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Color Re-Print of Grove Vol 1!


ISBN: 979-8-9888531-1-4
Format: 8.5x11, Softcover, 216 pages
Publication date: Dec 28th 2023

Frank Grove's herculean lifetime effort to catalogue the medals of Mexico has stood the test of time, remaining the standard reference for collectors, auctioneers and graders for over 50 years. Medal collecting has surged in popularity, but being out-of-print, his books have become increasingly unobtainable for new collectors. Since the advent of the internet, many previously un-photographed medals have also come to light. Some are so rare that Grove never saw them in person, having to copy hand-drawn sketches from prior works by Medina and Herrera. This 3rd edition updates the reader with hundreds of high resolution colour images from recent auctions and aims to give new collectors an insight into this wonderful area of Mexican history.

  • Volume 1 available now! The standard reference for Mexican colonial medals
  • Also incorporating issues from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador
  • The standard reference used by grading companies and major auction houses
  • 200+ color images replace grainy black and white photos and sketches
  • A new tribute obituary to Frank Grove
Email sales@ifobjects.com to place an order now!

Books by Frank Grove, from his personal stash!


This is the final batch of books, kept in a shed in California for over 40 years! All in pristine condition and priced competitively.
  • $SOLD OUT - Vol I: Medals of the Spanish Kings
  • $SOLD OUT - Vol II: 1821-1971
  • $200 - Vol III: Orders, Awards & Military Decorations
  • $SOLD OUT - tTokens of Mexico


Title: Johann-Baptist Frener, Life & Works 1821-92
ISBN: 979-8-9888531-0-7
Format: 8.5x11, Hardcover, 400 pages
Publication date: 28th July 2023


$65 USD
(+ $5 for USA postage, $29 international)

PayPal: sales@ifobjects.com

A biography and catalogue of the known works of the artist Johann-Baptist Frener (b. Luzern 1821, d. Guatemala City 1892).

Frener was late 19th century Central America's finest engraver, producing a plethora of coins, medals, engravings and sculptures. An orphan child prodigy, Frener's talents earned him a place in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts, under the tutelage of Bovy, Pradier and Ingres. Following his studies, he moved to Florence, Munich and then back to Luzern where he produced the spectacular 1853 Shooting Thaler. Disappointingly, he was not able to secure the contract to engrave the unified Swiss coinage of 1850, but by chance a Guatemalan commission sent to Europe by President Rafael Carrera noticed his work. He moved to Guatemala City and rejuvenated the country's coinage with the assistance of organisations such as the Sociedad Económica, a quasi-governmental body established during the enlightenment. Word spread, resulting in further commissions from the mints of Honduras and El Salvador. Aside from his regular work, many beautiful and rare medals were commissioned as diplomatic gifts for Ulysses S. Grant, Guzmán Blanco of Venezuela, the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, the composer Verdi and Queen Isabella II of Spain.

This 10-year research project has uncovered many unpublished documents to help piece together Frener's life and critically analyse rumours surrounding the designing of the flag of Guatemala and even his possible implication in an assassination plot against Justo Rufino Barrios. The author has been given unprecedented access to many world-class private collections and national archives in both Switzerland and Guatemala, all of which have been meticulously photographed and documented. Descendants of the artist in Guatemala have helped confirm Frener's ancestry, marriages and relationships.

Students of Swiss and Latin American history will find the biography and bibliography a unique lens into the inchoate post-colonial republics of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Art Historians will appreciate the fascinating juxtaposition of the Beaux-Arts movement with the politics of the region. Auctioneers and collectors will find the structured catalogue and sale records exceptionally useful in organising collections for both sale and curation.