Paul Bosco Coins and Medals

Medals of the Series

Numismatica Universalis Virorum Illustrium

Figure 1 Franklin by CaquŽ


From our friend Jean Vacherot:

Pierre AmŽdŽe DURAND (1789-1873) was well known as a sculptor, a medal engraver and a producer of medals. In this latter capacity, no doubt influenced by the success that greeted the GalŽrie MŽtallique des Grands Hommes FranŤais in 1816, he undertook in 1817 the issue of a universal series of medals of famous men, calling upon some of the best known engravers.

In accordance with the regulations of the Ordinance of 5 Germinal, year 17 (March 25, 1809) and the Royal Ordinance of July 22, 1816, which gave to the Mint Administration a monopoly of the striking of medals, Durand had an initial series of medals struck there. These, issued between 1817 and 1826, have no inscription or punch mark on their edge.

But Durand considered this monopoly an infringement on commercial freedom and harmful to his own interests and sought to have it repealed. When this effort failed, he decided to seek out a foreign mint, specifically that of Munich, to which he sent his dies. To distinguish these medals, it was decided to put the inscription MONACHII [Latin for Ôin MunichŐ] on their edges. To my knowledge, no French medals other than those of the Durand series carry this inscription.

Figure 2 Descartes by Henrionnet


Eventually, relations improved between Durand and the French Mint Administration and he again entrusted his dies to the Mint, either for restriking from the old dies or for the striking of new medals, produced between 1844 and 1846. These medals have on their edge a punch of the French Mint (either the prow of a ship or a pointing hand) as well as the word CUIVRE [copper].

To my knowledge, the Series Numismatica Universalis Virorum Illustrium includes more than 150 individuals, but if one takes into account die and edge variants, the total is more than 400 varieties.

Jean Vacherot



Except as otherwise noted, all offered here are struck bronze, 41 mm., and without edge stamps.


Individual                                   Country       Artist        Year         Edge                                          

Addison, Joseph                           Great Britain  Rogat        1823             

DŐAguesseau, FranŤois                  France           Rogat        1826             

Aldrovandi, Ulise                           Italy              Peuvrier     1823                                                               

Alfieri, Vittorio                              Italy              Donadio     1820                                                               

Alighieri, Dante                             Italy              Gayrard     1819                                                               

Ariosto, Ludovico                          Italy              Vivier        1820                                                         MONACHII

Ariosto, Ludovico                          Italy              Vivier        1820

Bacon, Francis                              Great Britain  CaquŽ              1823

Bacon, Roger                               Great Britain  Gayrard     1818

Banier, Johann                              Sweden         Wolf          1826

Bembo, Pietro                               Italy              Veyrat       1823

Bergman, Thornbern                     Sweden         Salmson    1826

Boccacio, Giovanni                        Italy              Wolff         1823

Figure 3 Lagrange by Donadio


Boerhaave, Herman                       Netherlands   Vivier        1819

Bossuet, Jacques-Benigne             France           Peuvrier     1823

Brahe, Tycho                                Sweden         Rogat        1825

Bucer, Martin                                France-Alsace Wolf          1824                                                         MONACHII

Bucer, Martin                                France-Alsace Wolf          1824

Buonarotti, Michelangelo                Italy              Gayrard     1819

Calvani, Luigi                                Italy              CaquŽ              1823

Calvin, Johann                              Switzerland    Gayrard     1818

Camden, William                           Great Britain  CaquŽ              1823

Cam›es, Luis                                Portugal        CaquŽ              1821

Cassini, Giovanni Domenico            France / Italy Peuvrier     1823

Catharine II                                  Russia           Pingret      1826

Cervantes, Miguel                          Spain            Gayrard     1818

Charles V                                     HRE, Spain    Gayrard     1821

Christian IV                                  Denmark       Peuvrier     1823

Cimarosa, Domenico                      Italy              Barre        1818

Columbus, Christopher                  Italy              Petit          1819

Congreve, William                         Great Britain  CaquŽ              1819

Cook, James                                 Great Britain  Smith        1823

Copernicus, Nicholas                     Prussia [Poland] Petit      1818

Copernicus, Nicholas                     Poland           Godel        1820

Coreggio, Antonio Allegri da           Italy              Donadio     1822                                                         MONACHII

Coreggio, Antonio Allegri da           Italy              Donadio     1822

CortŽs, Hern‡n                             Spain            Vivier        1821

Cranach, Lucas                             Germany       CaquŽ              1923                                                         MONACHII

Cranach, Lucas                             Germany       CaquŽ              1923

Cromwell, Oliver                            Great Britain  Smith        1846                                                         prow CUIVRE

Descartes, RenŽ                           France           Henrionnet 1822

Erasmus                                      Netherlands   Pingret      1823

Fox, James                                   Great Britain  Wolf          1823

FranŤois I                                     France           Gayrard     1819

Franklin, Benjamin                         U.S.A.           CaquŽ              1818

Gellert, Christian F.                       Germany       Brandt       1821

Galilei, Galileo                                Italy              Gayrard     1818

Gessner, Salomon                         Switzerland    Vivier        1818

Gluck, C. W.                                 Germany       Gayrard     1818

Goujon, Jean                                France           Veyrat       1826

GrŽtry, A. E. Modeste                    Belgium         CaquŽ              1823

Grotius, Hugo                               Belgium         CaquŽ              1823

Gustav I                                      Sweden         Salmson    1826

Guttemberg, Johannes                  Germany       Gayrard     1818

Haller, Albert von                          Switzerland    CaquŽ              1821

HŠndel, G. F.                                Germany       Wolff         1823

Figure 4 Harvey by Binfield


Harvey, William                             Great Britain  Binfield      1823

Haydn, Joseph                              Austria          Gatteaux   1818

Hoffmann, Friedrich                       Germany       Wolf          1823

Huygens, Christian                        Netherlands   Henrionnet 1821

Johnson, Samuel                          Great Britain  Smith        1823

Kant, Emmanuel                           Germany       Rogat        1825

Kepler, Johann                              Germany       CaquŽ              1823

Klopstock, Friedrich                       Germany       CaquŽ              1820

Kosciuszko, Thaddeus                   Poland           Caunois     1818

Lacaille, Louis                               France           Schmit       1824

Lagrange, Joseph-Louis                 Italy              Donadio     1822                                                         white metal   

Lavater, Johann Caspar                 Switzerland    Leveque     1818

Le Fort, FranŤois                           Switzerland    Petit          1819

Leo X                                          Papacy          Armand, C.       1823

Leonardo da Vinci                         Italy              Vivier        1825

Linnaeus, Carl                               Sweden         Dubois      1818                                                         MONACHII

Linnaeus, Carl                               Sweden         Dubois      1818

Locke, John                                  Great Britain  Caunois     1819

Locke, John                                  Great Britain  Caunois     1821

Lope de Vega, Felix                       Spain            Rogat        1825

Louis XIV                                     France           CaquŽ              1823

Luther, Martin                               Germany       Depaulis    1821

Mohammet II                                Turkey          CaquŽ              1823

Mansfeldt, Ernst von                     Germany       Wolf          1826

Mauritz I                                      Netherlands   Pingret      1823                                                         MONACHII

Milton John [with collar]                 Great Britain  Vivier        1818

Milton John [with ruff]                   Great Britain  Vivier        1818

MoliŹre, J. P. de                             France           CaquŽ              1821

MoliŹre, J. P. de                             France           CaquŽ              1821                                                         MONACHII

Moreau, Victoire                            France           Caunois     1819                                                         MONACHII

Moreau, Victoire                            France           Caunois     1819

Mozart, Wolfgang A.                     Austria          CaquŽ              1821

Newton, Isaac                               Great Britain  Petit          1819

Oxenstein, Axel                            Sweden         Salmson    1821

Pascal, Blaise                                France           Pingret      1823

Peter the Great                             Russia           Pingret      1823

Petrarca, Francesco                       Italy              Jeuffroy     1819

Piccini, Nicolo                                Italy              CaquŽ              1823

Pope, Alexander                            Great Britain  Vivier        1824

Rameau, Jean-Philippe                   France           Armand     1823

Sacchini, Antonio                          Italy                              1823

Sanzio, Raffaello                           Italy              CaquŽ              1823

Schiller, Friedrich                           Germany       Barre        1819

Sixtus V                                      Papacy          CaquŽ              1823

Tasso, Torquato                           Italy              CaquŽ              1820

Thou, J. Auguste de                      France           Rogat        1823

Tilly, N. Jean                                 Belgium         Pingret      1824

Valleta, E. J.                                 France           Vivier        1825

Van Dyck, Anton                           Belgium         Wolff         1823

Vesalius, Andreas                         Belgium         Lefevre      1820

Vesalius, Andreas                         Belgium         Lefevre      1820                                                         MONACHII

Vicelli, Tiziano                               Italy              DuprŽ        1823

Wallensteinm Albrecht von             Czechoslovakia Wolff      1824

Washington, George                     U.S.A.           Vivier        1819

Werner, Abraham                         Germany       Armand     1823

De Witt, John                               Netherlands   Pingret      1826


Collections des Hommes Illustres

Saussure, Horace B. de                 Switzerland    Bovy, A.    1823                                                         silver