A copper and orichalcum medal struck circa 1550 — meant to imitate an
ancient coin of Antinoos — sold for $12,000 in Nomos Ag’s
winter-spring fixed price list.
The so-called Paduan piece was the creation of artist Giovanni da
Cavino, who lived from 1500 to 1570. The artist was a well-known
engraver famous today for his medallic copies of ancient coins, as
explored in the December 2014 Coin World Monthly. Cavino
was thought to catch the spirit and artistry of Roman coins in ways
that were actually “better” than the originals, according to Nomos.
Cavino’s medals were initially issued by striking, but their great
popularity soon resulted in casts being made as well. Casts and
restrikes from the dies (which were retouched over the years) were
made for some 200 years, but originals like this example are
especially valued for their artistry.
“This Cavino is a true tour de force of 16th century workmanship,”
according to the firm. “Not only are the dies beautifully engraved,
but the artist has created a bi-metallic planchet in the style of the
great medallions made in Rome during the second century.”
The medal in the Nomos list shows Antinoos on the obverse and Hermes
on the reverse.
It has a reddish brown patina and a minor edge crack; the auction
house describes it at Good Extremely Fine.
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