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    Exquisite 'Star'-Graded Prooflike 25 Ducat

    Mainz. Philipp Karl von Eltz-Kempenich gold Medallic 25 Ducat 1740 MS63★ Prooflike NGC, KM-Unl., Fr-Unl., cf. Würdtwein-491 (in silver), Heiligenberger-Unl., cf. Belli Collection-1135 (in silver), Reimmann-2364 (same), Prinz Alexander-663 (same), Walther Collection-Unl. 86.96gm. By Becker (possibly Philipp Christoph Becker). A flashy specimen whose impressive weight and broad execution instantly draw in the viewer. Seemingly unpublished in this metal, though a medal of the same layout has been described in the Belli, Reimmann, and Prinz Alexander collections, as well by Würdtwein. The natural beauty of this offering is on full display--its designs rise in mountainous relief against the surrounding fields, having been rendered in exquisite detail down to the smallest, texturized elements of Prince-Archbishop's robes.

    Though we have been unable to find a purpose for which this type may have been produced, its historical context may contain some clues. By 1740, the War of the Austrian Succession was just beginning, only two years after the conclusion of the War of the Polish Succession, during which Mainz had allied itself with the Habsburg cause. The ongoing conflict may indeed have provided the occasion and verse for the reverse citation from Psalm 22, which reads: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," suggesting that the belligerents should return to the fold and end their quarreling. Further, there is some mystery as to the identification of the artist, though Forrer notes that Philipp Christoph Becker, who also designed medals for Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg, changed his signature to D. Becker on his later products. In all cases, the present offering appears unique, and is of the utmost rarity as such.

    Ex. Bankhaus Partin (March 1988, Lot 61)

    From the Paramount Collection

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2021
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
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