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Medal box

  • Place of origin:

    Berne (medals, made)
    Augsburg (rims, probably, made)
    Augsburg (roundels, made)

  • Date:

    1759-63 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morikofer, Johann Melchior, born 1706 - died 1761 (maker)
    Jakob Langenbucher (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Struck and engraved silver and engraved paper

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.515-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 3, shelf DU3

Frederick II (1712-86), more commonly known as Frederick the Great, made Prussia a major European power. A highly cultivated admirer of the arts, the king was himself a gifted musician, composer and linguist. This box is made from two separately struck sheets of silver, with applied rims. The medal on the base celebrates Frederick's victories in Silesia and is signed by Johann Melchior Morikofer. Inside are a series of paper roundels designed by G. Eichler, published in 1763, and engraved by B. Hubner with scenes from the wars for Silesia (1740-63). The rims are probably by Jakob Langenbucher II or III.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Circular silver medal, the obverse struck with a portrait of Frederick II the Great of Prussia, facing left, wearing an ermine-lined cloak embroidered with crowns over armour, the reverse with a figure of Victory writing 'SAE/ CU/ LUM/ FRI/ DE/ RICI' on a book supported on the back of Father Time.

Place of Origin

Berne (medals, made)
Augsburg (rims, probably, made)
Augsburg (roundels, made)

Date

1759-63 (made)

Artist/maker

Morikofer, Johann Melchior, born 1706 - died 1761 (maker)
Jakob Langenbucher (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Struck and engraved silver and engraved paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed 'FRIDERICUS MAGNUS REX BORUSSORUM'
On the obverse

Signed 'I.M.M.'
On the arm on the obverse

Inscribed 'VERITAS PARADOXA'
On the reverse

Signed 'I M Morikofer F' and dated 'MDCCLVIIII'
On the reverse

Dimensions

Height: 0.9 cm, Diameter: 5.1 cm .

Object history note

Provenance: Asprey, London, 1991.

Descriptive line

Box Medal with paper roundels. Silver, paper. Johann Melchior Morikofer, G. Eichler and, B. Hubner, Berne, 1759-63

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Truman, Charles.The Gilbert collection of gold boxes, volume II, London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 1999, cat. no. 18, p. 37. ISBN.0856675210
Zech, Heike. Gold Boxes. Masterpieces from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection. London: V&A Publishing, 2015, p. 87, ill. ISBN 987-1-85177-840-9

Labels and date

2. Box medal with Frederick the Great of Prussia, 1759

Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.515:1, 2-2008 [16/11/2016]
Box medal with Frederick the Great of Prussia
1759–63
The box is made from two separately struck sheets of silver, with applied rims. The medal on the base celebrates Frederick’s victories in Silesia. Inside are a series of paper roundels, published in 1763, engraved with scenes from the wars for Silesia (1740–63).
Medals: Berne, Switzerland; signed by Johann Melchior Morikofer (1706–61)
Rims: probably Augsburg, Germany; probably by Jakob Langenbucher II (1708–97) or III (about 1738–91)
Paper roundels: Augsburg, Germany; designed by G. Eichler, engraved by B. Hubner, and sold by Jakob Langenbucher
Silver and paper
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.515:1, 2-2008 [2009]

Production Note

Medals: signed by Johann Melchior Morikofer (1706-61).
Rims: probably by Jakob Langenbucher II (1708-97) or III (about 1738-91).
Paper roundels: designed by G. Eichler, engraved by B. Hubner, and sold by Jakob Langenbucher.

Materials

Silver; Paper

Techniques

Striking (metal-working); Engraving (incising); Engraving (printing process)

Subjects depicted

Book; Sickle; Territories; Crowns; Maps; Military; Ermine

Categories

Containers; Metalwork; Personal accessories; Portraits

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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