Auction Catalogue

6 March 2024

Starting at 12:00 PM


The Silich Collection of Historical and Art Medals (Part I)

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№ 338


6 March 2024

Hammer Price:

Renka, David (American, 1952-present); b. Athens, GA, emigrated to Italy 1972

ENGLAND, Perillus Phalaris, 1985, a cast bronze medal by D. Renka for the British Art Medal Society, conjoined heads of Perillus and Phalaris, bull standing left in foreground with fire under its belly, rev. 8-line verse from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act I, Scene 7, 73mm, 195.90g (Attwood 30; The Medal 7, p.77; BM Acq. 1983-7, p.123, 47). Extremely fine £50-£70

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Silich Collection of Historical and Art Medals.

View The Silich Collection of Historical and Art Medals


J. Watson Collection, DNW Auction 123, 11-12 June 2014, lot 507 (part); bt Simmons, December 2015

Edition of 24. The brazen bull was an alleged torture and execution device designed in ancient Greece. According to legend, Perillus of Athens invented and proposed it to Phalaris, the tyrant of Akragas, Sicily, as a new means of executing criminals. The bull was said to be hollow and made entirely out of bronze with a door in one side, incorporating acoustic apparatus that converted screams into the sound of a bull. The condemned were locked inside the device and a fire was set under it, heating the metal until the person inside was roasted to death