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Coins and Medals

Medal with an allegory of Fortune

Key data

1554; Unsigned, Hans Jacob Stampfer I

Silver, cast

weight 19.833 g

diameter 47.3 mm

Inv. 1917.1050.


Fortuna, the goddess of luck, rides high on a dolphin swimming towards the left, holding taut reins in her left hand and a cloth puffed up by the wind as a sail in her right. Another dolphin and a small ship are travelling behind her left leg, and there is a siren above the dolphin's head. A fortified town appears on the horizon. The eight line text on the reverse of the medal admonishes the reader to take care of the good luck given and warns that in the end it is God's grace that determines our progress. The Zurich goldsmith, medallist and die cutter Hans Jacob Stampfer I (1505-1579) and his workshop created many portraits of famous contemporaries (scholars, leaders of the Reformation) and medals with biblical and allegorical motifs, but also cut coin dies for foreign clients as well and produced important goldsmiths' work.

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