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Author Topic: Justinian medallion replica  (Read 587 times)

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Offline Heliodromus

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Justinian medallion replica
« on: May 01, 2021, 08:35:53 am »
One of the great tragedies of numismatics is the loss of the unique Justinian "SALVS ET GLORIA ROMANORVM" medallion that was stolen from the BnF in 1831 and assumed melted. Luckily a sulfur cast of the coin had been made prior to the theft, allowing electrotype copies to be made. The top picture below is the electrotype in the BM collection.

The medallion was huge. Eckhel gave it's weight as "five ounces and nearly three drachms", and Mionnet gave it's diameter as "38 lines" (French measure). These translate to a diameter of 85mm and weight of 161g (36 solidi).

The photos below show a rather extraordinary silver replica of this medallion that just sold on eBay. I was considering buying it, but in the end didn't know what I'd do with it !

What's immediately apparent is that the replica is 100% faithful to the electrotype.

What's rather extraordinary is that this replica has a diameter of 116mm. It's 1 Kilo of silver (996g to be exact), estimated at 0.800-0.925 pure. It actually sold below melt value, even assuming the lower end purity of 0.800 !

I'd be curious if anyone knows anything about this piece and how it was made. Evidentially the 85mm electrotype design was somehow faithfully copied to make this 116mm replica! It could have been cast or maybe machined. Given the accuracy of reproduction I assume the electrotype (or maybe the sulfur cast ?) was somehow computer scanned then enlarged.

The seller said he bought it over 15 years ago. You can see a serial number on the edge, plus a couple of other numbers.

Ben

P.S. All pictures are large - you can click to expand them.

Offline Simon

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Re: Justinian medallion replica
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2021, 09:11:17 pm »
Your post just motivated me to get  a reproduction of the Portrait medal of John VIII Palaeologus Pisanello.  I will post when I get it , it is only one sided but I negotiated the price down for that reason. I have a lighted shadow box it will go into, the coin it it now is too small.

Be Well Heliodromus.
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.

Offline Heliodromus

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Re: Justinian medallion replica
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2021, 08:25:28 am »
This topic seems to have attracted a surprising number of views, so given the interest I'll post one more picture.

When considering this piece I was concerned about whether it was genuine silver given the level of tarnish, and lack of any recognizable hallmark, so the (French) seller described how it had been stored for last 15 years - in a plastic bag (which had deteriorated) inside of an aluminum container for a gynecological mirror. Too Much Information (TMI), perhaps, but out of curiosity I googled the "mirroir frontal chardon" label on the tin to see exactly what a mirror would be used for in such a context. Turns out it's used as a reflector to provide a light source. Live and learn.

https://www.pharma-gdd.com/fr/spengler-miroir-de-chardon

Ben

Offline Lech Stępniewski

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Re: Justinian medallion replica
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2021, 09:05:01 am »
Sounds like a "Secret history of Justinian medallion replica". New Procopius.
Lech Stępniewski
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Offline wileyc

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Re: Justinian medallion replica
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2021, 12:01:34 am »
curious.....what we learn here!

cw


Offline Simon

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Re: Justinian medallion replica
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 03:50:15 pm »
Another replica of the cast Medallion of John VIII Palaeologus , it is only one sided but I am framing it to display Pisanello's artwork. It was the first cast medal made in Italy, before this all of them were struck. It is impressive at 104mm
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5633 My main collection of Tetartera. Post reform coinage.

 

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