Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss




Bensheimer, Johann: Bensheimer was a German medallist, designer and engraver from Breslau, who worked primarily between 1685 and 1693, although Forrer states that the medal struck about 1666 of the Empress Margaret Theresa was likely engraved by him as well.

Bucheim, Johann: Johann Bucheim (1624-1683) was a German coin engraver and medallist. He worked in Breslau for Bishop Karl Ferdinand and for John George of Saxony, among others.

Dadler, Sebastian: Sebastian Dadler (1586-1657) is one of the foremost medallists of the seventeenth century. He was born at Strasbourg in 1586, but resided at Augsburg (1619), and Dresden (1621-1630), and later at Nuremberg, Berlin and chiefly at Hamburg where he died in1657. (The Historical Museum at Dresden and the "Grune Gewolbe" have examples of his work and an important collection of his medals are housed in the Hamburg Museum.) At Augsburg, he held the post of first Goldsmith to the Imperial and Electoral Saxon Court, and there attained celebrity as a Medallist and Chaser in gold and silver. At Dresden he was appointed Medallist and Goldsmith to the Ducal Court of Saxony. While at Nuremberg Dadler is believed to have been employed by the Elector of Brandenburg. Because of his international renown, Dadler also worked for the House of Orange, the Court of Sweden and for many other princely houses of Europe. Several examples of medals made to commemorate events in these countries are shown below. In addition, Dadler engraved a large number of religious, marriage, baptismal, and death commemorative medals, some of which are also represented in this section. (Biographical information taken from Forrer).

Hautsch, Georg: Georg Hautsch was a medallist of the end of the seventeenth century and beginning of the eighteenth. He worked at Nuremberg, his native city from 1683 to 1712, then settled in Vienna, where he continued the art of medal engraving.

Höhn, Johann: Johann Höhn was a medallist of the second half of the seventeenth century. He lived and worked at Danzig (Gdansk), Poland, from about 1637 to 1693, for the Mint of Danzig, the Electoral Court of Brandenburg, and for various foreign courts. He died in 1693. He is included in this section because some of Dadler’s medals appear to have been done in conjunction with Höhn.

Küchler, Conrad Heinrich: Conrad Heinrich Küchler was a medallist and coin engraver of the last quarter of the eighteenth century and early part of the nineteenth. He was a native of Flanders and appears to have worked first in Germany, then in France, and came over to England about 1790, where he was employed by Boulton at the Soho Mint, Birmingham. Because of his international reputation, he engraved medal dies for several countries, including England, France, Sweden and Germany, examples of which are included in this web site.

Loos, Daniel Friedrich: Daniel Friedrich Loos (1735-1819) was born in Altenburg, spent time in Prussia, and was appointed chief engraver and Medallist to the Court at Berlin in 1768. Forrer, quoting Bolzenthal, states that Loos was a diligent artist who, in a time of bad taste, applied himself to the study of portraiture and ancient types. Loos also made various discoveries in the art and technique of striking coins. He had two sons, Friedrich Wilhelm and Gottfried Bernhard, who became medallists in their own right.

Müller, Philipp Heinrich: Philipp Heinrich Müller (1654-1719) was one of the most famous medallists of the end of the seventeenth century and early part of the eighteenth. He was born in Augsburg where, under the protection and patronage of the Augsburg town councillor, Leonhard Weiss, he began the art of medal engraving. Indeed, one of Müller’s earliest medallic productions was a portrait of Leonhard Weiss, made in 1677. In addition to the mints at Augsburg, Müller worked at the Mints at Nuremberg and Salzburg, among others. As such his medals became known and admired all over Europe, and they belong to the best of the time. He executed portraits of most of the rulers and princes of his period, and commemorative medals depicting important events in contemporary German history as well as those connected with other countries, including Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Russia, and the Republic of Venice. Müller also made a large number of dies for striking draughtsmen in wood, which even excel the silver medals.

Oexlein, Johann Leonhard: Johann Oexlein (1715-1787) was a celebrated medallist who was born and died at Nuremberg. He trained with several engravers at various cities including Nuremberg and Vienna. In 1737 he was appointed mint master at Ratisbon and soon afterward was employed by the King of Poland. So great was his reputation, both as a medallist and gem engraver, that Oexlein was employed by many princely houses, including those in Bayreuth, Wurzburg, Fulda, Bamberg, Dresden, etc.

Perger, Bernhard: Bernhard Perger, although of German descent, was a medallist and mint engraver at Naples, from about 1769 to 1798. He succeeded the engraver, Antonio de Gennaro at the Mint.

Reinhart, Hans: Hans Reinhart (Reinhard) the Elder (ca. 1510-1581) is one of the best known of German Renaissance medallists. His medallic works date from 1535 to 1568. In his early life he was the pupil of Lucas Cranach. Later he apprenticed under the goldsmith Treutler. Reinhart made medals in box-wood, silver, bronze and lead, most of them for the Elector Johann Friedrich of Saxony and for Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg. In 1539 he was made a citizen of Leipzig. In old records he is always called "Groschengiesser", which is: caster of medals. Hans Reinhart kept a workshop with several apprentices, one of whom made the medal of Johann Friedrich, Elector of Saxony, shown in this collection. The elder of his sons, Hans, worked in his shop as a medallist and goldsmith. Reinhart’s style had a great influence on the medallists who struck religious medals at Joachimsthal and on the Bohemian border. His work differs from that of most other medallists by his use of both casting and soldering techniques. The best known of his works is the magnificent Trinity medal.

Vestner, Georg Wilhelm:  Georg Wilhelm Vestner  (1677-1740) was born at Schweinfurth and died at Nuremberg where he worked as a medallist from about 1705 until his death.  He was first apprenticed to a metal worker and later learned die engraving with the medallist Suhl.  In 1701 he was in the employ of the Bishop of Chur.  Later he moved to Berlin the then to Weimar, until finally he settled down at Nuremberg in 1705.  In 1720 he was appointed Engraver to the Episcopal See of Wurzburg, and in 1732 he was made Court medallist to the Elector of Bavaria.  During this period he produced several hundred medals, including medals related to English and Swedish history.  Like Georg Hautsch, he signed many of his medals with his private mark of a star.

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 (see Friedenberg).