Double Portrait of Isaac Pontanus and Hendrik van Beek, Michiel van Musscher, 1689
In the past, important events were graced with a medal, especially in well-to-do families. The occasion for this was usually a birth, wedding, or death. These medals not only remained in the family as a memento, but were also given to the guests at the baptism, wedding party, or funeral. Sometimes they were purely private in character, such as the gold medal a grandfather gave to his grandson.