Author Topic: Medal on matrimony  (Read 179 times)

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Offline Coin Pioneer

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Medal on matrimony
« on: April 08, 2020, 03:02:30 PM »
Hi there!

I'm trying to find out more about this medal.

I don't actually own it, so I can't give you any more details such as weight, size, etc. The legend is in German and reads:

DER HERR SEY ZEUGE / ZWISCHEN BEYDEN
DAS UNS NICHTS ALS DER TOD / SOL SCHEIDEN

(The Lord be witness to us both that nothing but death shall part us.)

So it's apparently a wedding medal, probably silver, and judging by the looks and the slightly odd spellings, I'd say it might be from the 18th century.

I tried googling for the legend but all I find is old books that quote the legend and give a description of the medal's design without being any more specific ... how helpful. ???

Does anyone know anything about this interesting artifact? Who issued this and when and where? I'm grateful for any clues you can give me.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 04:27:07 PM by Figleaf »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Unidentified medal
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2020, 06:39:18 PM »
The only things left to discover are the names of bride, groom and maker, but there is no indication on the medal, so if there's no literature mentioning these, there's little hope.

That said, I find the symbolism awkward. The eye with Jaweh is obvious, but why are the arms coming out of clouds? This is usually reserved for god or angels and two arms are strange. If they symbolise the wedded couple, they'd be dead, not just married.

Usually, wedding medals have the names of the couple or their coat of arms. On this medal, there isn't even a place to engrave the name. If there are so many around that they are mentioned in a number of books, couldn't it have been a generic medal for distribution among the wedding guests? That would explain the macabre reverse: it fits very well with morality plays so popular in other art forms.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 11:29:52 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Unidentified medal
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 08:06:36 AM »
Could any personal info be on the edge?

Offline brandm24

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Re: Unidentified medal
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 12:06:16 PM »
Could any personal info be on the edge?
It would be interesting to see the edge but it's not the OPS's medal so probably not possible. The name of an engraver might help.

A nice piece of work despite the strange symbolism.

Bruce
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Offline gerard974

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Re: Unidentified medal
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2020, 03:54:32 PM »
hello
I think that this medal is for "ancien tetament"
der herr seyzeuge swichen beyden - Google Search


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Unidentified medal
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2020, 04:25:25 PM »
Thank you, Gérard. This medal is catalogued in Beitrag zur neuern Münz- und Medaillen Geschichte vom XV" Jahrhundert bis jetzt by Johann Friedrich Hauschild, Dreßden, 1805 under number 2666 on page 417. It is classified as a medal on love and matrimony. It is therefore not a wedding medal, but rather a morality medal. The book can be downloaded free here.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Coin Pioneer

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Re: Unidentified medal
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2020, 04:31:59 PM »
Thanks everybody for your contributions! Even if we don't know exactly who issued this where and why and when, I've already learned quite a bit. :) It makes perfect sense that the medal is not a wedding medal in the narrower sense. I'd rather not look the Grim Reaper in the eyes on my wedding day indeed. ;)

I can't say what's on the edge unfortunately, because I don't own the medal myself. :-\

The book is indeed the one I had also found, unfortunately it doesn't have any additional info other than a description of the medal itself.


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Medal on matrimony
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2020, 05:02:00 PM »
There is implicit information in the book, in that the medal is catalogued in the chapter "(Medals) on love and matrimony" (page 414). In this chapter are 26 entries, so that we may assume that the subject was popular, perhaps fashionable. It could e.g. have been a good gift for parents to children whose marriage was wobbly. Moreover, the book dates from 1805, which is close enough to the date of manufacture (the style of execution is typically Napoleonic) that we may conclude that the author knew what he was talking about.

In general, medals of this style have a shiny, smooth edge.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Henk

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Re: Medal on matrimony
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2020, 09:19:20 PM »
I found two auction records for this medal. The first one is the C. G. Thieme, Münzen-Handlung; Numismatischer Verein Auktions-Katalog der Universalsammlung Curt Späte (1913)  The medal is lot 985. I have copied foto and description.

The second one is from the Karl Kress Auction , Sammlung Goppel ao (1960) where it is listed as lot 1032. Description and photo are identical to the lot in the Thieme auction. Only the weight is different, 17.2 grammes.

Such medals were given by the groom to the bride as a pledge upon engagement. After the marriage they were sometimes engraved with the names and/or date as a remembrance to the wedding. This medal probably was not engraved on the edge as it is rather thin (I estimate less then 2 mm). The practice of giving a medal expressein eternal love as a pledge is a custom typical for the protestant regions of North Germany and the Netherlands in the 17th and early 18th century.

As both auction description do not give a date or a medalist I assume these are not known.

Certainly a nice and unusual medal as one would not easily associate love with death! The subject of love or marriage is not mentioned at all in the interesting book by Frederick Parkes Weber: Aspects of death and correlated aspects of life in art, epigram, and poetry: Contributions ..... Illustrated by Medals Engaved Gems ....  Download available at: Aspects of death and correlated aspects of life in art, epigram, and poetry: