102420 | SWITZERLAND. Basel. Dog Show gilt bronze Award Medal.
102420 | SWITZERLAND. Basel. Dog Show gilt bronze Award Medal. Issued 1901 for the 2nd International Dog Exposition from 19–21 October (45mm, 40.44 g, 12h).
Five different hounds below radiant Swiss cross; 1901 on garnished cartouche below // II. INTERNATIONALE HUNDEAUSSTELLUNG BASEL 19. 20. & 21. OCT. 1901, basilisk left, head right, holding garnished coat-of-arms of Basel. Edge: Plain.
Choice Mint State. A few light marks, one of which occurs above the head and left wing of the basilisk; otherwise highly brilliant and prooflike.
Despite sometimes being referred to as a dragon, the mythical creature on the reverse of this medal (along with many of Basel's coins) is that of a basilisk. The origin of such mythical creatures is from ancient Greece, with it said to have had the head of a rooster and wearing a crown, all with the body of a serpent. By medieval times, this iconography had changed somewhat to having a body more akin to that of a wyvern, with the basilisk and the cockatrice essentially being the same. What remained throughout lore was the fact that the gaze of the basilisk, just like Medusa, was said to be lethal. It is not fully certain as to why the basilisk became symbolic with Basel, whose name in Roman times was Basilea, though the punning nature of the city's name and the mythical creature is quite likely.
Upload: 15 June 2023.
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