Object of the Month: May 2022

Joachimsthal Plague Medal, silver, from the workshop of Nickel Milicz (+ before 1575), 1557. NML Medical Museum Numismatic Collection, M 637

Object of the Month, May 2022

From the Exhibition Plagues 1521-2021 in the NML Medical Museum

Nickel Milicz, a goldsmith and plate maker in Joachimsthal,  inherited his father’s workshop in 1546. His plague medal depicts, on the verso, Moses stopping the plague of serpents by raising a staff with bearing a brass serpent (Num. 21.6-9), circumscribed with the quote from the Gospel of John (3.14) : SICV[t] . MOSES . EXTALAVIT : SER[pentem] : IN : DESERTO : ITA : EXALTARI : OPORTET : FIL[ium] HOM[inis], And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. On the reverse, the scene of Crucifixion. Many other medals by Milicz demonstrate parallels between Old and New Testament passages.

Joachimsthal Plague Medal, 1557