101219 | SWEDEN. Anders Adolph Retzius bronze Medal.
101219 | SWEDEN. Anders Adolph Retzius bronze Medal. Issued 1866. Commemorating the Life of the Professor of Anatomy (31mm, 14.58 g, 12h). By L. Ahlborn for the Swedish Academy.
A A RETZIUS PROF ET INSP R INST MED CHIR CAROL HOLM / N 1796 O 1860, bare head right / NEC SINIT ESSE MUTA, two skulls set upon draped table along with forceps; in four lines in exergue, SOCIO ANATOM / ET ETHNOGR CELEBERR / R ACAD SCIENT SVEC / MDCCCLXVII. Edge: Plain.
Brettauer 966; cf. Kongl. Vitterhets Historie p. 405, 10. Choice About Uncirculated. Pleasing chestnut brown surfaces, with a great deal of brilliance remaining; some light rub on the highpoints and a few scattered marks in the field. Very rare. Compare to a similar example in silver that realized a hammer of €700 in Möller 76 (16 November 2020), lot 1125 [a total, after the buyer's fee, of $995].
After studying medicine at Lund University and in Copenhagen, Retzius became a doctor and received a professorship at the Karolinska Institute in 1824. His role would continue to grow there, ultimately becoming a permanent professor and supervisor in 1840. In addition to other parts of the anatomy, he studied the human cranium, and is credited with defining the cephalic index—the ratio of width to length of one's head. Similar to Blumenbach, he studied the skulls of different races, believing them to be from different origins.
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