In 2013 we commemorated the 700th anniversary of death of Giovanni Boccaccio, Italian Renaissance writer. Czech Mint has prepared the series Decameron to pay tribute to the renowned master of word. The series is a celebration of the writer’s best known work with ten luxurious medals, two of which are issued each year and which challenge to start a beautiful and original collection. This year’s first medal (the third in the series) is called Clever Groom.
Decameron is one of the foundation stones of Italian, and subsequently also world Renaissance literature. It comprises one hundred stories which are told by seven women and three men who fled in 1348 from “black death“ from Florence and spent ten days in a villa in the countryside.
Boccaccio drew inspiration from Latin, Old French and Italian sources, leaning also on folk tales. His specific style makes the stories a very good read. The author is a master of the ability to describe in great detail human virtues as well as deficiencies and draws the reader directly into the entertaining plot. Boccaccio did not want to moralise, the moral of individual stories is very natural and guided purely by reason. Boccaccio did not intend to punish human weaknesses, he showed similar understanding for them as for example for love.
After the previous year’s Gascon Lady and Wheel of Fortune another of the ten investment medals dedicated by Czech Mint to immortal Decameron arrives – Clever Groom. It is one of the stories that were told on the third day. In it a clever groom outsmarted his master, king Agilulf, with whose wife he fell in love. Disguised as the king he seduced the queen, but the real king soon found out. He discovered him by loud heartbeat and, to easily recognize and punish him in the morning, he cut his hair in darkness. The groom however did not hesitate and cut the hair of all servants. The king could not recognize him in the morning and therefore he decided to forget it – with a warning -- just for this one time. And the groom did never again try to approach the queen.
The obverse of the medal depicts the characters of the story – the beautiful queen sitting on a horse, the groom leading the horse, and the king with raised index finger as a warning. The tree of life, which serves as a decoration on all medals in the Decameron series, complements the motif of the obverse side. With respect to the erotic touch of the stories, a rare Roman erotic token is also featured on the obverse of the medals. The design of the silver investment medal Decameron – Day Third, was created with great skill by academic sculptor Vladimír Oppl. The reverse of all ten silver medals features the figure of Giovanni Boccaccio and in the background the town hall and house in Certaldo where the writer lived and wrote his books. Three dates on the reverse relate to the writer’s birth (1313), death (1375) and the 700th anniversary of his decease (2013).
Silver investment medal Decameron Day Third – Clever Groom is delivered in a capsule and in a blue plastic case with a Czech Mint’s certificate. Become an owner of the series of exceptionally high quality medals with a motif that has addressed people worldwide for more than 700 years. The medals are struck in limited edition of 500 pieces. Current prices of silver are temporarily more than favourable making the investment in artfully rendered silver a smart move.