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Category: Exonumia



Silver, AU

52 mm (2”), 68 grams

HISTORY: The city and province of Salta is located in the upper northwestern corner of Argentina where it played an important role in the country’s independence from Spain. The Battle of Salta (May 22, 1810) established it as a strategic area between the rest of the country to the south and Peru to the north. Argentinian sculptor and medalist Juan Gottuzzo (1858–1924) designed this medal for the inauguration of the health system in the Salta province.

OBVERSE: The words, INAUGURACION DE LAS OBRAS DE SALUBRIDAD DE SALTA,” are arrayed along the top of this medal. Obras de Salubridad (Health Works) describes Salta’s health system. Beneath the inscription are several doves greeting the rising Sun of May, just peeking over the mountains. Liberty (fashioned after the goddess Athena), dressed in robes and wearing a Phrygian cap, holds aloft a scroll of the Argentine Declaration of Independence. In the foreground, at 7 o’clock, is a bird of prey with wings outstretched. At 3 o’clock is a shrouded figure, standing at a distance from Liberty.

REVERSE: This was a special presentation medal celebrating the next step in modern healthcare for the citizens of Salta. On behalf of the “REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA,” this medal was presented by Argentina’s Presidente General Julio Argentino Roca (1843‒1914) while in his second term (the first, 1880‒1886, and the second, 1898‒1904); Minister of Public Works Emilio Civit (1856–1920); and Governor Angel Zérda (in office 1901‒1907).

At the top of the medal is a radiant Sun of May with the coat of arms of Argentina to the left and Salta to the right. At the bottom is the date of presentation, “28 JUNIO 1903.” Below is the signature of sculptor “GOTTUZZO.”

EDGE: Smooth.

Sun of May