Memory of Gustavus III, King of Sweden thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118; The Wolfson Gallery

Memory of Gustavus III, King of Sweden

Memorial Medal
1793 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object type
This medal was struck in memory of Gustaf III, King of Sweden (born 1746; reigned 1771-1792). The obverse shows the bust in profile to the right of the King, wearing armour and a fur-lined mantle, with the abbreviated Latin inscription which can be translated as 'Gustaf III by the Grace of God King of Sweden'. The reverse shows a rectangular sarcophagus surmounted by a crowned vase on which rays from a constellation descend. On the right is the figure of Fame, and behind her symbols of Peace. On the left a naked boy points to the scene of Gustaf's assassination depicted on the front of the sarcophagus.

People
Gustaf III was a dominant, indeed autocratic, ruler, whose political actions became increasingly unpopular among the Swedish nobility. A conspiracy to murder him was hatched by a group of aristocrats in 1792. At a fancy dress ball held at the Royal Opera in Stockholm on 16 March 1792, J.J. Anckarström shot the King in the back. The wound was fatal, and Gustaf died on 29 March.

People
Conrad Heinrich Küchler (active 1763-1821) worked for Matthew Boulton (1728-1807), the Birmingham industrialist and entrepreneur. Küchler was Belgian by birth, but settled in Britain in about 1790, and worked for Boulton at the Soho Mint until about 1806.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Bronze
Brief Description
Memorial medal, bronze, for Gustavus III, King of Sweden (1771-1792), by Konrad Heinrich Küchler, Birmingham, England, 1793
Physical Description
The obverse shows the bust in profile to the right of the King, wearing armour and a fur-lined mantle, with the abbreviated Latin inscription which can be translated as 'Gustaf III by the Grace of God King of Sweden'. The reverse shows a rectangular sarcophagus surmounted by a crowned vase on which rays from a constellation descend. On the right is the figure of Fame, and behind her symbols of Peace. On the left a naked boy points to the scene of Gustaf's assassination depicted on the front of the sarcophagus.
Dimensions
  • Height: 0.3cm
  • Diameter: 5.6cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 05/01/2000 by KN
Marks and Inscriptions
  • With memorial inscription for Gustavus III, King of Sweden (1746-1792)
  • 'GUSTAVUS. III. D : G. REX SVECIAE' (obverse)
  • 'TAM MARTE QUAM MERCURIO' (reverse)
  • 'HEU MALE PEREMPTUS' (reverse, on the sarcophagus)
  • 'NATUS D.XXIIII JAN. MDCCXXXXVI. SUCC. D. XII. FEB. MDCCLXXI. TRUCID: D. XVI MART. MDCCXCII. OB. D. XXIX SUP. MENS. ET AN' (reverse, in exergue)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Boulton's manufactory produced not only coins but also a series of medals. Some of the best were designed by the Swiss medallist Jean Pierre Droz (1746-1832) and the Dutch medallist Conrad Heinrich Küchler. One medal was made to commemorate Gustavus III, King of Sweden, who was assassinated in 1792. Two others marked Admiral Lord Nelson's great victories at The Battle of the Nile in 1795 and at Trafalgar in 1805. Boulton himself presented a cheaper version to everyone who had taken part in the battles.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Manufactured by Matthew Boulton (born in Birmingham, 1728, died there in 1809) at the Soho Mint, Birmingham; designed by Conrad Heinrich Küchler (active 1763-1821).

Given by Mrs Glinn.
Production
Manufactured by Matthew Boulton at the Soho Mint, Birmingham
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object type
This medal was struck in memory of Gustaf III, King of Sweden (born 1746; reigned 1771-1792). The obverse shows the bust in profile to the right of the King, wearing armour and a fur-lined mantle, with the abbreviated Latin inscription which can be translated as 'Gustaf III by the Grace of God King of Sweden'. The reverse shows a rectangular sarcophagus surmounted by a crowned vase on which rays from a constellation descend. On the right is the figure of Fame, and behind her symbols of Peace. On the left a naked boy points to the scene of Gustaf's assassination depicted on the front of the sarcophagus.

People
Gustaf III was a dominant, indeed autocratic, ruler, whose political actions became increasingly unpopular among the Swedish nobility. A conspiracy to murder him was hatched by a group of aristocrats in 1792. At a fancy dress ball held at the Royal Opera in Stockholm on 16 March 1792, J.J. Anckarström shot the King in the back. The wound was fatal, and Gustaf died on 29 March.

People
Conrad Heinrich Küchler (active 1763-1821) worked for Matthew Boulton (1728-1807), the Birmingham industrialist and entrepreneur. Küchler was Belgian by birth, but settled in Britain in about 1790, and worked for Boulton at the Soho Mint until about 1806.
Bibliographic Reference
List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Years 1905 - 1908. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, During the Year 1907, Arranged According to the Dates of Acquisition with Appendix and Indices. London: Printed for His Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, 1909, p. 34
Collection
Accession Number
205-1907

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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