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The Thomason Medallic Bible Medal Series

 

The Thomason Medallic Bible
Medal Series

By John Sallay

The Thomason Medallic Bible is a set of sixty medals struck in 1830 that captures the essence of the entire Holy Bible in medallic art. The obverse designs were inspired by the works of well-known Renaissance artists and executed by several different engravers. The reverse of each medal contains a dense text quotation or explanation describing the topic of each medal. The set was produced in Birmingham, England by Sir Edward Thomason, who felt divinely inspired to “promote the glory of God by impressing the Word of God upon gold, silver and other indestructible metals”.

In 1970, the Franklin Mint issued a small-format recreation from newly engraved dies, with much simplified text. While the original Thomason medals were struck in gilt copper and white metal with a diameter of 73mm, the Franklin Mint Version medals were struck in bronze with a diameter of 44mm. They were sold in a custom binder, with a description from Sir Edward Thomason’s Memoirs During Half a Century quoted on the inside front cover:

It appeared to me, in 1827, that I might, through God’s assistance, become a humble instrument to effect a unique and novel medallic work to further and promote the glory of God, by impressing the Word of God upon gold, silver and other indestructible metals, with emblematical and symbolical designs, and with a short condensed explanation on the reverses of the medals, and thereby be the first author of a Medallic Bible.

In this feeling my heart rejoiced, my soul was willing, but my flesh was weak, and I prayed unto the Lord to give me grace and strength of mind to accomplish so arduous an undertaking.

I first applied myself in reading over the sacred volume of the Bible, the authority of which is received by inspiration from God, and universally admitted. I found, after taking down copious notes, that I should be unable, by the most condensed arrangements, to produce a tolerably continuous , or even contracted, development under less number than sixty of the largest size medals, each being three inches in diameter, the obverses of which to contain the historical devices, and the reverses filled with lettered explanation; and it was also essential for my purpose that the historical pieces should be obtained from the pictures of the Ancient Masters. I did not despair in accomplishing this apparent difficulty in obtaining copies for my artists to work from, because I held at this period the appointment of eight consulships from foreign governments, which gave me facility to procure copies of such pictures from the Continent which I might not conveniently find in England.

 

Collector's Guide

>
  Number Obverse Legend Inspired by

 

PIC 1 ADAM GAVE NAMES TO EVERY BEAST OF THE FIELD AND FOWL OF THE AIR Paolo Veronese

 

PIC 2 EVE PRESENTING THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT TO ADAM Domenichino

 

PIC 3 THE EXPULSION OF ADAM AND EVE FROM PARADISE Guido

 

PIC 4 CAIN SLAYING HIS BROTHER ABEL Domenichino

 

PIC 5 ENOCH CARRIED UP INTO HEAVEN Paolo Veronese

 

PIC 6 NOAHS ARK FLOATING UPON THE WATERS Bandinelli

 

PIC 7 NOAH BUILDETH AN ALTAR UNTO THE LORD AND OFFERETH SACRIFICE Poussin

 

PIC 8 THE TOWER OF BABLE IN THE LAND OF SHINAH Bandinelli

 

PIC 9 LOT PARTING FROM ABRAHAM TO DWELL IN THE PLAIN OF JORDAN Titian

 

PIC 10 LOT AND HIS TWO DAUGHTERS ON THEIR JOURNEY FROM SODOM TO ZOAR Rubens

 

PIC 11 ABRAHAM OFFERING HIS SON ISAAC FOR A SACRIFICE Carracci

 

PIC 12 REBEKAH DRAWING WATER FOR ABRAHAMS CAMELS Poussin

 

PIC 13 ABRAHAM BURIED IN THE CAVE OF MACPHELAH BY HIS SONS Rembrandt

 

PIC 14 ISAAC BLESSING JACOB INSTEAD OF ESAU Titian

 

PIC 15 RECONCILIATION BRTWEEN JACOB AND HIS BROTHER ESAU Titian

 

PIC 16 JOSEPHS BRETHEREN SELLING HIM TO THE ISHMAELITE MERCHANTS Guido

 

PIC 17 THE INTERPRETATION OF KING PHARAOHS TWO DREAMS BY JOSEPH Guido

 

PIC 18 JOSEPH MAKETH HIMSELF KNOWN TO HIS BRETHEREN Murillo

 

PIC 19 JACOB ON HIS DEATH BED CALLING TOGETHER HIS SONS & BLESSING THEM Rembrandt

 

PIC 20 MOSES DISCOVERED & PRESERVED BY THE DAUGHTER OF KING PHARAOH Poussin

 

PIC 21 THE ROD OF MOSES MIRACULOUSLY CHANGED INTO A SERPENT Salvator Rosa

 

PIC 22 THE FIRST BORN SLAIN THROUGHOUT THE LAND OF EGYPT Michelangelo

 

PIC 23 PHARAOH AND HIS HOST DROWNED IN THE RED SEA Michelangelo

 

PIC 24 AND MOSES SMOTE THE ROCK AND IT GUSH’D OUT WATER Murillo

 

PIC 25 MOSES DESCENDING FROM THE MOUNT & FINDING THE ISRAELITES WORSHIPING THE MOLTEN CALF Raphael

 

PIC 26 THE ARK OF THE COVENANT THE ALTAR OF INCENSE THE BRAZEN LAVER Bandinelli

 

PIC 27 MOSES’S BRAZEN SERPENT Rembrandt

 

PIC 28 BALAAM SMITING HIS ASS WHO SPEAKETH BEFORE THE ANGEL Carracci

 

PIC 29 THE SACRIFICE OF THE RED HEIFER BY ELEAZAR Van Dyck

 

PIC 30 JOSHUA DIVIDING THE WATERS OF THE RIVER JORDAN Rembrandt

 

PIC 31 JOSHUA COMMANDING THE SUN TO STAND STILL Rembrandt

 

PIC 32 A CHART OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL’S TRAVELS FROM EGYPT Thomason

 

PIC 33 JAEL DRIVING THE NAIL THROUGH THE HEAD OF SISERA Carracci

 

PIC 34 FULFILMENT OF JEPHTHAHS RASH VOW Carracci

 

PIC 35 SAMSON KILLING THE LION ON HIS JOURNEY TO TIMNATH Le Brun

 

PIC 36 SAMSON CARRYING AWAY THE GATES OF GAZA Le Brun

 

PIC 37 DAVID CUTTING OFF THE HEAD OF GOLIATH THE PHILISTINE Michelangelo

 

PIC 38 SAUL AND THE WITCH OF ENDOR Salvator Rosa

 

PIC 39 ABSALOM SLAIN BY JOAB IN THE WOOD OF EPHRAIM Carracci

 

PIC 40 SOLOMON’S TEMPLE Bandinelli

 

PIC 41 SOLOMON’S JUDGMENT Carlo Dolci

 

PIC 42 JEROBOHAM ORDERING THE MAN OF GOD TO BE SEIZ’D Correggio

 

PIC 43 ELIJAH FED BY RAVENS AT THE BROOK CHERITH Paolo Veronese

 

PIC 44 ELIJAH CARRIED UP INTO HEAVEN IN THE PRESENCE OF ELISHA Raphael

 

PIC 45 THE SHUNAMITE’S SON RESTORED TO LIFE ON THE PRAYER OF ELISHA Murillo

 

PIC 46 JONAH DELIVER’D FROM THE WHALE Leonardo daVinci

 

PIC 47 SENNACHERIBS OVERTHROW BY THE ANGEL 185,000 SMOTE IN THE CAMP Michelangelo

 

PIC 48 SHADRACH MESHACK AND ABEDNEGO IN THE FIREY FURNACE Carlo Maratta

 

PIC 49 JOB IN DISTRESS REBUKING HIS WIFE Leonardo daVinci

 

PIC 50 THE DIVINE PSALMIST Van Dyck

 

PIC 51 DANIEL IN THE DEN OF LIONS Raphael

 

PIC 52 JULIUS CAESAR MURDERED IN THE SENATE HOUSE AT ROME Correggio

 

PIC 53 THE ADORATION OF THE WISE MEN Rubens

 

PIC 54 JOSEPH’S FLIGHT INTO EGYPT Rubens

 

PIC 55 JOHN BAPTIZING CHRIST IN JORDAN Poussin

 

PIC 56 CHRIST RAISING LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD Murillo

 

PIC 57 CHRIST INSTITUTING HIS LAST SUPPER Leonardo daVinci

 

PIC 58 CHRIST’S AGONY IN THE GARDEN Carlo Dolci

 

PIC 59 THE CRUCIFIXION Rubens

 

PIC 60 THE ASCENSION Correggio


Printable PDF formated version of the
MCA Thomason Medallic Bible Series
Collector's Guide

(96 Kbytes)





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