GARGOYLE – TYPE V – MAGDALEN COLLEGE – 1 TROY OUNCE – 39MM
4 in stock
LOCATION: MAGDALEN COLLEGE, Oxford, England
Traditionally, gargoyles are thought to have been created in the medieval period, but there have also been discoveries of examples from ancient civilizations. Gargoyles donned the roofs of Egyptian temples, their mouths serving as water spouts to help with drainage. Greek temples also had similar pieces, the shapes often carved into ferocious animals, including lions. The origin of the name gargoyle is often attributed to St. Romanus. Legend has it that he saved his country from “Goji,” a monster called “Gargouille.” Evil spirits were said to be frightened off by the sheer horror of the monster’s appearance. This led to some calling the monster a protector and placing similar carved pieces on churches and other important buildings. Gargoyles surround the Tower of London in England, all bearing different grimaces.
Gargoyles throughout history have been created in several different images and figures. Some even include figures of people, such as a monk. Occasionally, they have continued to serve as rain and water spouts, but more often were ornamental, not providing a function. As these spouts became less and less necessary, so did the use of gargoyles.
By the start of the 19th century, gargoyles were becoming more of a decoration than anything else. Notre Dame de Paris has some of the most famous gargoyles from history. Used as decoration, some modern buildings in the United States were adorned with gargoyles, like the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and the Chrysler Building in New York City, which has stainless steel versions. The popularity of the Gothic Revival movement in the United States encouraged the use of gargoyles. It can be found at several Universities, including Duke, Princeton, and the University of Chicago.
- Contains 1 Troy Ounce .999 Fine Silver
- Obverse: A detailed depiction of one of the gargoyles at Magdalen College in Oxford, England.
- Reverse: The common reverse for the series, featuring a depiction of gothic architecture window frames circling the outer circumference with the words “GARGOYLES OF THE WORLD,” centered, with a gargoyle perched on the “O” in gargoyle. Hallmark in the outer circumference at 6 o’clock.