Niue $1 Sperbia Seven Vices Coin, 2013, Silver, MINT
The Seven Vices, sometimes called the Seven Deadly Sins have always been popular areas of focus in the church. An early 2nd century document, the Didache, contains a list of five. Origen produced a sevenfold list and at the end of the 4th century Cassian amended this sevenfold list. Eventually, the Seven Deadly Sins (or Vices) we know today were defined in the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great, as a set of negative values. SUPERBIA is considered the original and most serious of the seven vices, and the source of the others. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self. Dante’s definition was “love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbour.”
Pieter Bruegel the Elder created a series of drawings, which is the basis for our series of coins. These coins are to remind the collector not only to a more conscious life, but also to demonstrate that virtues already exists in nature. Each coin shows in addition to the theme aided sin on the glass the symbol of the perfect virtue in the animal kingdom. For example, the linked virtue to Superbia is a graceful bird which draws ist circle in the light of the sun in the sky full of humility.
According to her rank, Superbia is represented in royal robes with a crown, scepter and hand mirror. The ruffed and corseted lady Superbia standing next to a (proverbially proud) peacock admires her own reflection he puffs up and looks after around themselves. The composition is crowded with grotesque and bizarre figures.