The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 15, April 9, 2023, Article 23


Jeremy Bostwick at Numismagram forwarded along this interesting mix of art and historical medals from among those recently added to his website. For all of the new items, please visit -Editor

  Hugo Eckener Graf Zeppelin medal

102158 | GERMANY. Dr. Hugo Eckener/LZ 127 silver Medal. Issued 1930. Commemorating the First South American Flight of the Airship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (36mm, 24.76 g, 12h). By O. Glöckler in Berlin. DEM GENIALEN DEUTSCHEN LUFTSCHIFF-FÜHRER / HUGO ECKENER, bust left / FRIEDRICHSHAFEN • SEVILLA • PERNAMBUCO • RIO DE JANEIRO • LAKEHURST, airship downward left over the flightpath from Europe to South America; ERSTE / SÜDAMERIKA / AEQUATORFAHRT / »GRAF ZEPPELIN« in four lines across field. Edge: 835 PR. MÜNZE. BERLIN. Hans Kaiser 542; Button 263. PCGS SP-65. Highly brilliant and prooflike, with a light frosting to the devices and a charming mirrored nature to the fields; some subtle toning augments the eye appeal of the reverse. An attractive aviation type; surpassed in the PCGS census by just one example. $465.

Zeppelin was a German general and aircraft manufacturer, who later founded the airship company Luftschiffbau Zeppelin. Following Zeppelin's death in 1917, Dr. Hugo Eckener became the head of this company and oversaw post-war fundraising to expand upon its production, even serving as commander for the LZ 127 on numerous occasions. When this airship first entered use, it was the first commercial passenger transatlantic flight service in the world, eventually making 590 flights over nearly a decade. In 1940, she was scrapped for metal for the German efforts in World War II.

To read the complete lot description, see:
102158 | GERMANY. Dr. Hugo Eckener/LZ 127 silver Medal. (

  William III & Mary II silver faux-engraved Jeton

102311 | GREAT BRITAIN. William III & Mary II silver faux-engraved Jeton or Gaming Counter. Issued circa 1690—1710, or slightly later. Series 5: Sovereigns of England: Half length (25mm, 2.30 g, 5h). By the school of Simon van der Passe. GVLIELMUS D G MAG BRITANNIÆ FRANCE ET HIB REX FID, jugate busts of William & Mary right / Crowned coat-of-arms within Collar of the Garter; rose to left, thistle to right; all within elaborate border. Mitchener –. Choice Extremely Fine. Very lightly toned, with excellent intricate artistry. A fairly rare later type from a popular series. $495.

Gambling and games of chance have served as a form of entertainment and excitement during much of recorded history in one way or another, and many of these games necessitate some form of accounting during play. In early modern Europe, jetons were commonly employed for these purposes and allowed for skilled engravers to promote their artistry. One such engraver was Simon van der Passe, born in Utrecht circa 1585.

Van der Passe worked in England from 1616–1621/2, having founded a school after being exempted from the royal monopoly given previously to Nicholas Hilliard. This exemption allowed for the "graving and imprinting medailles" and small portraits of the king, and van der Passe utilized his technique for the production of numerous series of jetons or gaming counters, initially employing portraits of the Stuarts, James I and later Charles I with his wife, Henrietta Maria. Though Simon would return to Holland in 1621/2, his London-based school continued under the management of his brother, William. Subsequent issues of these jetons would feature Gustav Adolph and his wife, Maria Eleonora, the sovereigns of England, 'classical portraits' of historical and biblical figures, 'street cries,' and the Commonwealth.

Of even greater interest and debate among numismatists over the past century has been the method of manufacture of these jetons. Their appearance at first glance would lead one to believe that they have been individually engraved owing to their incuse design. It is thought that, in fact, these ornate counters were skillfully cast and polished in order to generate this 'faux-engraved' effect.

To read the complete lot description, see:
102311 | GREAT BRITAIN. England. William III & Mary II silver Jeton. (

  Good Night, Good Morning medal

102364 | GREAT BRITAIN. "Good Night, Good Morning" cast bronze Medal. Issued 1990 (115mm, 12h). By P. J. Ellis for the British Art Medal Society. Plate of breakfast, with two eggs, two strips of bacon, and a sausage, all in the form of a smiling face / Crescent moon with closed eye, along with knitted sock and glove. Edge: Plain. BAMS 18. Essentially as made. Brown surfaces, with intense, tactile relief. From an extremely limited issuance of just 16 pieces cast. $465.

An incredibly massive and impressively whimsical piece, this specimen is ultra-modern and avant-garde, while also feeling sculpted as a nod to the renaissance. About Ellis and this piece, the British Art Medal Society notes that "...his medal was inspired by the ‘raw, crass humour' of comics and the ‘dumb wackiness' of animated cartoons. On one side, a face-pulling breakfast grins at the sunshine, whilst on the other the spookier world of the dark is manifested in woolly gloves and socks."

To read the complete lot description, see:
102364 | GREAT BRITAIN. "Good Night, Good Morning" cast bronze Medal. (

  South African Exhibition medal

102357 | SOUTH AFRICA & GREAT BRITAIN. Exhibition silver Award Medal. Engraved and awarded to Richard Harris & sons in 1885 at the South African Exhibition held in Port Elizabeth (48mm, 55.24 g, 12h). By A. Fischer & Co. in Port Elizabeth. FORWARD, EVER FORWARD, Hope, resting hand upon anchor, standing right and leading settlers toward the Temple of Learning in background to left / SOUTH AFRICAN EXHIBITION / PORT ELIZABETH MDCCCLXXXV, four cherubim within wreath, lifting up rectangular frame engraved "RD HARRIS & SONS / LEICESTER / HOSIERY FROM / CAPE WOOL" in four lines. Edge: Plain. Choice Mint State. Extremely brilliant and very attractively toned. $345.

Despite being based in Leicester in the East Midlands of England, the Richard Harris & Sons Hosiery factory won this South African award medal for their entry in Port Elizabeth. Specifically, their hosiery utilized a local product in the form of cape wool.

To read the complete lot description, see:
102357 | SOUTH AFRICA & GREAT BRITAIN. Exhibition silver Award Medal. (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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