The Michael Hall Collection of Medallic Portraits - Part 2 Following on from the outstandingly successful sale of the first part of Michael Hall Collection of Medallic Portraits the second part goes under the hammer at Baldwin's on the 29th June 2010.
Michael Hall has been a prolific collector of art for more than 60 years amassing vast collections with a focus on sculpture. Michael was inspired in his youth by the Kress Collection, a phenomenal collection of medals housed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington that are of artistic importance, not just of historical or archaeological interest. It is therefore unsurprising that the focus of the numismatic part of the Hall collections has always been on the artistic and sculptural aspects of the medals which have augmented his interest in sculpture of all origins and periods. The aim of the collection is to share the artistic legacy of Europe with the American people, a sentiment which still resonates with Michael. He offers his collection to the public at large with generosity and well meaning and with ‘the hope that you will be as successful as I have been in my most satisfying endeavors.’
The auction of the second part of his collection begins with a large and impressive group of Papal medals from the 15th century onwards, from which highlights include a group of six prize medals of the Accademia di san Luca (lots 1227-1232). Founded in 1593, the academy was setup as an association of artists in Rome for the purpose of elevating the work of “artists”, including painters, sculptors and architects. The image on the reverse of the medals was designed by Giovanni Hamerani in 1694 and was taken from a painting by Guercino. Hamerani came from a family of celebrated artists and engravers and was appointed as medallist to the pope. It has been said he possessed a purer and far superior style to other engravers of his time. Intended as an annual competition, although it was not always the case, these medals were given in three classes and in three disciplines, painting, sculpture and architecture. The most significant of the group are lots 1227 (which carries a pre-sale estimate of £800-1200) and lot 1232 (pictured above) which is the only lot to be engraved by Bernhard Perger and has an estimate of £700-900. Other stand out pieces from the section include lots 1245 and 1246, two Clement XII medals. The first is a choice, extremely fine, 1753 Damascened Bronze Complimentary Medal, estimate £300-400 and the second is a 1733 Silver Fountain Medal of San Giovanni in Laterano, estimate £600-800.
The sale continues with an eye-catching selection of Italian medals. Lot 1266, a brilliantly crafted cast bronze medal of Pasquale Malipiero intensely portrays the figure of Peace on the reverse with a sword and shield at her feet (estimate £150-250). A further highlight of the section, lot 1271, a 1687 oval cast Gilt-bronze medal, intricately depicts the surrender and homage of Mustapha Pasha and his brother Hassan Pasha to the Doge (estimate £800-1000.) A small selection of baroque pieces are offered to complement the much larger section contained in part one of the collection which was sold earlier this