Medal

Council Medal for the Great Exhibition of 1851

1851 (made)

Wyon, William

Diameter: 8.89 cm

6029-1852 SCP

Council medal of the Great Exhibition of 1851, bronze, by William Wyon, Pierre Hippolyte Bonnardel and Joseph Fran├žois Domard, England (London), 1851

The obverse of this bronze medal presents the conjoined heads of Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert, she laureate and he bare head. The reverse depicts the erect, crowned figure of Britannia, holding wreaths above the heads of impersonations of Commerce and Industry. The group is surrounded by attributes of industry and commerce.

This medal was made for the Great Exhibition of 1851. On the obverse are the portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, her consort and president of the Society of Arts, which planned the Exhibition. Below them, the dolphins symbolise the naval power of the British Empire. The reverse celebrates Great Britain's industrial and commercial authority. This is unambiguously conveyed by the Latin inscription, which translates as 'for there is a certain country in the great world', and the central group, surrounded by attributes of industry and commerce, with Britannia crowning the allegorical figure of Industry and Mercury, god of trade and profit. Behind Britannia, the flags of different nations suggest the international nature of the Great Exhibition. Struck medals can be made in large numbers. Each medal is formed mechanically by the force of two engraved metal dies pressing the image on to a blank disc of softer metal held between them. Struck medals are generally designed in low relief and have crisp, sharp outlines.

Given by the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851 Historical significance: On the obverse are the portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, her consort and president of the Society of Arts, which planned the Exhibition. Below them, the dolphins symbolise the naval power of the British Empire. The reverse celebrates Great Britain's industrial and commercial authority. This is unambiguously conveyed by the Latin inscription, which translates as 'for there is a certain country in the great world', and the central group, surrounded by attributes of industry and commerce, with Britannia crowning the allegorical figure of Industry and Mercury, god of trade and profit. Behind Britannia, the flags of different nations suggest the international nature of the Great Exhibition.

Location: In Storage

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