100314 | GERMANY. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach silver Medal.

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    100314 | GERMANY. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach silver Medal. Issued 1825. Commemorating the Jubilee of the Anthropologist's Doctorate (50mm, 54.36 g, 12h). By G. Loos and H. Gube in Berlin.

     

    I FR BLUMENBACH NATO GOTHAE D 11 MAII 1752 DOCT CREATO GOTTINGAE D 19 SEPT 1775, bust left / NATURAE INTERPRETI OSSA LOQUI IUBENTI PHYSIOSOPHILI GERMANICI D 19 SEPT 1825, three human skulls, as classified by Blumenbach: Caucasian, Ethiopian, and Mongolian. Edge: Plain.

     

    Storer 398; Brettauer 125. Mint State. Extremely lustrous, though with numerous scattered hairlines in the prooflike fields. Exceedingly difficult to encounter in silver, and an interesting and haunting type. Includes original red box of issue.

     

    Blumenbach was an anthropologist from the University of Göttingen and specialized in the study and classification of human skulls from around the world—later known as craniometry. At the time of his death, he owned 245 whole skulls and fragments, along with two mummies. The term ‘caucasian’ as a descriptor of race was also derived from him, as his influential use of it in 1795 quickly caught on in scientific circles. For more information on Blumenbach and a modern analysis of his career—as well as a reference to this medallic issue—visit Nell Irvin Painter’s “Why White People Are Called ‘Caucasian?’,” which can be found at: glc.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/events/race/Painter.pdf.

     

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