The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 34, August 20, 2023, Article 25


Numismagram's Jeremy Bostwick forwarded these four extremely interesting medals from his most recent addition of new material. For all of the newest additions, including some pieces of early-mid 20th century pin-backed pieces of jewelry, please visit -Editor

  Christopher Columbus & George Washington medal

UNITED STATES & ITALY. Christopher Columbus & George Washington bronze Medal. Issued 1892 for the World's Fair/Columbian Exposition in Chicago (91mm, 12h). By C. Orsini & G. B. Millefiori in Rome. Medallions containing the busts of Columbus and Washington facing one another; above, eagle with banner reading E PLURIBUS UNUM and union shield; below, laurel branch with three arrows // COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION CHICAGO / MDCCCXCII–III, draped figure of Liberty standing slightly right, holding branch and extending arm toward expo grounds under a radiant cross. Eglit 102; Rulau X14; Baker K378. PCGS SP-63. Rich red-brown surfaces, with a great glossy nature and some green deposits in some of the protected areas. Far superior to most others generally encountered, such as an NGC MS-64 Brown, that realized a total of $840 in the June 2020 Stack's Bowers Auction (18 June 2020), lot 9. An impressive large format issue which has appeal to not only the Columbiana crowd, but to the Washingtoniana crowd as well. $865.

During the lead-up to the quadricentennial of Columbus's initial contact with the New World, numerous medals were designed and struck, both in the United States—in conjunction with the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago—and abroad—sometimes for this event or for similar others.

To read the complete item description, see:
102540 | UNITED STATES & ITALY. Columbus & Washington bronze Medal. (

  French Art Deco Agriculture medal

102510 | FRANCE. Agriculture Art Deco silver Award Medal. Issued circa 1920-1940 [unawarded] (67mm, 184.16 g, 12h). By M. Thénot at the Paris mint. AGRICVLTVRE, upper body of a nude female (representing France) emerging from wheat field; two hands rise up, nourishing the field with her breasts; in three lines in exergue, LABOURAGE ET PÂTURAGE / SONT LES DEUX MAMELLES / DE LA FRANCE ("plowing and grazing are the two teats of France," a quote from Maximilien de Béthune, the Duke of Sully) // Central band left blank for engraving; above and below, diptych featuring plowing scene with two horses and grazing scene with three bovines. Edge: «cornucopia» 2 ARGENT. MdP III, 371A. Choice Mint State. Light argent-gray surfaces, with some darker toning around the devices; a few inconsequential marks on the reverse are noted. Already a difficult and rare type in bronze, this medal is extremely rare in silver, with an edge notation dating it to the interwar period. Compare to a bronze example that realized a total of $456 in the Stack's Bowers fall CCO (12 October 2021), lot 70633. $1,195.

Featuring a fairly bold and provocative design on the obverse, this imagery alludes to a famous 1638 quote by the Duke of Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, who was also a minister in the court of King Henri IV. He proposed the freedom of the grain trade through abolishing the many tolls that served as barriers between the French provinces, thus promoting what he considered most important to France–agriculture.

To read the complete item description, see:
102510 | FRANCE. Agriculture Art Deco silver Award Medal. (

  Ericsson three-piece medal

102514 | FINLAND & SWEDEN. Lars Magnus Ericsson/Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson three-piece bronze and silvered bronze Medal. Issued 1976 for the firm's 100th anniversary (69mm, 720.5 g, 12h). By K. Räsänen for Sporrong in Norrtälje. Top piece, obverse: Two profiles, male and female, overlapping one another and speaking into the other's ear // Top piece, reverse: L M ERICSSON 1876–1976, facing male head, talking on telephone and within oval incuse. /// Middle piece, obverse: The same facing male head, talking on telephone and in relief // Middle piece, reverse: Nude female in a crouched position as if on a bed, holding phone close to her head; all in relief /// Bottom piece, obverse: Two figures seated slightly facing one another, talking on the phone; the male figure seated to left with an abdomen representing a switchboard; the female figure seated to right with an abdomen representing a dial pad // Bottom piece, reverse: Nude female in a crouched position as if on a bed, holding phone close to her head, and within oval incuse; stylized moon above, stylized satellite below. Edge: SPORRONG. Hackl & Klose 76. Essentially as Made. The two outer "shells" featuring deep brown surfaces, and the silvered bronze inner piece displaying an argent-gray tone and light antiquing. Highly impressive and interesting, and four times as rare as the Michelangelo medal—a similar three-piece composite medal. $795.

A piece commissioned by the firm L. M. Ericsson, this medal celebrates telecommunications in Räsänen's ultra-modern fashion. The firm itself was founded in 1876 by Lars Magnus Ericsson, who advanced from his work in the telegraph industry by moving into the growing technology of the telephone. By the late 1870s, the firm was supplying telephoning technology within Sweden and, shortly thereafter, was then exporting its prowess throughout the world, such as Russia ,the UK, Australasia, South Africa, Mexico, and even China. It has continued to be an industry trend-setter, even since this medal was made, capitalizing upon the internet and smart phone eras, with the firm spinning off its mobile phones exploits in a joint venture with Sony, as Sony Ericsson, in 2001.

To read the complete item description, see:
102514 | FINLAND & SWEDEN. L. M. Ericsson 3-piece bronze and silvered Medal. (

  102538all Michelangelo three-piece bronze Medal

102538 | FINLAND & ITALY. Michelangelo three-piece bronze Medal. Issued 1977. Commemorating the Renaissance polymath (59mm, 522.5 g, 12h). By K. Räsänen for Sporrong in Norrtälje. Top piece, obverse: MICHELANGELO, bare head facing slightly right—adapted from Jacopino del Conte's painting; all set over incuse central area // Top piece, reverse: Helpless nude male falling; all set over incuse central area. /// Middle piece, obverse: Nude male, with back facing, chiseling, with radiant flames emanating from left, right, and above; all set over raised central area // Middle piece, reverse: Nude male, reclining left, drawing sketches, as if inscribing upon the interior of the Sistine Chapel; all set over raised central area /// Bottom piece, obverse: Three nude falling figures, two male, one female—an allusion to Michelangelo's Last Judgment; all set over incuse central area; half skull to right // Bottom piece, reverse: Nude male (Michelangelo) seated facing on low stool, acting as puppet master, controlling figures of the pope, a military commander, and a king—the last of whom has toppled; all set over incuse central area. Edge: SPORRONG. Hackl & Klose 87. Essentially as Made. Attractive brown surfaces, with some deeper hues accentuating all of the devices. An extraordinary work of modern medallic art in triplicate. $325.

Regarded as one of the greatest—if not the greatest—artists of all time, Michaelangelo was born in 1475 in the Republic of Florence. During his 88 years, he would become an extraordinarily accomplished sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, with some of his most well-known works being the sculptures David and the Pietà, as well as his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, such as The Last Judgment and The Creation of Adam. This ambitious, ultra-modern creation of Räsänen samples some of the most important aspects associated with the great Michelangelo, with the bottom reverse featuring a nude Michelangelo as a puppet master, quite appropriately showing how influential he was, in that, among his patrons, were the Medici, seven popes, and King François of France—all of whom he was able to direct with his mastery. Despite the impressive majesty of this piece, it was not well received within the American market, with nearly all examples remaining in Scandinavia—an aspect that perplexed Räsänen at the time, though may be linked to its heavy use of nudity and it not playing well within the more puritan-minded American audience.

To read the complete item description, see:
102538 | FINLAND & ITALY. Michelangelo 3-piece bronze Medal. (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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