Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Holding, handling, flipping: remarks on the perception of medals (15th to 17th centuries)

Sep 13, 2022, 11:00 AM
Old Library - Hall 115-116

Old Library - Hall 115-116

oral presentation S84. MEDALS 2. POLAND


Agnieszka Smołucha-Sładkowska (National Museum in Kraków )


Unlike coins, medals were not bound by any restrictions of size or weight. Cast or struck, they were usually larger, thicker and more three-dimensional than the flat coins, sometimes with the obverse and/or reverse shaped in high relief. This phenomenon is especially noticeable in the facing and three-quarter facing portraits frequently seen on medals. However, the compositional scheme of medals, usually similar to that of coins and quite repetitive, was definitively not a fixed standard (as evidenced by e.g. a variety of medal shapes, and inconsistency in the orientation of die axes). In my talk I wish to focus on some artistic devices resulting from the three-dimensionality of medals and those regarding their tangibility. Further I will examine and shortly discuss the ways different medals were or could have been handled and perceived by their owners.

Primary author

Agnieszka Smołucha-Sładkowska (National Museum in Kraków )

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