Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


SELVI, Antonio: Italy, 1751, Bronze (cast), 87 mm
Rev: Minerva attended by an Infant Genius, presenting the Snake of Eternity to a seated Tuscany by a crowned lion    SIC FORTIS ETRVRIA CREVIT (In this Way the Strong Etruria Developed)
Signed:  A.S.
Ref: Brozz. Barg. 7699; Johnson p.126; Vannel and Toderi 177/218;  Weiss BW213

Anton Francesco Gori (1691-1757) was a man of great knowledge who dedicated himself to the study of antiques. He became a major representative of Etruscheria (a group of people that studied the value of the old Etruscan civilization). (The people of Etruria, the old name for Toscany, were called the Etruschi). He was a prominent theologist, who from 1730 was a Lector of early history in the Studio Fiorentino, which later, following the decree of Mussolini, became the University of Florence. He was a great collector of antiques and an expert in numismatics. Gori published several books, including a three volume set entitled "Museum Etruscum " and six volumes on "Museum Florentinum" on Roman coins collected by the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. He also wrote a book "Museum Cortonense" in which he describes Greek and Roman writings on the walls of the cities of Etruria (modern Toscany). He was buried in the church of San Marco in Florence, the city of his birth.
The medallist Antonio Selvi was a pupil of Soldani-Benzi. His designs and legends on the reverses of his medals usually well represent the themes he wished to convey.