Silver medal case containing miniatures.

Accession number: 
MS W.35
Silver medal case containing miniatures.
18th century
Bequest of Julia Parker Wightman, 1994.
19 circular leaves : paper, ill. ; 44 mm, diameter; 38 mm, diameter
Julia Parker Wightman (JPW 2283).

1 silver medal case measuring 47 mm. in diameter containing 19 paper medallions, 17 measuring 38 mm. in diameter (loose within the case), 2 measuring 44 mm. in diameter (pasted inside upper and lower covers); written and illuminated in Russia(?), 18th century.
Decoration: 19 figured scenes, allegorical or emblematic, hand-drawn or printed and hand-colored, above each is a curved scroll with a Latin inscription in an italic script; 17 paintings of fruits and flowers on the reverse sides of the loose medallions. It has been suggested that the pictures may have been copied from a Russian emblem book.
19 paper medallions, text and scenes: 1) Quis talia frigora vidit. - a man and a woman warming their hands over a fire. 2) Inexpectate veniunt. - 2 men stand outdoors, one pointing to an apple tree. 3) Insperata frigore damna. - a woman standing by a pear tree and holding 2 pears; a man expostulating before a vineyard. 4) Meritas nos pendimus poenas. - various people caught in a flood, seeking higher ground. 5) Deo favente senex. - an altar with a triple tiara upon it, crossed keys on a lower stage, two lower tiers with skulls resting on a black cloth (6), flanked by descending rows of 6 lighted candles. 6) Omnibus hicce placet. - a group of standing cardinals(?), a triple tiara atop a stool at left foreground, crossed keys on a stool at right foreground. 7) Magna tristitia pres/sa. - a man (dead?) displayed on a bier; a weeping woman at left holds a shield emblazoned with a black rampant eagle. 8) Rex friderice vivas. - crowned enthroned king at center, flanked by courtiers. 9) Est haec mors nostri maxi/ma causa mali. - a large monument toped with 3 crowns, a black double-headed eagle on the shield at center of monument, 4 seated figures, nude except for a bit of drapery at the waist; 4 lighted candles on each side and 2 at the immediate foreground. 10) Nos te regnante feli/ces. - enthroned woman at background center, flanked by courtiers; above her head is a shield with double-headed black eagle. 11) Erit successor Ioannes. - a man (or woman?) wearing a nightcap lies in bed before a headboard that is topped with a crown; the bed is flanked by courtiers; a woman stands at right, and a man on the left leans over the bed and seems to address the recumbent figure. 12) Hic Russiae spes que sa/tus que. - another bedside scene, this time a crowned figure is in bed below a silver shield with the black double-headed eagle painted on it; 2 diplomatic figures, one with a sword, gesticulate on either side of the bed; in the background stand two brush-helmeted guards, Hussars? 13) Surgit in altum. - a figure stands at center before a cloth of honor, wearing an ermine-lined robe and holding a bastion; he is flanked by the diplomatic figures of the previous roundel and two guards (Hussars?). 14) Ut lapsu graviore ruat. - two figures in ermine-lined robes stand and argue, one seems to be hurling a bastion; guards stand behind them. 15) Virtutum praemia su/mit. - A woman is seated at right on a throne, holding a bastion; figures in ermine-lined robes defer to her, Hussars stand below. 16) Tempus aenigmata sol/vet. - seemingly a battlefield or a rally of troops: at center is a main horseman, followed by other mounted troops, foot soldiers march in middle- and background. 17) Augusta talem non videt honorem. - White-wigged, black-robed figures sit around a conference table; on a wall plaque above is the double-headed eagle, with a crown placed between the heads. 18) - pasted inside Upper Cover: Nec purpurae parce. - a skeleton seated at left, draped with a swath of cloth; it holds a long arrow that points downwards at a group of objects on the ground: a triple tiara, three crowns, and a cardinal hat; at right a standing winged figure with white hair and a beard, Father Time? holds a scythe slung over his shoulder, an hourglass in the left hand. 19) - pasted inside Lower Cover: Terrore cecidit hicce. - the background is a starry night; 2 men stand on a terrace flanking a telescope on a stand that points upwards; the man at left clutches something and looks as though he is about to swoon, the right-hand figure gestures, his arms spread wide. It has been suggested that the pictures may have been copied from a Russian emblem book.
Binding: 18th-century(?) silver medal case composed of two parts that screw together. On the upper cover is inscribed: Deus. Per tempora punit. above a scene in relief: at left a standing winged figure, draped in a swag, holding a scythe and gesticulating towards an arch at right topped with a crowned double-headed eagle clutching a globe in its left claw, a knife in its right; a hand reaches out of the clouds holding branches(?) and a whip(?); at center foreground are placed a bust, an orb, a book, a scroll, a palette with brushes, a protracter crossed with a compass (perhaps some Masonic device); mountains loom in the background. On the lower cover is inscribed: Poenitentia. Crimina tollit; in relief, a figure, left hand over breast, kneels at center before an altar topped by a flaming pot (perhaps a censer since it it has a hanging chain). In paper box covered with patterned paper, lined in black velvet, leather spine, lettered: Silver coin; by JPW.