November 19, 2015 – In his work, Klaus-Peter Brozatus lists more than 1,700 numismatic objects of the collection of coins and medals of the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt relating to the history of the Reformation.
Established in 1997, the foundation not only maintains and manages the Luther House, the world’s largest Reformation museum, but also takes care of three more houses in the city of Eisleben closely connected to Luther’s biography, as well as the Melanchthon House in the city of Wittenberg.
Part of the inventories of these memorial sites are several numismatic collections, which the author began publishing in 1998. Now, 17 years later, the results are being released and the two part volume contains the most comprehensive work on Reformation numismatics ever to be produced.
Reformatio in Nummis, Volume I, Annotierter Bestandskatalog der reformationsgeschichtlichen Münz- und Medaillensammlung der Stiftung Luthergedenkstätten in Sachsen-Anhalt. Edited by Rainer Opitz and written by Klaus-Peter Brozatus. Osnabrück 2015, Numismatischer Verlag Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG. Two-volume hardcover edition in a slipcase, 1,276 pages. ISBN 978-3-941357-04-4. 118 euros + postage.
The first part of the catalogue pays attention to personal medals from Agricola to Zwingli. Luther himself, the focus of this study, is represented by an astonishing 364 objects. The second part assembles numismatic objects commemorating various events relating to Luther. Here, contemporary medals, for example commemorating the presentation of the Augsburg Confession, find their place, as do modern art medals celebrating the 500th jubilee of the Reformation. Additionally, the catalogue also contains a small collection of badges of honor.
The catalogues provide illustrations for every medal, sometimes even enlarged. Great importance was attached to the descriptions of all the objects, which are both thorough and interpretative. The author meticulously notes all inscriptions and even offers translations when deemed necessary.
It goes without saying that the reader also finds all numismatic specifications (material, diameter, weight etc.) as well as literature quotations. Providing the reader with numerous expertly written commentary, the author went through great lengths illuminating the historical-theological and numismatic background of the objects. Last but not least, an index of people and places, supplemented by a register of medalists and die cutters, tops the catalogues off.
Initiated and funded by the auction house Künker, ‘Reformatio in nummis’ presents yet another research project in the field of numismatics relating to the Reformation. It truly bears testimony to the excellent collaboration between researchers, collectors, and museums. The first fruits of this collaboration could already be witnessed in 2014, when a numismatic exhibit carrying the very same title was put up at the Wartburg castle. By attracting more than 350,000 visitors each year, the Wartburg castle surely provided a marvelous platform for numismatics.
The book may be ordered for 118 euros plus postage at the Künker Online Shop / Numismatic Literature, by phone at +49 541 962020 or by email
. Please note that the book, due to its considerable weight, will be charged a higher postage, in particular for international shipping. Postage within the territory of Germany amounts to 9.50 euros; when delivered to the U.S. the postage will be 51 euros. (subject to change).
If you want to know more about the exhibition at the Wartburg, please read our article published in May 2014