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Great Exhibition 1851 London

  • Object:

    Medal

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1851 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Adams, George Gammon, born 1821 - died 1898 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silvered electrotype under glass cover

  • Museum number:

    A.274-1980

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This roundel (silvered electrotype) is a cast of the reverse of a commemorative medal of the Great Exhibition 1851 London, and is made by George Gammon Adams.

The design represents Industry seated on cornucopiae receiving from Britain the reward of Fame. This work established the reputation of Adams as a medallist.

George Gammon Adams (b. 1821-1898) was a portrait sculptor and medallist. He designed and exhibited prize medals for the Great Exhibition. In 1852 he was chosen to model the death mask of Wellington. One of his public monuments is the 'Napier' statue in Trafalgar square.

The roundel was among the items given to the Museum by I. D. Adams, the daughter of George Gammon Adams, in 1980. In total, 196 items were included in the Adams gift, which consisted of many models for medals as well as the busts and figurative sculpture. In most instances it is not possible to date conclusively the many models included in this gift.

Physical description

Allegorical scene of three female figures. Winged figure of Fame attended by Commerce crowns the kneeling figure of Industry. Lion lies to left, prow of ship emerging to right, globe and cornucopia of fruits. In exergue are scabbard, victors laurel crown and bust of Athena. Inscribed.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1851 (made)

Artist/maker

Adams, George Gammon, born 1821 - died 1898 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silvered electrotype under glass cover

Marks and inscriptions

'PULCHER ET ILLE LABOR PALMA DECORARE LABORIEM' [signed] 'G.A.ADAMS'
'it is a pleasant duty to honor work'

Dimensions

Diameter: 6.3 cm

Object history note

Given by Miss I.D. Adams, daughter of George Gammon Adams in 1980.

Descriptive line

Roundel, silvered electrotype, cast of reverse of medal commemorating the Great Exhibition 1851 London, Heads of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, by W.Wyon and George Gammon Adams, English, 1851

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

Brown, Lawrence. British Historical Medals 1760-1960, Vol III, The Accession of Edward VII to 1960, London, 1995, cat. no. 2464
Forrer, L. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, I, London, 1904, pp. 22-23

Subjects depicted

Female figure; Cornucopia; Lion; Ship; Globe

Categories

Portraits; Sculpture; Great Exhibition

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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