley in advance to make an appointment, as time and space are limited at or call 617-646-0508.

About the MHS Numismatic Collection

Created as a repository and a publisher to collect, preserve, and disseminate resources for the study of American history, the Massachusetts Historical Society has been collecting numismatic material since it first opened in 1791. Coins, ancient and “modern” [i.e. colonial American], paper currency, and medals of all classes were grist to our mill. Over this period the Society has enjoyed the support and guidance of several of the hobby’s notables, including earlier luminaries and MHS members William Sumner Appleton, Malcolm Storer, and Shepard Pond; and more recent numismatic collectors and authors John W. Adams, the late Douglas Ball, and Q. David Bowers.

Heidi Wastweet Appointed to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee

Heidi Wastweet of Seattle, Washington was appointed to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) to fill the seat reserved for a specialist in medallic sculpture.

Ms. Wastweet is a leading American Medallist and sculptor who specializes in bas-relief bronzes.

In conjunction with a wide variety of private mints she has produced over 1000 coins, medals, tokens and rare coin replicas since 1987. She was chief engraver for Sunshine Mint for 11 years and lead designer/sculptor for Global Mint for 5 years.

In 2001 she opened her own studio ( and relocated from Idaho to Seattle Washington in 2002. She served as treasurer for the American Medallic Sculpture Association from 2003-2009 and is current president and founder of Seattle Sculpture Guild as well as a member of FIDEM.

She has been featured in Coin World and Coinage magazine and exhibits her non-commission work regularly including the National Sculpture Society in New York and the Norwegian Heritage Museum in Washington.

Medal and coin credits include a 7 coin set issued by the Sultanate of Darfur, the Dean’s Award for Seattle University School of Law, Alumnus Award for Stephen F. Austin University, Mayo Clinic visiting physicians medal, Stanford University Alumni medal and Island records Willie Nelson portrait. In addition to medalic art she has also created a number of public art pieces including a recent commission for the University of Washington’s Medal of Honor Monument in Seattle and eight bronze relief panels for 12 foot high church doors for St. Paul’s in Pensacola, Florida.

Morton & Eden’s sale of The Stack Collection of Renaissance Medals Brings £1.8 million

The sale was 100% sold and set a record for an historical medal

A collection of important Renaissance medals formed by leading New York dealer-collector Lawrence R. Stack was sold by specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden in London on December 9 2009.

The sale represented the most important offering of 15th and 16th century medals from Italy, France, Germany and the Low Countries to come onto the market since before the Second World War, when the Rosenheim and Oppenheimer collections were sold by Sotheby’s and Christie’s in 1923 and 1936 respectively.

The Highlight of the sale was a gold medal of Mary Tudor by Jacopo da Trezzo formerly in the Rothschild and Gaines collections and one of only two known. The medal was made in 1554, the year of her marriage to the future Philip II of Spain and was recently on display at the National Gallery, London, as part of the exhibition “Renaissance Faces”.

Below is a summary of the catalog Description:

Lot 136 – JACOPO NIZZOLA DA TREZZO (c. 1514-1589) – SOLD FOR £276,000

Mary Tudor (1516-1558), Queen of England, 1553-1558, gold medal, MARIA I REG ANGL FRANC ET HIB FIDEI DEFENSATRIX (Mary I, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith), bust left, wearing an ornately embroidered gown, a brooch with pendant pearl at the breast, and a cap adorned with jewels, with a veil falling down the back. (more…)

Russian Order of St. Catherine Medal Sells for £322,000 at Morton and Eden Auction

Normally CoinLink does not report much on Ceremonial Medals or Orders and Decorations., which although very interesting, fall a bit outside are general interests. In fact the fist major profile we ran was for the Society of the Cincinnati Washington-Lafayette ‘Badge’

catherine_1_medal_120609That piece is believed to have been specially made for George Washington in 1784. In 1824, long after Washington’s death in 1799, it was reportedly given by Washington’s adopted daughter to the Marquis de Lafayette, a French nobleman who served as a two-star general in the American Revolutionary army and played an important role in the Revolutionary War against the British. The Washington-Lafayette Medal sold at Sotheby’s in December of 2007 ofr $5.3 million dollars, a result that is the all-time second highest auction price for a numismatic item.

The Order of St Catherine, Second Class badge or Lesser Cross, was made by Eduard, St. Petersburg, circa 1901-1908, with workmaster’s mark ??, in gold, diamonds and enamels. The original estimate was for £60,000-80,000

The Order of St. Catherine, the only Order of the Russian Empire for women (excluding the Order of Saint Olga, given only in 1916-1917), was founded in 1714 in order to commemorate and immortalize the actions of Empress Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great, whose selfless sale of her jewelry and property to pay the ransom of the Cossacks who were captured by the Turks in 1711 earned her the admiration of the court and country.

The statutes of the Order were first published in 1713, and on the 24th of November 1714, on the Empress’ name day, Peter the Great personally bestowed the insignia of the Order upon the Empress Catherine, creating her Grand Mistress of the Order. The order was to be limited to “Persons of the feminine sex” and was given in two classes; The Grand Cross, which entitled the bearer to wear a star and badge of the order, and the Small Cross, which entitled the bearer the right to wear the badge only. The badges were worn on the end of a red moiré sash trimmed with silver, with the embroidered motto: “Za lyubov i otchestvo” (For love, and for the Fatherland) (more…)

Unique Collection of Renaissance Medals Go Under The Hammer

A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd are delighted to announce that they have been chosen to auction the extensive collection of Renaissance and later medals formed by the New York connoisseur and fine art collector, Michael Hall.

Hall_medal_collection_baldwinThe Michael Hall collection comprises in excess of 2000 items, making it by far the largest sale of Renaissance pieces since the Max and Maurice Rosenheim (Sotheby 1923) and Henry Oppenheimer (Christie’s 1936) sales. The first auction is scheduled for May 2010.

Before turning to the world of antiques, Michael Hall’s earlier years were spent in Hollywood. Most memorably, in 1946, he was cast as Fredric March’s son in William Wyler’s “The Best Years of our Lives”. The majority of the collection was formed in the 1960s and ‘70s, a period when Hall was living for much of the time in London.

The medals were purchased from the dealers of the day, in London and other European centres, rather than at auction. Over the ensuing years the collection has remained mostly unseen. Michael Hall gifted most of his British medals to the Los Angeles County Museum some years ago, though some important pieces were retained and will be offered in the sales. The strength of the collection is in early Italian medals, otherwise it remains very comprehensive in the medals of later Italy, France, Germany, the Holy Roman Empire and the Netherlands.

There are extensive groups of Papal medals, many of which featured in the 1981 publication Roma Resurgens, Papal Medals from the Age of the Baroque; and a group of Florentine Baroque medals that will be seen as a match to the Lankheit Collection sold by Morton & Eden (May 2003).

One of the most important pieces to be included in the first sale will be Pisanello’s cast bronze portrait medal of Cecilia Gonzaga. Antonio Pisano, called Pisanello (c. 1395 – c. 1455), was the pioneering artist who, from around 1435, turned his portraiture into a medallic format, the first artist so to do. (more…)


£2 million sale will be conducted by Morton & Eden in London on December 9

lstacks_mary_tudor_medalA collection of important Renaissance medals formed by leading New York dealer-collector Lawrence R. Stack will be sold by specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden in London on December 9 2009. The medals will be sold without reserve and are expected to raise a total of around £2 million.

The sale represents the most important offering of 15th and 16th century medals from Italy, France, Germany and the Low Countries to come onto the market since before the Second World War, when the Rosenheim and Oppenheimer collections were sold by Sotheby’s and Christie’s in 1923 and 1936 respectively.

The collection was assembled by Mr. Stack, who saw an opportunity to buy into a market which had been somewhat overlooked by collectors. As with other significant collections assembled by Mr. Stack, including, for instance, an important collection of early English coins sold by Sotheby’s in 1999, the medals were owned as a partnership. With Mr. Stack’s recent departure from the firm which bears his family name, the partnership profile changed and it was decided that the only equitable manner of dividing the collection was to offer it for sale at public auction. Mr. Stack himself continues to be a devotee of Renaissance art and art history and intends to remain an active collector in this field.

The decision to sell was not taken lightly and the medals are being offered for sale without reserve to encourage new buyers into the field. The entire collection of 350 pieces is estimated to fetch in the region of £2 million.

Stack’s Philadelphia Americana Coin and Currency Auction To be Highlight of New Whitman Coin Show

Stacks Philadelphia Americana Sale, Part I, will be featuring American currency (Part II, with coins, medals, and tokens is in a separate catalogue). On September 23 and 24 all eyes in the world of paper money will be focused on one of the greatest sales ever held by Stack’s.

stacks_americana_mass_schilThis is the inaugural show held by Whitman in Philadelphia. As of today, the September gathering is already a success! Or at least there is every indication of such. A “sold out” notice has been posted by one recommended hotel near the Convention Center, and rooms are going fast at the others. Word has spread, and it seems that this paper money sale will be a gathering of eagles-with just about everyone in this specialty in attendance, or represented by an agent, or bidding in real time on the Internet.

Beyond Part I and Part II of the Americana Sale, Stack’s expect that the exposition itself will be a great drawing card. Hundreds of dealers will be on hand, and some great programs will be presented. Among these will be Dave Bowers’ telling of “Famous Numismatists I Have Met-from B. Max Mehl to Date.” You are cordially invited to attend. Similar to the spectacularly successful Whitman shows in Baltimore, the Philadelphia event is very conveniently located. Draw a 500-mile circle around the city and you will probably encompass 70% or more of the numismatists in America.


Great Collectors, Great Collections

Beginning the sale is the Chester L. Krause Collection of Wisconsin Obsolete Currency, Part I. Chet, as he is known, founded Numismatic News in 1952. In time, his business acumen, energy, and enthusiasm combined to grow what became Krause Publications, with dozens of different magazines, reference books, and price guides, all based in Iola, Wisconsin. Several important texts bear his name on the cover, including the Standard Catalog of World Coins, used all over the globe, and, relevant to our present offering, Wisconsin Obsolete Bank Notes and Scrip. (more…)

U.S. Mint Invites Artists To Participate in Artistic Infusion Program for New Coin Designs

The United States Mint is inviting artists from throughout the United States to apply for participation in its Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) to help enrich and invigorate the design of coins and medals.

plaster_of_saintThe new invitations seek up to six associate designers who will join the current AIP designers under contract with the program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning September 1, 2009. There will be three deadlines (November 9, 2009; March 8, 2010; and July 6, 2010), after which the artists who have applied will be evaluated for selection to the AIP. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible prior to the deadline for which they wish to be considered.

“We are very excited about this unique program and its latest call to tap into the best artistic talent in the country,” said United States Mint Director Ed Moy. “This is a tremendous opportunity for artists representing all types of backgrounds to inspire and educate the entire Nation.”

The United States Mint encourages applications from artists representing diverse backgrounds and a variety of interests reflecting those of the American people. Applicants may apply online by submitting five to 10 works from their portfolios, a resume and a statement of intent. They will also complete a standard application coin design exercise. Applicants must be professional artists who are U.S. citizens. Those who wish to apply are invited to visit, where they will find program details, eligibility requirements, artistic criteria and detailed application guidelines. Submissions will be evaluated on several factors, including drawing ability, compositional skills and the level to which the design demonstrates research of the subject matter.

Artists awarded contracts to participate in the program will be paid established fees for their work, and those whose designs are selected for coins and medals will be named as designer in historical documents, Certificates of Authenticity and promotional materials.