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I came across a medal commemorating the coronation of Charles XV in 1860. The inscriptions on the medal are all in Latin. I am aware of a few latin abbreviations centered around the creators of medals like these:
FEC. = fecit
SC. = sculpsit
DIR. = direxit

One of the inscriptions on the medal is sculpsit:

J. E. ERICSSON SC.

But there is another abbreviation on this medal that I am not familiar with:

C. G. OVARNSTRӦM FORM.

What Latin verb is this supposed to be?

My guess would be "format" but how is that different than "sculpsit"? I have included a picture that I took of the medal for reference:

enter image description here

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    My guess is formavit, but I don't know the process of making such a medal well enough to guess what it means. Judging by the word alone, it could be "shaped", "formed", "prepared", or something similar. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 13 '17 at 7:54
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    Traditionally the die was 'sculpted' with chisels and punches. It probably means that this artist shaped the design in wax or clay and the die was cast from that. Sculpsit and scripsit are in the perfect tense: So Joonas is certainly right that FORM stands for the perfect formavit, – Hugh May 13 '17 at 11:58
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    So Ericsson 'sculpted' the die from a shaped clay or wax design that Ovarnstrom 'formed'? – terminex9 May 13 '17 at 16:28
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    If the artist forms a wax or clay original, a craftsman could sculpt the die to match. Or, if the clay original is full-size, the die itself can be cast, or (on clay or wax) built up with layers of electroplating, using the artist's original work directly. The die is then used to strike the medal/coin. – Hugh May 13 '17 at 18:42
  • @Hugh Can you turn your comments into an answer? There hasn't been a single answer so far, and what you have would already make a nice one. – Joonas Ilmavirta Nov 11 '17 at 0:34
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To me it seems that formavit here means that someone moulded (minted, coined) the medal based on what someone else sculpted (sculpsit) first.

This dictionary supports the idea of formare meaning to mould.

Note that the dictionary was edited in the XVIII Century, while L&S doesn't even list the verb formare (I think formam dare is more classical.)

From what I can understand from this article (and what I remember,) coins and medals are designed by sculptors, leaving the serial production to mints, so I would say that Ericsson was the designer and Ovarnström was in charge of the minting process.

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From Hugh's comments:

Traditionally the die was 'sculpted' with chisels and punches. It probably means that this artist shaped (formed) the design in wax or clay and the die was cast from that. Sculpsit and scripsit are in the perfect tense: So Joonas is certainly right that FORM stands for the perfect formavit,

If the artist forms a wax or clay original, a craftsman could sculpt the die to match. Or, if the clay original is full-size, the die itself can be cast, or (on clay or wax) built up with layers of electroplating, using the artist's original work directly. The die is then used to strike the medal/coin.

  • See Rafael's comments to the question above. If formare can mean "to mould", it's role in the process becomes clearer. – Joonas Ilmavirta Feb 2 '18 at 16:17
  • @JoonasIlmavirta♦: Quite possibly! Perhaps that could be added as a separate answer? – Cerberus Feb 2 '18 at 17:35

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