When you think of mind-twisting pieces of art, the first name that springs to mind is the legendary M.C. Escher, but that isn’t to say his is the only voice in the genre. One of the loudest is Swiss artist Sandro del Prete, who began to experiment with the style in the sixties, going on to produce a large and varied body of work. There’s a certain pleasure to be gained staring at art like this, trying to work out what works and what doesn’t in reality, and where the possible becomes the impossible.
The new Swiss Mint coin takes one of del Prete’s more recognisable works and simply reproduces it as a clean strike, but without the background. That’s a decision we wholeheartedly agree with, as trying to change it, or embellish it for the coin would likely just have ruined the effect, and it isn’t like the Swiss Mint is particularly renowned for its use of colour anyway. It’s a fantastic work and a classic of the type. Just the artists signature sits here as an inscription. The obverse is the usual Swiss design, being clean, simple, but ultimately dull. It’s a strictly functional thing.
Like most of these Swiss issues, it’s formed of 0.835 fineness silver and is available in four almost identical variants. The proof quality pair are sold boxed and with either a signed (250 pieces) or unsigned (4,750) certificate. They sell for 70CHF and 60CHF respectively, although the former has already sold out, as they always do. The unciculated finish pair come either encapsulated (19,000 pieces), or in a themed gatefold pack (1,000) which you can see below. At 30CHF and 40CHF respectively, they’re great value, although the latter has sold out at the mint as well. A very cool coin.