A Collection of European Art Medals
This collection of medals was formed, or acquired, by Hans Wilhelm Emanuel Schiffer (1893-1979), the eldest son of Eugen Schiffer (1860-1954), a Berlin-based lawyer and politician (see the last lot in this section for a medal of Eugen by Josef Tautenhayn, in all probability a gift of the artist). Eugen helped to establish the Berliner Verwaltungsakademie, the first institution of higher learning for the German civil service, in 1921; previously, he had served two terms as deputy Prime Minister of the new Weimar Republic. Hans Schiffer lived in London until his death and the family are now disposing of the medals.
The following 75 lots include an excellent representation of issues of the Société des Amis de la Médaille Française issued between February 1900 and February 1914, although the serial numbers on the edges of these SAMF medals suggest that most of them were pieces from the end of each production run. In theory the numbers of pieces ordered by the Society and struck at the Monnaie would have reflected, to a greater extent, the number of members of the Society; in practice, Society membership declined sharply from about 1905 and it is not known whether Hans Schiffer was a member, or whether he acquired unissued medals from the Society’s stock between 1910, when the Society was dissolved, and 1920, when its final assets (including medals) were distributed and the organisation was wound up. Significantly though, the last six medals from the series, distributed by the Society in May 1920, are not present here.