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The Adoration of the Magi

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1538 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Reinhart, Hans the Elder (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver gilt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR20

This medallion with three suspension chains is made by Hans Reinhart the Elder (ca. 1500/10 - 1581). It depicts on the obverse the offerings of the Magi and on the reverse Moses and the burning bush. There are Latin quotations of the bible at bottom and it is inscribed H.R.

Hans Reinhart the Elder was a German goldsmith and medallist, who worked for the Court of Saxony in Dresden.
Reinhart's medals, mainly produced between 1535 and 1545, were marked with his initials H R.
It is worth mentioning that he cast his medals from wooden models and not, as was usual in goldsmith work from stone models.
His work as medallist is not extensive, Habich lists fewer than 50 medals.

Physical description

Medallion with three suspension chains. Depicting: Obv.: the offerings of the Magi; rev.: Moses and the burning bush; Latin quotations of the bible at bottom. Inscribed H.R.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1538 (made)


Reinhart, Hans the Elder (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver gilt

Marks and inscriptions

Obv.: Adoration of the Magi with the inscription on bottom: 'INVENERVNT.PVERVM.CVM.MARIA / ADORAVERVNT.ET.OBTVLE / RVNT.MVNERA.AVRVM. /THVS.ET.MIRRA' / * .MAT.II. *'
They saw the young child with Mary his mother, and they fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2.
Latin; Obverse

Remains of the date 'M D X X X VIII'
Obverse, on the border between the exergue and the picture

Signature; Obverse, on the manger

The Lord spoke to Moses from the bush and sent him to the Pharaoh in Egypt. Exodus 3
Latin; Reverse
Moses and the burning bush with the iscription


Diameter: 79 mm, Weight: 52 g

Object history note

Bought in 1857 for £3

Descriptive line

The Adoration of the Magi and the Burning Bush, silver gilt medal by Hans Rheinhart the Elder, Germany dated 1538

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

Trusted, Marjorie. German Renaissance Medals. Victoria & Albert Museum, 1990. p. 95, ill. ISBN 1851770135.
Katalog der Kunst- und Kunstindustrie-Ausstellung alter und neuer deutscher Meister sowie der deutschen Kunstschulen im Glaspalaste zu München 1876, München : Wolf & Sohn, 1876
Habich, catalog, II,I, p. 285, no. 1971, pl. CCX, 2.
Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1857. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 26





Subjects depicted

Stable; Church; Father; Snake; King; Peacock; Infant; Mother; Dog; Shepherd; Sheep; Star; Ox; Tree; Shrub; Wreath; Cherub; Donkey


Coins & Medals; Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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