100989 | UNITED STATES. Vanitas oval bronze Medal.

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    100989 | UNITED STATES. Society of Medalists oval bronze Medal. Issued 1986. Vanitas (71x60mm, 205.47 g, 12h). By M. Somogyi.

     

    Woman (Pandora–Vanity) seated slightly right with back facing, gazing into cut-out mirror / Satyr (the Devil) crouching slightly left with back facing, peering back into cut-out mirror; tome, compass, and skull (memento mori) below lifted curtain. Edge: SOM–113TH ISSUE APRIL 1986 MARIKA SOMOGYI.

     

    Alexander SOM-113. Choice Mint State. Charming yellow-brown surfaces with some light antiquing. Scarce later series issue, with a reported mintage of just 750 pieces.

     

    Designed by Marika Somogyi, who immigrated to the United States at the age of 20, this interesting and though-provoking issue features a woman peering into a "mirror," with the reverse allowing us the chance to see what is on the other side—a mischievous satyr peering back at her. For the brochure which accompanied this issue, she wrote that "...a mirror cries out for a beautiful woman. John Milton in Paradise Lost wrote, 'In naked beauty more adorn'd, more lovely, than Pandora.'" Vanity being one of the seven deadly sins, it can be seen that the woman in this case, by becoming a bit too captivated with her image, has indeed opened Pandora's box and all that may lie within.

     

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