The Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher Collection is considered the world's greatest private collection of portrait medals, rivalling many collections in international museums. This fully illustrated catalogue documenting the Scher Collection is an essential resource for scholars, students, collectors, and curators.
Portrait medals were developed during the Italian Renaissance and are central to the history of European portraiture, flourishing as an art form through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. Though less familiar to us now than painting and sculpture, these exquisitely crafted objects, typically made from lead, bronze, silver or gold, were produced (sometimes in large numbers) to commemorate individuals, to acknowledge special events, and to disseminate the identity and power of their sitters.
The study of the portrait medal has become, through the work of Stephen Scher and others, a burgeoning area of new scholarship. Excellent reproductions of all medals to size, with details of obverse, reverse and full captions, are accompanied by scholarly essays, interesting facts and historical references in this important new volume.