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ANTI-SEMITIC BIGOTRY AS CHRONICLED BY HISTORICAL MEDALS
BIOGRAPHY OF MEDALLISTS
Reich, Johann Christian: Reich was a German medallist, who was born in Furth about 1740 and died in 1814. He began as an assistant to a counter manufacturer but started a business of his own, bearing his name, about 1770. In addition to medals, his factory had organs, clocks, mathematical instruments, musical boxes, and other objects. In the opinion of Forrer, this medallist=s work does not rank high in artistic merit.
Schega, Franz Andreas: Franz Andreas Schega (1711-1787) was born in Rudolphwerth. As a young man he apprenticed to an armorer. Schega held the post of Mint engraver and Medallist at Munich in 1738 and was appointed to Medallist of the Court in 1751, an office he held until 1774. He died blind in Munich. Schega was self-taught and according to Forrer rose to uncommon ability in his profession. Hedlinger called him “the first Die-engraver in Europe.” Among other medals, Schega is the author of a series of portrait medals of some 17 Bavarian rulers from Otto III to Charles VII, each with a portrait on the obverse and an inscription on the reverse.
Swinderin, Nicolaus Van: Nicholaus Van Swinderin was a medallist who worked at The Hague from about 1730 to 1760. He was chiefly employed by the House of Orange but made several medals of British interest. 433)
Vincze, Paul: Paul Vincze was born in Hungary in 1907 into an artistic family. The son of a Jewish father and Roman Catholic mother, he studied at High School of Arts and Crafts in Budapest. His early interest in sculpture led him to the studio of E. Telcs, one of the school’s great medallists and teachers, where he stayed for seven years. In 1935 he won a scholarship to Rome, where his work took on a more classical influence. Two years later he moved to England where he worked from his studio in Chelsea. He designed and modelled medals and coins for many different nations. After his marriage in 1958, Vincze moved to a studio near Nice, where he died in 1994 at the age of 86.
Wermuth, Christian: Christian Wermuth (1661-1739) was a famous German medallist, born in Altenberg and died in Gotha. He was educated in Dresden where he learned die-sinking. In 1689 he was appointed Engraver to the Mint at Gotha and in 1688 Court Medallist to the Ducal House of Saxony. In 1703 Wermuth was appointed Court Medallist to King Frederick I of Prussia. With the help of his pupils, Wermuth issued, over the space of about twenty years, over 1300 medals. Forrer notes that, with few exceptions, his medals are of little artistic merit. They are noteworthy, however, in that many of his medals were satirical in content, some of which were suppressed and consequently of great rarity. Included in this group of satirical medals are a large number of anti-Semitic medals, such as the Korn Jude and Feder Jude medals. Indeed, Christian Wermuth has the unsavory reputation of being the foremost anti-Semitic medallist in history (Friedenberg).
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