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Medal commemorating Moses Mendelssohn
Prussia, Germany
Medalists: Jacob Abraham and son Abraham Abramson
Inscriptions: obverse, "Moses Mendelssohn", and the artist's signature. Reverse: "PHAEDON", "NATUS MDCCXXIX".
Diam: 4.3 cm
The Stieglitz Collection was donated to the Museum with the contribution of Erica and Ludwig Jesselson, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Accession number: B86.0234 ; 753/214

“Phaedon” is the title of a philosophical work by Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1785), the German-Jewish philosopher and leader of the Haskalah (Enlightenment) movement. The treatise, published in 1767, derives its title from one of the "Dialogues" of Plato. The fluttering butterfly on the skull symbolizes the "immortality of the spirit" (Phaedon).

From the Israel Museum publications:
Benjamin, Chaya, The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1987, English / Hebrew

The Stieglitz Collection: Masterpieces of Jewish Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 30/11/1987 - 21/04/1987

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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