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Medal - Exposition Universelle, 1855
  • Exposition Universelle, 1855
    Barré, Albert Désiré, born 1818 - died 1878
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Exposition Universelle, 1855

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1854-1855 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Barré, Albert Désiré, born 1818 - died 1878 (Medallist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Struck copper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr and Mrs Fowke Mangeot

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This medal must have been presented to Francis Fowke to mark his part in organising the British contribution to the Universal Exhibition held in Paris in 1855. Fowke, a Royal Engineer, was Secretary of the British Commission for the exhibition and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour for his work. He was then made an inspector in the newly formed Department of Science and Art and worked closely with Henry Cole on the development of the V&A and designed all its early buildings as well as the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, the Albert Hall and the building for the Great Exhibition of 1862.

The original owner of these medals, Captain Fowke of the Royal Engineers, became a distinguished official architect in the middle of the Victorian era, and published a number of related papers. In 1857 he became an inspector in the Science and Art Department in London; in 1860 was added the office of architect and engineer; while in 1862 he was appointed Superintendent of the construction of the South Kensington (now Victoria and Albert) Museum. He designed the new Museum of Science and Art (now the Royal Scottish Museum) Edinburgh, as well as extensions at the National Gallery, Dublin. He planned the buildings for the International Exhibition of 1862. Shortly before his death he designed the Royal Albert Hall.

Physical description

Obverse: Profile portrait of Napoleon III, bareheaded to right. Legend.
Reverse: French eagle on a shield; collar of the Legion d' Honneur around over crossed sceptres; crown above, a branch of olive on left, a palm on right, over which is ribbon which is inscribed.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1854-1855 (made)


Barré, Albert Désiré, born 1818 - died 1878 (Medallist)

Materials and Techniques

Struck copper

Marks and inscriptions

Universal exhibition of agriculture, industry and fine art, Paris 1855

obverse, left of head and right of head

obverse, below truncation

'copper' [but probably with additions]
stamped at rim


Diameter: 59.75 mm

Object history note

Given by Mr & Mrs Fowke Mangeot, Suffolk. Formerly owned by Captain Francis Fowke RE.
This medal was one of seven in the collection charting the career of Captain Fowke, which were exhibited in the V&A's 'Objects' exhibition, 1978. Fowke was sent to Paris in 1854 in charge of the machinery for the Paris Exhibition and was later appointed Secretary to the British Commission.

Descriptive line

Medal, Napoleon III / Paris International Exhibition of 1855, struck copper, by Albert Désiré Barré, French, 19th century, 1855

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

Forrer, L. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, I, London, 1904, p. 126
Withers, P., Catalogue of the Collection of Coins, Medals, Medallions, Tokens, Dies etc. in the Assay Office, Birmingham, Birmingham, 1985, No. 583

Production Note

Medal for Paris Exhibition, 1855





Subjects depicted

Portrait; Eagle; Shield; Olive branch


Sculpture; Portraits; Coins & Medals; Royalty


Sculpture Collection

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