Saturday, 31 May 2014

Quieti's Mercury banknote

Just over two months ago, I wrote about the passing of the Italian engraver Alceo Quieti. One of the items mentioned then was his famous Mercury banknote. I had to get myself one, of course, and seeing that it was a low value banknote (there are quite a few stamps with higher denominations!) they were still reasonably priced. So I got myself two, because I presumed the back would have been engraved by Quieti as well, even though information available to me at the time was not very clear on this.


So here we have the Mercury in all its glory! And here is a close-up of the engraved illustration.


When I took out my magnifying glass, I noticed with pleasure that the Italians had been very facilitating by including the names of the designer and engraver in the design.


This would of course immediately solve my problem of who engraved the reverse of the banknote.


We have a lovely illustration of what I believe is Zeus on his winged horse Pegasus.


And lo and behold, turns out that the reverse was not engraved by Quieti, but by Vittorio Nicastro!


Leaves me to wonder whether the Italians always included the names of their engravers in the design, and if so, if these are catalogued, and if so, where to find this information. And that, my dear reader, is where you come in!

:-)
Adrian

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