Silver art medal, fifth in the Courtship series commissioned by the Royal Australian Mint. Designed by Michael Meszaros and minted by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra.
This is one of a set of six medals by Melbourne artist Michael Meszaros. The set had the theme of Courtship and all medals share a common reverse of an apple with two bites taken from it, based on the story of Adam and Eve. The set was sold in a presentation box made of silky oak. It was launched at an art medal exhibition held in the Swanston Street premises of Museum Victoria and then in the Royal Australian Mint. A catalogue, 'Medals as Art', was produced for the exhibition.
Art medals are not well-known in Australia, and the Mint over-estimated the public's appetite for the series. Against the artist's advice, the Mint issued 2000 sets. Only 800 were sold, and the Mint eventually destroyed the rest, melting them down to re-capture the silver.
A sterling silver medal (50 mm diameter) depicting a woman looking into a mirror, suggested by the designs being relief and incuse, while a man placesd a string of pearls around her neck. The reverse, common to the "courtship" series, depicts an apple with a large and small bite taken from it.
A woman looking into a mirror, suggested by the designs being relief and incuse, while a man places a string of pearls around her neck.
An apple with a large and small bite taken from it; in small letters incuse at right, MICHAEL MESZAROS (his logo) 1990
For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.
Donation from Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, 1990
Type of item
50 mm (Outside Diameter), 71.52 g (Weight)