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BM01081

Van Abeele, Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch.

Regular price £3,950
Regular price Sale price £3,950

Germany / Netherlands, Bavaria, Lauterbach family, large Silver Medal formed of two plates joined at the rim, c.1650-1660, firmly attributed to Pieter van Abeele. The apostle Philip baptizes the Chancellor of the Court of the Kandala, Queen of the Ethiopians, rev. engraved, the arms of the Lauterbach family, 71mm (Frederiks 37/37a, 60/61; Frederiks Pennigen 113). The only known example thus of the very highest rarity.

Ex J W Frederiks Collection

The legend and obverse image are from Acts 8:26-40, the Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch, a subject which was painted by Rembrandt, during his Leiden period. His 1626 work The Baptism of the Eunuch now hangs in the Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht. The composition of the painting is clearly similar to that of the present medal, and it seems likely that van Abeele was directly inspired by Rembrandt's work. Like many van Abeele medals the piece is unsigned but is attributed unquestionably on the grounds of style. Furthermore, it is arguably one of his most naturalistic and accomplished designs.

The medal is not dated but the arms are those of the second branch of the Lauterbach family. From this branch, Franz Ferdinand Lauterbach and Christoph Ferdinand Lauterbach were born in 1660 and 1662 respectively thus it is possible that the piece was used contemporaneously as a baptismal medal.

The Lauterbach family have owed Schloss Lauterbach, between Augsburg and Munich, since 1449.

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