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NNP Blog

Dec 12 2021

Switzerland Three Kings Medal

Among the dealer fixed price lists archived on Newman Portal is Jeremy Bostwick’s Numismagram, a periodic presentation of historical and art medals. To our knowledge, these lists have appeared in e-periodical format only and have not been published as hardcopies. Newman Portal preserves born-digital material such as Numismagram in addition to scanning hardcopies of other publications. A recent Numismagram issue for December 2021 (#70) featured an 1894 Swiss medal presenting the three magi. 

Bostwick’s description notes “Presenting the iconography of the Three Kings on the reverse, this medal has a festive holiday feel even though it celebrates the opening of the new church in Zürich, which took place in the summer of 1894. Nevertheless, the Three Kings (or Magi), guided by the Star of Bethlehem (or Christmas Star), are associated heavily with the Christ tradition, bearing the gifts of gold (representing earthly kingship), frankincense (representing the divine), and myrrh (representing the end of life). Three Kings' Day, also known as Epiphany, is traditionally celebrated on 6 January, which corresponds to the twelth day of the mass of Chris, and the day on which the Three Kings are to have arrived to bear their gifts to the Christ child.”

Link to Numismagram on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/537693
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