Hans Jakob Stampfer


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(b Zurich, 1505–6; d Zurich, 2 July 1579). Swiss goldsmith, medallist and die-cutter. He belonged to a famous Zurich family of goldsmiths and learnt the craft from his father. He probably also worked for a South German medallist, possibly in Augsburg or Nuremberg. Returning to Zurich in 1530, he entered his father's workshop; his first medal, a portrait of his father, dates from 1531. In 1533 he became a Master. In the following years he held important public offices in Zurich. He made medals that were widely circulated of Ulrich Zwingli, Oecolampadius (1531–40) and other figures of the Reformation in Switzerland. Stampfer's ‘Moralpfennige’, medals with religious images, also enjoyed great popularity. However, his most costly medal, which was commissioned in 1547 by the Swiss Confederation, depicted the 13 Coats of Arms of the Confederation and was intended as a gift to Henry II, King of France, on the occasion of his daughter's christening. From 1588 onwards Stampfer cut the dies for numerous Zurich coins, among which the artistic ‘Wappentaler’ (heraldic talers) deserve especial mention, and also made dies for the Archbishop of Salzburg and for the Palatinate Mint in Meisenheim. The only extant pieces of his goldsmith work are four goblets and a terrestrial globe.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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