Palau – 2011 – 10 Dollars – Tiffany Art Manueline (PROOF)

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Metal: Silver .999
Weight: 2 OZ
Diameter: 50 mm
Quality: Antique-finish
Mintage: 999 pcs.

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. Coin art at its best!