After all, it is one of only two known examples: the other one is in the British Museum.
The undated medal was struck under Queen Mary in c.1554, after a design by Jacopo Nizzola da Trezzo. The Italian sculptor and medalist had been sent to England by the Spanish King Charles, where he created several medals for the royal family.
Mary had acceded to the throne in 1553 and in the following year, she married Charles’ son, Philip II. It is thought that this medal was struck in connection with the wedding. Other copies are known in silver and bronze.
The medal featured here was sold by Christie’s in London in December 2000 as part of the collection of Batsheva de Rothschild for £130,250 (including premium), more than six times the estimate.
Prior to that, it is thought to have been part of the collection of Alphonse de Rothschild.
In the meantime, it has passed through several collections and was last on the market in 2019, when it was knocked down in Geneva for SFr800,000.
This time around, the estimate was set at €600,000 but the international buyer was able to secure the medal for €525,000 (£464,000). That was not only the top price of the sale, but also the highest German auction price for a medal.