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Research Coins: Feature Auction


The Transgressions of the Patriarchs of Israel

CNG 91, Lot: 1623. Estimate $500.
Sold for $1050. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BOHEMIA. Gilt AR Medal (45mm, 30.86 g, 12h). By N. Milic and his workstation. Struck circa 1545-1570. DAVID · SAHE · VON · TACH · EIN · WEIB · SICH · WASCHEN · DIE · WAR · SCH · R · II · (David saw, from a perch above, an attractive woman bathing herself, 2 Samuel 11), in the background, King David looking downward, viewing Bathsheba bathing below in the foreground / VND ◊ LOT ◊ ZOCH ◊ AVS ◊ ZOAR ◊ VND ◊ BLIB ◊ AVF ◊ DEN ◊ BERG ◊ MIT ◊ SEINEN ◊ GENE XIX ◊ (Lot and his daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, Genesis 19), Lot seated left on chair; his two daughters to left; the burning city of Sodom in the background. Katz 418; Donnebauer –; Lanz 33 –. Near EF, with suspension loop.

Ex Hirsch 266 (11 February 2010), lot 2819; Peus 395 (7 May 2008), lot 2722.

An unusual pairing of imagery for a medal meant to be worn, the depiction of both adultery and incest leads one to believe that this medal may be satirical in nature, pointing at the transgressions of some of the Patriarchs of Israel---David and Lot. On the obverse, the story of King David and Bathsheba is recounted, as David views from above a bathing Bathsheba, lusting after her, committing adultery with her, and ultimately seeing to the death of her husband, Uriah the Hittite. On the reverse, the story of Lot and his daughters is depicted. Following the destruction of Sodom, Lot seeks refuge in a cave along with his two daughters. Fearing that they, along with their father, are the sole survivors on earth, they seduce him on two consecutive nights with alcohol, with each later giving birth to a child: Moab and Ben-Ammi