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Results of the public competition for the design of a €10 silver collector coin commemorating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Maximilian Hell

First prize and the design selected for the coin
Karol Ličko

I. cena a realizácia First prize and the design selected for the coin

Reduced second prize
akad. soch. Ivan Řehák

Reduced second prize II. znížená cena

Third prize
Mgr. art. Peter Valach

Third prize III. cena

In February 2019 Národná banka Slovenska (NBS) announced a public competition for the design of a €10 silver collector coin to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Maximilian Hell (Slovak: Maximilián Hell).

A total of eleven designs by ten designers were entered in the competition. In May 2019 the designs were evaluated anonymously by NBS’s Committee for the Assessment of Commemorative and Collector Coin Designs. The Committee was assisted in its task by an expert adviser, Tomáš Dobrovodský, Director of the Maximilian Hell Regional Observatory and Planetarium in Žiar nad Hronom.

On the Committee’s recommendation, first prize was awarded to a design by Karol Ličko and this design was approved for the coin. The Committee praised the design for its artistic quality and content. The obverse depicts the standing astronomer observing a starry night sky. The impression of the design is enhanced by its understatedness. The obverse portrays Maximilian Hell as dressed for his journey to the Arctic Circle, where he observed the transit of Venus across the Sun. The portrait is very well rendered.

A reduced second prize was awarded to Ivan Řehák. According to the Committee, his design well captured the assigned theme. The obverse depicts the astronomer observing Venus. The right-hand part of the design frames a depiction of one of the phases of the transit of Venus across the Sun. The obverse is dominated by an accurate portrait of the subject. On the left-hand side is a small relief point above the number 3727, the number of an asteroid named after the astronomer.

Third prize went to Peter Valach, with the Committee particularly impressed by the precision of his plaster model, as well as by the conservative and balanced artistry of the design. The obverse is based on a period engraving that depicts the astronomer making observations from a location above the Arctic Circle. The reverse features the astronomer in clerical dress in reference to the fact that he was also a Jesuit Priest. The logo of the Jesuit Order is shown to the right of the portrait.

Additional prizes were awarded to Mária Poldaufová and Pavel Károly in recognition of the high quality of their designs.