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HANS OFFENPECK 1540


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HANS. OFFENPECK. V. REGENNSPVRG. SEINES. ALTER. IM. XXXII. IAR. 1540 gilded cast lead portrait medal 36.8mm unsigned but, according to Probszt, by Ludwig Neufahrer(b ?Linz, c. 1500; d Prague, 1563), Habich I, 2 1364.

 

Hans Offenpeck, son of the burgomaster of Regensburg, aged 32 in 1540.

 

Early portrait medals were not made for sale, they were commissioned by important people to give to relatives, friends etc, think early photographs, in doing so they not only immortalized themselves but also their style of dress in metal.

 

German renaissance medals only started being produced early in the 16th century, so this is quite an early one, one which retains most of its original gilding.

 

One question that is often asked in relation to cast renaissance medals is, "are those made from lead originals?" Whilst you cannot say that all cast lead renaissance medals are original(that also applies to any metal) there is no doubt some original renaissance medals were cast in lead.

 

In 1459 Ulrich Gossembrot, who was studying theology in Padua(Italy), wrote to his father,Sigmund the burgomaster of Augsburg(Germany), that he had sent home several portrait medals in lead. The "lead" used in renaissance medals was usually an alloy of lead & tin. Renaissance lead medals have also been found in the foundations of 16th century buildings.

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I can't believe this is nearly 500 years old. I thought you'd say it was a reproduction from the 1700s or something

Hi TDP hope you had a great Christmas.

 

I don't mean any disrespect to Hans Offenpeck but if you were going to go to the trouble of reproducing a German renaissance medal I think you would most likely chose someone a little more famous, or at least known, poor old Hans is almost a total nonentity, except of course for this medal. I do believe it is from the 16th century as until quite recently there was not too much demand for this type of medal, especially of someone so "unknown". There is one for sale here http://www.muenzauktion.com/toenjes/item.php5?id=21836&curr=USDEUR&lang=en&save=1 for $170.

 

I myself find this type of medal fascinating, hence my shift in collecting lately. Santa came through with some great books on renaissance medals.

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  • 2 weeks later...

These medals were originally cast, some of them cast & chased. As you say people who collect struck coins or medals have an inbuilt suspicion of anything cast and with good reason. The only way is to gain experience by researching, looking at examples in museums, books etc and thereby feel more comfortable in using your own judgement as to whether a particular cast medal is original or at least an early after-cast or a much later one.

 

For that reason I would never buy any old cast Chinese coins as I have no experience with them, that goes double for ancient silver coins as I know there are so many fakes out there. Whereas having handled and read so much re cast renaissance medals I feel quite confident in my own judgement plus there is not a corpus of known fakes like the ancients etc, except the Paduans which are collectible in their own right and in fact were never made to deceive but sold as copies.

 

In a perverse way, people's distrust of the cast medal helps to keep the price down by somewhat limiting the number of collectors.

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These medals were originally cast, some of them cast & chased. As you say people who collect struck coins or medals have an inbuilt suspicion of anything cast and with good reason. The only way is to gain experience by researching, looking at examples in museums, books etc and thereby feel more comfortable in using your own judgement as to whether a particular cast medal is original or at least an early after-cast or a much later one.

 

For that reason I would never buy any old cast Chinese coins as I have no experience with them, that goes double for ancient silver coins as I know there are so many fakes out there. Whereas having handled and read so much re cast renaissance medals I feel quite confident in my own judgement plus there is not a corpus of known fakes like the ancients etc, except the Paduans which are collectible in their own right and in fact were never made to deceive but sold as copies.

 

In a perverse way, people's distrust of the cast medal helps to keep the price down by somewhat limiting the number of collectors.

 

Well said! Even with more than a decade of collecting cast Chinese coinage, I would say that it's often easier to identify a contemporary counterfeit than a well executed modern made copy. Likewise as with your situation, experience does make it much easier to have an unexplainable "gut feeling" about an item.

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