Manueline is the term used for a special Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation in the late Gothic age. The name refers to Dom Manuel I., one of Portugal’s most significant kings. During his regency from 1495-1521 the small country on the Atlantic coast was at its peak of economical and political power. A meaningful indication therefore was when Vasco da Gama opened the sea route to India in 1498.
During this heyday these magnificent Manueline buildings were erected. They are based on shapes from the late Gothic era, enriched with motives from Spain, Flanders and the Italian Renaissance. As a special characteristic Manueline shows a plenitude of fanciful decorating elements which originate from the seafaring milieu: waves, anchor chains, mooring ropes with knots, mussel beds and pearls. Also the armillary sphere, an astronomic device for the determination of celestial coordinates, is almost never missing. Until today it is still on the Portuguese flag and stands for the deep bond between the country and seafaring.
The latest coin edition which belongs to the Tiffany-Art series shows two Manueline masterpieces in all their glory. The obverse opens up the view into the nave of the Santa Maria des Mosteiro dos Jerónimos abbey in Belém, one of today’s districts in Lisbon. The reverse side shows the famous window in the chapter house of the Convento de Cristo in Tomar. A master class relief combined with a genuine coloured window.
From the middle of the 18th century the history of art has changed dramatically. Instead of the excessively pompous Rococo style, simplicity, geometry and symmetry featured in Neoclassicism. It found its role-models in Greco-Roman antiquity and its philosophical foundation in the Age of Enlightenment from the same era. Like these, Neoclassicism also has its roots in Germany and above all in France. Two key buildings, which are eternalised in the new Tiffany Art edition, are located in its political and cultural centre Paris.
The obverse shows the Panthéon, which Jacques-Germain Soufflot (1713–1780) erected as the abbey church Sainte-Geneviève, by order of the king from 1764 onwards. Shortly after completion it was secularised by the leaders of the French Revolution in 1791 and was declared the French National Hall of Fame.
The reverse represents another national symbol – the Arc de Triomphe. Shortly after the Battle of Austerlitz it was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, designed by the architect Jean-François Chalgrin (1739-1811) and completed by Jean-Nicolas Huyot und Guillaume Abel Blouet in 1836.
The ninth edition of the legendary Tiffany series is dedicated to Venetian Gothic. It shows the Doge’s Palace and the Ca‘ d’Oro overlooking the Grand Canal.
Venetian Gothic is an architectural style which combines gothic iconography with Moorish and Byzantine influences in an elegant manner. Its main works originated from the 14th and early 15th centuries during Venice’s heyday. Therefore, enough funds were available to finance this elaborate style. The silver coin‘s obverse shows the famous Palazzo Ducale, which is now a museum. From the ninth century onwards until the end of the Republic in 1797, it was the Doges domicile. Its present gothic form originates from 1340.
Behind the palace is the Lion of Saint Mark, a symbol of the evangelist and patron saint Mark, and the tower of the church San Giorgio Maggiore, which is located on the identically named island in Venice’s lagoon. The reverse side shows the marvellous Ca‘ d’Oro City Palace which was built in the 15th century. The architects were, among others, Giovanni Buon and his son Barolomeo who were Venice’s top sculptors of that time. The name Ca’ d’Oro (Golden House) comes from the originally gold-plated ornaments on the magnificent façade which overlooks the Grand Canal.
The multi award-winning Tiffany Art series celebrates its anniversary. In 2014, as the 10th issue, we also present a magnificent Silver-Kilo as an exclusive limited edition of only 99 pieces alongside the traditional 2-ounce piece. Both coins show the famous Zwinger in Dresden.
Along with the Frauenkirche, the Zwinger is Dresden‘s best known object of interest. The skilful fusion of architecture, sculptures and paintings, of gardens, fountains and squares make it an impressive work of art as a whole, and elevate it to one of the most significant Baroque developements worldwide.
The Zwinger is a representation object of the Saxon Elector Augustus the Strong. The Prince -King of Poland- commissioned his court master builder, Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann (1662-1736) and the sculptor Balthasar Permoser (1651-1732), with the design of a new location as the setting for courtly festivities and as the forecourt for his planned new palace. The two artists designed the Zwinger as an absolutely unique building complex: an almost quadratic courtyard framed by galleries and pavilions, by terraces, balustrades and gates, statues, arches and fountains.
The latest Tiffany Art-Edition shows two of the Zwingers’ magnificent buildings: on the one side, the Kronentor with its onion shaped dome and on the other side, the richly adorned Wallpavilion. Both structures are impressive examples of the great theatrics of Baroque. With their vast plasticity and the abundance of figures and ornaments, they are spectacular models for the detailed minting design of the Tiffany Art series!
The Alhambra in Granada is a stone carved manifesto of Arabian rule in Spain and is one of the most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture.
After the conquest of Granada in 1237 Sultan Mohammed I laid the foundation stone for his new manor and his own dynasty. Subsequently, the Nasrid family ruled the Emirate up until the fall of Granada in 1492 and continuously expanded the Alhambra into a complex citadel. Beside the ruler’s throne and the private chambers it also includes the mosque, government and Administration buildings as well as enchanting courtyards and gardens.
The Courtyard of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) impressively shows the typical Nasrid style, abundancy of decorative elements: pillars, arches, arabesques, inscriptions and the pointed stalactite alcoves named Muqarnas. With good reason the poet Ibn Zamrak’s inscription on the fountain’s edge reads: «Blessed is the eye that sees this garden of beauty».