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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1851 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bonnardel, Pierre Antoine Hippolyte, born 1824 - died 1856 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster, moulded

  • Museum number:

    A.2:1, 2-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR12 []

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. By the 1850s artists who were not skilled die engravers could use a reducing machine to design medals. A durable copy of their plaster model, like the present piece, was fixed to the reducing machine. This scanned the model and simultaneously cut a steel die on a reduced scale.

Physical description

Circular roundel model (with frame) depicting, in low relief, an allegorical scene of a female figure representing Britannia crowning two others representing Industry and Commerce.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1851 (made)


Bonnardel, Pierre Antoine Hippolyte, born 1824 - died 1856 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster, moulded


Diameter: 22.6 cm

Object history note

Previously unregistered object (Lost 645) held in Section

Descriptive line

Model, moulded plaster, for the reverse of 1851 Exhibition Council Medal, by Pierre Antoine Hippolyte Bonnardel, France, 1851

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Trusted, Marjorie, ed. The Making of Sculpture. The Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: 2007, p. 79, pl. 122
Vandenbrouck-Przybylski, Melanie, ' 'These should without delay be represented in our museum' Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French medals at the V&A', The Medal, No.61, Autumn 2012, pp.21-37, fig. 1



Subjects depicted

Commemoration; Figures (representations); Personification; Medals; Allegorical figures; Allegory


Metalwork; Coins & Medals; Great Exhibition; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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