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Coins and Numismatics

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Head of Orpheus with Lyre


Artist: Marie-Alexandre-Lucien Coudray (1865 - 1932) Primary
Date: 1899
19th century
Dimensions: 2.63 in. (6.68 cm)
Dimensions Extent: diameter
Object Type: Medal
Creation Place: Europe, France
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Museum Purchase, 2016.
Accession Number: 2016.08.01
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries, Print Case


The tragic figure of the musician and poet Orpheus appears on the obverse of this medal, looking off to the viewer’s left with a tormented expression. A crown of laurels adorns his long hair, and he holds his lyre to his bare chest. On the medal’s reverse, the winged, nude figure of a muse sits atop a blank planchette (a space for a separate inscription), holding a quill pen in one hand and a trumpet in the other. A violin appears below the planchette. Coudray produced this medal for the Paris Mint, as part of a series of medals by prominent artists that were sold at the International Exhibition in 1900.



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