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World_Coin_Nut's Blog

30 Aug 2021

ex Erlanger Nürnberg Medal

Medals | World_Coin_Nut

No matter what you collect there comes a time when you see something and know, “I have to get that.” That is the case with this medal. I specialize in pre-1871 German States coinage, further specializing in “Wildman” coins. Like a lot of us, I don’t do a good job of staying in my lane and end up buying other items that catch my eye. I didn’t swerve too far outside of my lane with this one. It is a 16th-century German medal from Nürnberg.
Photo#1

This is a by German Medalist, Valentin Maler (about 1540 – 1603), Mint-master in Nürnberg. The title typically given to it is, On Happiness in Marriage and the New Year. Kind of a clunky title but descriptive nonetheless. Below is the medal and a brief description.
GERMAN COINS AND MEDALS NUREMBERG. CITY. Silver medal 1591
by V. Maler, on happiness in marriage and the New Year.

Obverse: An old man sits on an armchair with a child in his right arm and a Bible in his left, r. next to it stands a naked boy with a palm branch; In the background stands a female figure holding a crown over the old man, in her left hand a flaming goblet
Obverse Inscription: BEATUS VIR QVI TIME T DNVM ETAMBVLAT IN VIIS EIVS PSA:128
Translation: HAPPY MAN WHO TIMET unexpectedly that follow the path he PSALMS: 128
Reverse: 17 lines of writing.

Diameter: 45.77 mm
Weight: 40.47 g.

Reverse Inscripton: ein uleissig weibesteine kro neiresmannes xxxi wem ein tugentsam weib bescheret ist die ist vieledler denn die kostlichsten perlen. ilsus sirach xxvi ein schon weib das from bleibt ist wie die helle lampen auf demh leuch. zu erhn allen fromen ehe levten und zu einenglv ck seligen newen iar durch ual maler . anno 1591

My translation: A virtuous woman is her husband’s crown.When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Jesus./ Jesus Christ xxvi / A beautiful woman who remains pious is like a bright lamp / In honor of all pious marriages, and to a blissful New Year/ by V Maler. Year 1591
As you can see from the description this particular medal is listed in 2 significant catalogs of German medals. The second one (Erlanger II, 2582) is the one that caught my attention.

From the ANS (numismatics.org): Numismatist Herbert J. Erlanger (1906-1988) was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and became an expert in the coins of that city, publishing articles on the topic in The Numismatist and other publications, and in the books Die Reichsmünzstätte in Nürnberg and Nürnberger Medaillen. Erlanger was trained as an attorney at the University of Munich, and went on to represent motion picture companies such as Warner Brothers on the world market. He became an associate member of the American Numismatic Society in 1940 and a fellow in 1941. Stationed in Germany during World War II as a lieutenant in the United States Army, he acted as a liaison between the Society and German numismatists such as Max Bernhart, director of the numismatic cabinet of the Bavarian Academy of Science and recipient of the Huntington Medal (1946).

The catalog of Erlanger’s collection is one of the standard references for the medals of Nürnberg. In this publication, the number 2582 is assigned to it and this is the plate piece from the catalog. Having meaningful provenance is always exciting for me.
Photo#2

I was surprised to see that since 2015 this piece has appeared in 4 auctions. When you count my purchase, it has changed hands at least 5 times in 6 years. I don’t know about everyone else, but I like to keep nice things for a while.

Fromacsearch.info

9/28/2015 Kunker’s Auction 266, Lot 1341

6/22/2016 Kunker’s Auction 278, Lot 1992

11/13/2018 Heidelberger Münzhandlung Auction 75, Lot 1767

8/10/2019 Kunker’s Auction 327, Lot 3510 sold to Shanna Schmidt

In addition to this one acsearch only shows 3 other examples being sold at Auction.

Valentin Maler was a celebrated Medallist of Nuremberg, son-in-law of Wenzel Jamnitzer, the famous Nuremberg goldsmith, and father of Christian Maler. The date of his activity ranges from 1568 to 1603, in which year he probably died. The artist's origin has been traced to Iglau in Moravia, and it has further shown that before settling at Nuremberg he had been employed as Mint-engraver at Joachimsthal. He married Wenzel Jamnitzer's daughter Maria in 1569, and by special favor of the Nuremberg Town Council obtained the privileges of a Mastership. It is highly probable that Valentin Maler settled at Nuremberg in or sometime before 1568. A few years later we find him taking up his residence at the Saxon Court, which might account for the fact that of 1573 only one medal is known by the artist and of 1574 and 1575 none at all. He may also have worked in Silesia. After his return to Nuremberg, he remained in connection with the Prince-Elector of Saxony, and in 1590 executed a Portrait-medal of Christian I.

It is further known, from contemporary documents, that the artist worked for the Bishop of Bamberg, but did not sign his productions at the episcopal court. Heller has recorded a payment of 22 florins made to Maler for the modeling of the Portrait-medal of Ernst von Mengersdorf, bishop of Bamberg.

Besides his many cast medals, Maler is the creator of numerous struck pieces, most of which, were made for sale, but some also as Presentation-pieces for princes, as the oval badge of Charles II. of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. These struck medals are by no means inferior in style to the cast pieces but are usually signed V.M. or still more frequently: V.M. CVM PRIVILE. CAES., and also FA. V.M.C. PRIVILE.

The above was adapted from theBiographical dictionary of medallists; coin, gem, and seal-engravers, mint-masters, ancient and modern, with references to their works B.C. 500-A.D. 1900by Forrer.

Valentin and his son Christian are both well-known medallists. I find most of their work rather bland. When compared to his other work I find it surprising that Valentin created such an intricate struck piece since most of his work is rather plain cast pieces.

As with most coins and medals, there is a lot of symbolism on this piece. The old man would most like to represent the end of the year while the children are the birth of the new year. The flaming chalice is interesting. During these periods in history, a person shown holding a chalice signifies that they are God’s servant and have turned away from evil. Why it is flaming is something I am uncertain of. In Christianity, the palm branch is associated with Jesus' Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday.

I want to talk about the transaction with Shanna Schmidt. In my years as a collector, I have never dealt with a more professional dealer. Before making the purchase, I had multiple questions that she answered without hesitation. In addition, she provided documents like the catalog scans above. Below is the image that I fell in love with. In my opinion, it is far superior to the ones above from Kunker’s sales and the scan from the catalog. Typically, her inventory is far outside of my price range but I now understand why she is regarded so highly.

Photo#3 from Shanna Schmidt
As a side note, I have also acquired a copy of the Erlanger auction catalog to accompany this medal. They typically sell for good money on their own but I found a seller on Abe Books that was selling one for the price of a new paperback novel.

Comments

AC coin$

Level 5

I am taking your hints....like your books...Nice.....

AC coin$

Level 5

I like your words it mekes history clear and more interesting. I have your vision. Loved seeing and knowing other persona who sees beyond monetary value, art and feelings towards art itself and history.

Longstrider

Level 6

Amazing blog. I learned a ton from you. Beautiful medal. I like your translation. Well done. You did well on your journey away from Wildman coins. Thanks.

World_Coin_Nut

Level 5

Thank you. I have really travelled away from Wildman coins. In fact, I have a new one on the way to me.

Golfer

Level 5

I started getting into medals the past year or so. I love medals like this. I have a small collection of medals I have gound interesting. Yours is spectacular! Nice addition.

Mike

Level 7

Absolutely enjoyable. I did read this twice. I love the history. The part were they were holding burning Chalices I would say that was a meaning of The Holy Spirit who is represented by fire going back to the time of the Christ. Flames descended on the head of the followers of Christ. It's a great coin and you have terrific justice. Your research as enjoyable. The fire came down upon them after Palm Sunday . After Jesus was crucified. Well done. The talent of making the coin speakers for its self thanks for a very enjoyable read. I learned something new .

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