A silver medal from Germany telling a story found in the Orthodox and
Catholic Bible highlights Davissons Ltd. e-auction No. 22, which ends
The circa 1700 medal, issued in Nürnberg, cites a passage from the
Book of Tobit or Tobias.
In the story, Tobias is sent on an errand by his father, and is
accompanied by the angel Raphael in disguise. He is shown on the
obverse of the medal with his dog and the monstrous fish he captured
from the Tigris River. The prophet Samuel appears to the right.
Raphael was venerated as a healer and a protector of travelers, and
the story was a common artistic theme during the Renaissance. The
image of Tobias carrying a fish and accompanied by a dog and the angel
Raphael gradually evolved to represent the image of the guardian
angel, according to the auction house. The story also related how
Tobias later used the fish’s heart, gall, and liver to protect his
future wife Sara from an evil spirit, and to restore his father’s sight.
The reverse shows Joseph to left and Daniel to right, with lions
behind, recalling the story of Daniel in the lions’ den.
A legend on the medal translates to “Hardworking as Tobias, Faithful
as Samuel to the Lord, Such youth” on the obverse and “Art thou chaste
as Joseph’s soul, wise as Daniel yonder, One loves gladly” on the
reverse. The medal weighs 14.46 grams and measures 38 millimeters in
diameter. The medal was graded Near Extremely Fine by the auction
house, which describes it as having “attractive old toning.” It has an
estimate of $250.