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This exquisite gold medal serves as a testament to Fabrega’s talent as well as a unique piece of Spanish numismatic and artistic history

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has certified a rare and interesting Spanish National Exhibition of Fine Arts gold medal awarded to the famous Catalonian artist Miguel Blay Fábrega.

Born in 1866, Fábrega is well known for a number of works, but his most famous is almost certainly his sculpture, Los Primeros Frios (“The First Cold”), which won first prize at the Madrid National Exhibition of Fine Arts in 1892. This honor brought great fame for Fábrega and helped to inspire a generation of Catalan sculptors.

close up of Miguel Blay Fabrega gold medal

1892 Spanish National Exhibition of Fine Arts gold medal awarded to artist Miguel Blay Fábrega, graded NGC MS 63

The National Exhibitions of Fine Arts were established in Spain in 1853 by Isabella II. A competition and showcase for Spanish artists, these exhibitions featured paintings, sculptures, engravings, architecture and decorative arts. The first show was held in 1856 and the last in 1968. During its century-long run the exhibition not only showcased countless great works for art but also served to promote many Spanish artists.

close up of Miguel Blay Fabrega gold medal

Close up of the 1892 Spanish National Exhibition of Fine Arts gold medal awarded to artist Miguel Blay Fábrega, obverse (left) and reverse (right)

Fábrega was one of the artists who rose to fame as a result of the National Exhibitions of Fine Arts. Sculpture was considered the second-most important category at the exhibition and he received wide recognition when his Los Primerous Frios won first prize and earned him a gold medal. After his award, Fábrega would go on to fashion other monuments and sculptures, enjoying a distinguished career until his death in 1936.

The gold medal awarded to Fábrega at the 1892 National Exhibition of Fine Arts was recently submitted to NGC, which assigned a grade of NGC MS 63 to the nearly 86 gram piece. The obverse features a young bust of Alfonso XIII, designed by B. Maura, and the reverse depicts a wreath with a circle, inside of which the recipient’s name is engraved. Gold medals were reserved for first place winners with bronze and silver versions struck for other recipients.

Protected by an NGC Oversize Holder®, this exquisite gold medal serves as a testament to Fabrega’s talent as well as a unique piece of Spanish numismatic and artistic history.


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