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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 (medallist)
    Wyon, W. (medallist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver

  • Museum number:

    A.229-1980

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This silver medal is the Juror's medal of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and is made by W. Wyon (obverse) and George Gammon Adams (reverse).

The design of the reverse 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

Obverse: Conjoined heads of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to left. He is bare-headed, she laureate. Two dolphins are below, with trident to right. Inscribed.
Reverse: 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 the exergue are scabbard, victors laurel crown and bust of Athena. Inscribed.
Contained in a leather box with 'CRYSTAL PALACE PRIZE MEDAL PICTURE GALLERY' noted on it.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1851 (made)

Artist/maker

Adams, George Gammon, born 1821 - died 1898 (medallist)
Wyon, W. (medallist)

Materials and Techniques

Silver

Marks and inscriptions

'VICTORIA D:G:BRIT:REG:F:D:ALBERTOS PRINCEPS. CONJUX. MDCCCLI' [signed] 'W.WYON RA. ROYAL MINT'
obverse

'PULCHER ET ILLE LABOR PALMA DECORARE LABORIEM' / 'G.G.ADAMS'
'it is a pleasant duty to honour work'
reverse

Dimensions

Diameter: 6.35 cm

Object history note

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

Descriptive line

Medal, silver, 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 1837-1901 - Vol II, The Reign of Queen Victoria. London: 1987, cat.no. 2464
Forrer, L. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, I, London, 1904, p. 22-23

Subjects depicted

Lion; Fruit; Female figure; Ship; Cornucopia; Trident; Dolphins

Categories

Coins & Medals; Royalty; Portraits; Sculpture; Great Exhibition

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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