Book Series The Studies in Medallic Art, vol. 4

Jacques Wiener’s Most Remarkable Edifices of Europe: The Man, Monuments, and Medals

Michael Ross

  • Pages: xiv + 366 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:200 b/w, 2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2019

  • ISBN: 978-0-89722-359-1
  • Hardback
  • Available


Michael Ross is a life-long collector, numismatic exhibitor, and writer with a multi-decade interest in the medals of Jacques Wiener. He displayed an innate numismatic passion early in life, starting like many young collectors filling holes in his various blue coin folders for a number of years. A high school trip to Europe sparked a lasting fondness for ancient and medieval history and their associated architectural legacy and coinage. As a young adult, Mr. Ross was introduced to these mid-nineteenth century gems from the hand of Mr. Wiener—the medals exquisitely reflecting and uniting these interests. Although Mr. Ross has written articles focused on specific Wiener medals and on other topics, this is his first book. Mr. Ross is a member of the American Numismatic Society, American Numismatic Association, Texas Numismatic Association, Medal Collectors of America, Promotion de la Médaille, and various local numismatic clubs.


The nineteenth-century medal series, The Most Remarkable Edifices of Europe, by Belgian engraver-medalist Jacques Wiener is examined in detail by author and collector Michael Ross. The work begins by providing a biographical background for Wiener, integrating two primary, existing sources, supplemented by information from Wiener family descendants. The overall medal series is then addressed starting with its inception as defined in Wiener’s original 1853 prospectus through its quietly incomplete conclusion. The scope of the series, its range of issue dates, and elements and characteristics of its production are presented. For each edifice commemorated, the associated medals, including new and unpublished varieties, are presented, legends translated, die characteristics examined, contemporary supporting documentation cited, issue dates revised, and source images used by the artist are identified in limited cases. Where applicable, instances of divergence between the state of the actual monument and Wiener’s renderings are noted as well. The intent of the work is to provide a greater understanding of the medal series through a contextual approach, supplemented by extraordinary, full-color photographs of the medals and the archival images of the architecture that inspired their creation.

Winner of the 2020 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Book on Medals or Tokens


I. Introduction
II. Monuments and Their Medals
III. Conclusion

Appendix 1. Cataloguing Wiener’s Medals and Jetons
Appendix 2. Purchase Histories of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum