Views: 201 Author: Kunshan Shudan Arts and Crafts Co.Ltd. Publish Time: 2023-05-08 Origin: Site Inquire
The first recorded instance of a medal is recorded by the historian Josephus, who records that in the second century BCE, the High Priest Jonathan led the Hebrews in support of Alexander Balas and that Alexander "sent to Jonathan honorary awards, as a golden button, which it is custom to give the king's kinsmen." As a result, Jonathan received the first known medal. Roman emperors used medals as military prizes as well as medallions, which resembled very large coins and were typically minted in gold or silver and looked like die-struck coins, as political gifts. Both sexes wore jewelry that was set with these as well as actual golden coins. Click here for Metal Gold Medals Souvenir Medallion.
The bracteate is a sort of thin gold medal from the so-called "Dark Ages" or Migration Period that is typically simple on the reverse and can be found in Northern Europe. They frequently include suspension loops and were created to be worn as jewelry on a chain. They closely resemble Roman imperial coins and medallions, but they have a god or animal heads or other motifs instead. The Liudhard medalet, created in Anglo-Saxon England in the year 600, is a unique instance of a Christian medal known only from one copy. It bears the name of Liudhard (or "Saint Letard"), the first priest among the Anglo-Saxons, and was probably given to converts. The only remaining specimen has been mounted for jewelry use.
To keep or win the support of a powerful person, it became common practice in Europe starting in the late Middle Ages for sovereigns, nobles, and later intellectuals to commission medals to be given as simple gifts to their political allies. Depending on the recipient's status, the medals were produced in a variety of metals, including gold, silver-gilt, silver, bronze, and lead. The donor's head would typically be on the obverse, surrounded by their name and title, and their emblem would typically be on the reverse, with a learned motto inscribed around the edges. They could be up to three inches across. Although they might have been mounted as pendants on a chain, these medals were typically not meant to be worn. The practice of awarding military medals specifically to combatants emerged from the creation of medals to commemorate specific events, including military battles and victories, in the 16th century. Initially, only a small number of the much higher-ranking officers received these medals.
Pisanello's (1438) medal of Emperor John VIII Palaiologos during his visit to Florence. The legend is titled "John the Palaiologos, Basileus, and Autokrator of the Romans" in Greek.
The extravagant French prince Jean, Duc de Berry, who commissioned several large classicizing medals that were probably produced in very small numbers or a unique cast, appears to have started the medieval revival around 1400. Only bronze casts of the originals in precious metal have survived, though it is known that at least some medals were set with jewels and may have been worn on a chain. The first known post-classical medal commemorating a victory was struck for Francesco Carrara (Novello) in 1390, on the occasion of the capture of Padua.
The Italian artist Pisanello, often regarded as the Renaissance's finest medallist, debuted in 1438 with a medal commemorating the unusual visit of Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaiologos to Italy. This was most likely a business endeavor, but his following medals were generally commissioned as gifts for kings or nobles. It was cast rather than die-struck, as were practically all early Renaissance medals. The medal became slightly smaller with each subsequent cast, and the quantity that could be created was presumably not large. A lead "proof" was most likely used frequently. The link between medals and the classical revival began to shift, and the exchange of medals became connected with Renaissance Humanism.
In acknowledgment of their efforts, princes would send humanist writers and scholars medals, and the humanists began to produce their medals, usually in bronze, to gift to their patrons and peers. Fashion was limited to Italy until the late 15th century when it spread to other countries. By the 16th century, monarchs or cities were increasingly producing medals for propaganda objectives. A die-stamping machine with steel dies was introduced in Augsburg, Germany, around 1550, and this procedure quickly became standard. Rather than modeling in relief, the artist now cuts an intaglio die.
Wearing smaller medals on a necklace was a persistent vogue for both sexes by the 16th century, and a variety of medals were manufactured commercially for the aim of commemorating people or events, or just with non-specific fitting feelings. Since the turn of the century, German painters have been producing high-quality medals, whilst the French and British have been slower to develop great work. However, by the late 17th century, most of Western Europe was capable of producing high-quality work. Some medals were also gathered, which is still going on today. Official medals were increasingly manufactured, from which specialized military decorations descended, but the actual growth in military medals did not occur until the nineteenth century.
Since the 18th century, the Ottoman Empire has bestowed a vast range of medals and decorations on its subjects in the East.
In Catholic countries, devotional medals were quite popular. The Miraculous Medal is well-known for its design, which was inspired by the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Catherine Labouré in Paris. During an outbreak in 1832, the first medals were issued, to which numerous healings and conversions were linked, earning the name Miraculous Medal and being distributed to millions of people worldwide.
During the Reformation, there was also a strong history of Protestant medals, more polemical than religious, which was carried on with the Geuzen medals manufactured during the Dutch Revolt.
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