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The E-Sylum (3/19/2017)

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Here are a couple of medals that caught my eye in Joe Levine's Presidential Coin & Antique Co., Inc. 138th Mini Fixed Price List of Tokens and Medals. Both are products of the Society of Medallists. The list was published this morning, and some may have already been sold. Joe can be reached at . -Editor

VANITAS by Marika Somogyi (SOM #113)

VANITAS by Marika Somogyi obverse VANITAS by Marika Somogyi reverse

2. SOM #113, 1985. VANITAS. 70.8 x 60mm. Oval.. Marika Somogyi, Sc.
Uncirculated. Original pamphlet. “A mirror cries out for a beautiful woman. John Milton is Paradise Lost wrote, "In naked beauty more adorn'd, more lovely, then Pandora." In sculpting the naked woman admiring herself in a mirror, I created the ultimate representation of vanity, one of the seven deadly sins on the medieval world. Accordingly, on the other side of the medal, peering through the looking glass, waits the devil." $85.00

I don't think we've discussed this medal before. A clever design, well executed, and nicely fitted to the oval format. -Editor

ERUDITA VANITAS Medal by John Cook

ERUDITA VANITAS Medal by John Cook obverse ERUDITA VANITAS Medal by John Cook reverse

9. SOM #105, 1981. 73mm. Bronze. John Cook, Sc. Uncirculated. Obverse: Faun with pipes. Reverse: Man with mask. 750 struck. Original pamphlet.

The artist states, "INGENTIA L.EVITAS ET ERUDITA VANITAS" (Frivolity is inborn and conceit is learned) This brief couplet from Cicero's Pro Flacco presents a profound opposition of the dionysian and appollonian aspects of man's nature. Being deeply moved both by the wit and the simple beauty employed in the fusing together of these diverse elements, I have tried in sculptural terms to achieve a like coupling. The style, derived from classical forms, I see as a challenge to the contemporary artistic idiom which too often lacks both levity and erudition." $85.00

A similar pairing of opposites, and an unusual depiction of Pan. -Editor

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