A kiss and a scream sum up Numiscollects latest foray into fine art numismatics

Fine art seems to have grown in popularity over the last few years, with some great coins from such producers as Numiscollect, the Mint of Poland and the Austrian Mint adorning the shelves of coin shops. Of those, Numiscollect is the new boy, launching a series called Art Revived last year with a depiction of the Mona Lisa. A combination of smartminted high relief and colour, put a new twist on the art coin.

This year sees the second coin and it’s a striking choice of subject – the iconic The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. A very unusual piece of art, it occupies the rarified level of $100+ million paintings.  The coin is a standard round and as such, reproduces a small, but significant part of the original painting. As with the earlier Mona Lisa, the central figure sits proud in high relief, with the background picked out in colour. It’s pretty effective and quite different from most of the competition. it’s an issue for Palau, so features that island nations emblem on the obverse.

The second coin has an inspiration more familiar to coin collectors. The work of Gustav Klimt has appeared on numerous releases over the last few years, most notably in the Austrian Mints award-winning series Klimt and His Women, although joined by multiple issues from the Mint of Poland and AllCollect. None have been as ambitious as Numiscollects latest. Joining the ranks of CIT’s dimensional smartminted coin ranges, this new 3D coin cuts out the central figures from the bulk of the background and ramps up the relief. We were initially undecided if it works or not, but a look at the original painting shows that the coin doesn’t really miss anything out that would change the meaning behind the artwork. Richly coloured, it’s a cool looking piece for the Klimt fan.

The specifications of the two coins are similar in all but size and weight. The Munch coin is a standard crown-sized one-ounce silver coin, while the more ambitious Klimt issue is double that weight and 65 mm tall. Both will come boxed and with a certificate of authenticity. Both should sship later this year and are available to pre-order now. The Kiss has a mintage of 499 pieces, with the scream coming in at around double that (999).

THE SCREAM by Edvard Munch

The Scream is the popular name given to multiple versions of a composition by Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910. The German title Munch gave these works is Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). The works show a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous orange sky. Arthur Lubow has described The Scream as “an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa for our time.”

Edvard Munch created four versions in paint and pastels. The National Gallery in Oslo, Norway, holds one of two painted versions (1893, shown at right). The Munch Museum holds the other painted version and also a pastel version from 1893. These three versions have seldom traveled, though the 1893 pastel was exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2015. The second pastel version from 1895 was sold for $119,922,600 at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art auction on 2 May 2012 to financier Leon Black, the fourth highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction and was displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 2012 to April 2013.

THE KISS by Gustav Klimt

The Kiss (in German Liebespaar, Lovers) is an oil painting, with added silver and gold leaf by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, and was painted between 1907 and 1908 during the height of Klimt’s “Golden Period”. The painting depicts a couple embracing one another, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The painting hangs in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period. It is an icon of the Jugendstil—Viennese Art Nouveau—and is considered Klimt’s most popular work.

Love, intimacy, and sexuality are common themes found in Gustav Klimt’s works. The Stoclet Frieze and the Beethoven Frieze are such examples of Klimt’s focus on romantic intimacy. Both works are precursors to The Kiss and feature the recurring motif of an embracing couple.

It is thought that Klimt and his companion Emilie Flöge modeled for the work, but there is no evidence or record to prove this. Others suggest the female was the model known as ‘Red Hilda’; she bears strong resemblance to the model in his Woman with feather boa, Goldfish and Danaë.

DENOMINATION $10 Cook Islands $5 Palau
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 65.0 x 48.0 mm 38.61 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated Proof
MODIFICATIONS High relief, coloured High-relief, coloured
MINTAGE 499 999
BOX / COA Yes / Yes Yes / Yes