Berky, John: The Humberto J. Mendes Bruckner Medal

If you look through my graphics gallery, you will see lots of different Bruckner medals. Some go back to the year of his death and they have continued on over the years. If one wants to get the full scope of Bruckner-related icons, they should investigate Renate Grasberger's exhaustive "Ikonographie Project." It is currently available in three volumes from the MWV

Bruckner medals come in various sizes and metals (from bronze, to silver, to gold). There is, of course the Kilanyi Bruckner Society Medal (minted in 1932) and there is the Austrian 25 schilling coin minted in 1962. The list is enormous.

But there is one medal which has intrigued me because there seems to be two of them. They are almost the same, but then upon closer examination differences can be seen.

The medal in question was designed by Humberto J. Mendes from Portugal. For reference, it is Ikon No. 206 in Grasberger's Ikonographie (Volume 2). The medal is bronze and it is 7.8 cm. in diameter.

Below, you will see several examples. The first four images are all the original Mendes medal. The first two images show the front and back of the same medal. The next two images are different photos of the same casting. I have put them here since they each tend to highlight different details.

The fifth image is of a small two-toned variant of the sixth image. It is the sixth image that I find so fascinating.

While at first glance, the sixth image may appear to be the same as the medal shown in images 1-4, closer examination reveals some interesting differences. While both have Mendes' name on the medal, the sixth medal is missing the mole on Bruckner's jaw, a slightly altered tie, a different hair texture and a different set of the eye.

The medal shown in the sixth image is sold in a collection of medals depicting famous composers. The same may be true for the older medal, but I have not seen any. The sixth medal can still be found on auctions sites. I occasionally have one or two for sale. The medal 1-4 is very difficult to locate.

Mendes Medal (front)
Mendes Medal (Back)
Mendes Medal (Alternate photo 1)
Mendes Medal (Alternate photo 2)
Smaller Two-toned variant
The "Other" Mendes Medal