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Mudie Medals


maridvnvm
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I wasn't sure where to put this and so the General forum seemed the best fit.

In 1820 James Mudie published a set of forty 41 mm bronze medals celebrating the British naval and military victories of the Napoleonic Wars. I don't actively collect them but did putrchase one many years back as it related to my home town where there used to be a memorial in his name.

This bronze medal depicts Lieutenant-General, Sir Thomas Picton. On the reverse side General Picton is shown planting the British colours on the rampart of Badajos while the inscription in the exergue states 'Badajoz Aprl. VI, MDCCCXII [1812].' Picton himself

Picton himself was not a nice man. He was governor of Trinidad and convicted of torture. He had the conviction overturned after claiming that Trinidad was subject to Spanish law, which permitted torture at the time. He was labelled the Tyrant of Trinidad. He continued in the Carribean and developed significant wealth from the slave trade. He was killed in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In recent times his statue has been remove from display in Cardiff City Hall where it had been displayed in the "Heroes of Wales" gallery.

These items need to be seen through the lens of time. I am in no way trying to celebrate the man who is depicted here but illustrate the Medal as a piece of historic exonumia and an illustration of the skill of the engraver.

normal_Picton%20img.jpg

Does anyone else have Medals from this series?

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Very nice! I used to have about 30 of them, but sold most. I still have a half-dozen or so, and will post them later when I am at my desktop.

FYI, they were also issued in silver, but examples of those are much more expensive.

 

Edited by DonnaML
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Ok, @maridvnvm, here are the seven Mudie medals I still have (out of the 30+ I once owned) that I've photographed -- at least the reverses, which tend to be much more interesting than the obverses.

Mudie 7

Great Britain, Siege of Acre, 1799 (Struck 1820). Obv. Bust l., uniformed, ADMIRAL SIR S. SMITH/ Rev. British Lion, within a rocky pass, protects Syrian camel from menacing French tiger. In exergue: ACRE DEFENDED. BUONAPARTE REPULSED SYRIA SAVED. XX MAY MDCCLXXXXIX. AE 41 mm. By G. Mills/ N.G.A. Brenet. Mudie 7, Eimer 906, BHM 476.

Mudie 7 Defense of Acre Lion Camel R1.jpg

(All one has to do is compare the brawny British lion with his superhero-sized biceps and forearms to the scrawny, skulking, cowardly French tiger -- who doesn't even have stripes! -- to understand the respective national characters of the two nations in the eyes of the British!) 

Mudie 8, Arrival of English Army in Egypt:

Great Britain, Arrival of English Army in Egypt, 1801 (Struck 1820). Obv. Bust facing, uniformed, LIEUT: GENL.: SIR R: ABERCROMBY. Rev. Horse standing, r.; beyond, three pyramids. ARRIVAL OF THE ENGLISH ARMY IN EGYPT. In exergue: 8 March 1801. AE 41 mm. By T. Webb. Mudie 8, Eimer 929, BHM 504.

Mudie 8 Arrival of English Army in Egypt R.jpg

Mudie 9, Egypt Delivered:

Great Britain, Egypt Delivered, 1801 (Struck 1820). Obv. Bust three-quarters l., uniformed. MAJOR GEN. LORD HUTCHINSON. Rev. Exchanging a treaty, Hutchinson facing the Bey of Egypt, who holds the reins of a rearing horse; a pyramid beyond. EGYPT DELIVERED. In exergue: SEPT 11 MDCCCI. AE 41 mm. By T. Webb/A. Dupre. Mudie 9, Eimer 934, BHM 509.

MUdie 9 Egypt Delivered R2.jpg

Mudie 32, Napoleon's Flight from Elba / Congress of Vienna:

Great Britain, Napoleon's Flight from Elba/Congress of Vienna, 1815 (struck 1820). Obv. French eagle with thunderbolt (symbolizing Napoleon) approaches the French coast, Isle of Elba in background, to left TEMPLUM. JANI (Temple of Janus), with four-sided Janus on corner of roof, its doors lying broken (symbolizing the breaking of peace). In exergue: XXVI. FEBRUARY MDCCCXV. / Rev. Mercury, displaying a scroll inscribed TO ARMS, flying over globe carrying the news of Napoleon's flight, DECLARATION OF THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA. In exergue: XIII MARCH. By N.G.A. Brenet/ A.J. Depaulis. AE 41 mm., 41.8 g. Mudie 32, Eimer 1064, BHM 869, Bramsen 1597.

COMBINED Mudie 32 - Napoleon Flight from Elba (Temple of Janus) & Congress of Vienna.jpg

Mudie 34

Great Britain, Battle of Waterloo medal, 1815 (Struck 1820). Obv. Bust r. HENRY WILLIAM MARQUIS OF ANGLESEY. Rev. Equestrian figure of Anglesey l., leading a cavalry charge. CHARGE OF THE BRITISH AT WATERLOO. Ex. JUNE XVIII. MDCCCXV. AE 41 mm. By G. Mills/ A.J. Depaulis. Mudie 34, Eimer 1069, BHM 859.

COMBINED Mudie 34 Charge at Waterloo (obv 3 & rev 1).jpg

Mudie 37, Surrender of Napoleon to HMS Bellerephon (my only Mudie medal in silver):

Great Britain, Surrender of Napoleon, 1815 (struck 1820). Obv. Bust of Napoleon right, uniformed; NAPOLEON BONAPARTE; signature below / Rev. British man of war Bellerophon, in full sail, with Imperial Eagle on flag staff; Napoleon stands on quarterdeck with right hand inside coat; another ship beyond; SURRENDERED TO H.B.M.S. BELLEROPHON CAPT. MAITLAND. Exergue: XV JULY. MDCCCXV; signatures below. By T. Webb/N.G.A Brenet. AR 41 mm., 38.8 g. Eimer 1078, Mudie 37, BHM 884, Bramsen 1691. Purchased at Spink Auction 136, Oct. 7, 1999, Lot 992.

Napoleon-Bellerephon (Mudie 37) Obv 2.jpg

Napoleon-Bellerephon (Mudie 37) Rev. 1.jpg

Mudie 39, Admiral Lord Exmouth / Bombardment of Algiers by British Fleet, Aug. 1816 (after the end of the Napoleonic Wars and concerning the attack on Barbary to free European prisoners, but so be it!) The reverse shows Neptune (= the British as rulers of the sea) subduing a sea monster, namely a hippocamp (= Barbary) with his trident.

Mudie 39 (combined) Bombardment of Algiers by British Fleet, 08. 1816.jpg
 

Edited by DonnaML
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@DonnaML - Thank you for sharing these. I bought mine sight unseen from one of the old unillustrated coin lists that were all we used to get back in the day. I was about 15 years old at the time and it pre dates my ancient collection by many years.

The Napoleon is the stand out star.

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5 hours ago, maridvnvm said:

The Napoleon is the stand out star.

I agree, even apart from the fact that it happens to be in silver.

The Flight from Elba/Congress of Vienna medal appears on my phone as completely distorted for some reason, so I'll try again with each side posted separately:

image.thumb.jpeg.746475cb400eced00fcb00e6649cf8cf.jpeg

image.thumb.jpeg.5b93ecc95046702728f985a820f090e5.jpeg
 

 

Edited by DonnaML
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In addition to the Napoleonic "Entry into Moscow" medal I posted elsewhere, I also bought two new Mudie medals at the Noonans auction on June 15. The first is one I had wanted for many years, but it isn't seen that often.

Great Britain, Admiral Lord Nelson Memorial, 1805 (Struck 1820). Obv. Bust three-quarters left, uniformed, ADM. LORD NELSON / Rev. Britannia (Mudie p. 40) or Bellona [Roman goddess of war] (BHM & Eimer) standing right, on the prow of a galley with lion’s head at prow, holding trident in left hand and thunderbolt in raised right hand. NILE 1. AUG 1798. COPE-NHAGEN 28 APRIL 1801. TRAFALGAR 21 OCT 1805 around. AE 41 mm. By T. Webb/J.P. Droz. Mudie 6 at Ch. VI pp. 27-40 (ill. Pl. 2) [James Mudie, An Historical and Critical Account of A Grand Series of National Medals (London 1820)], BHM I 595 [Brown, Laurence, British Historical Medals Vol. I, 1760-1837 (Seaby 1980)], Eimer 962 (ill. Pl. 103), Bramsen I 436.  Purchased from Noonans Auction 256, 15 Jun 2022, Lot 310.

image.jpeg.418cab86164ea69868407cb5d84444e2.jpeg

Great Britain, Battle of the Pyrenees (The English Army Pass the Pyrenees), 1813 (struck 1820). Obv. Bare head of Wellington right, ARTHUR DUKE - OF WELLINGTON / Rev. British lion on right, with thunderbolt[?]* in mouth, attacks and savages French eagle beneath it on left, Pyrenees in background, THE ENGLISH ARMY PASS THE PYRENEES around; in exergue, MDCCCXIII with J. MUDIE below. By N.G.A. Brenet. AE 41 mm. Mudie 23 at Ch. XXIII pp. 104-107 (ill. Pl. 6), BHM I 760, Eimer 1034 (ill. Pl. 110), Bramsen II 1285. Purchased from Noonans Auction 256, 15 Jun 2022, Lot 322; ex Coincraft, London, with undated Coincraft ticket.

image.jpeg.9c5be4f7489a007ce298b1be2273de3a.jpeg

*My identification of the object in the lion's mouth as a thunderbolt is a guess, based on its similarity to the thunderbolt held by the figure (Britannia or Bellona) on the reverse of the Admiral Nelson medal. None of the sources I've consulted try to identify the object.

Edited by DonnaML
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13 hours ago, DonnaML said:

In addition to the Napoleonic "Entry into Moscow" medal I posted elsewhere, I also bought two new Mudie medals at the Noonans auction on June 15. The first is one I had wanted for many years, but it isn't seen that often.

Great Britain, Admiral Lord Nelson Memorial, 1805 (Struck 1820). Obv. Bust three-quarters left, uniformed, ADM. LORD NELSON / Rev. Britannia (Mudie p. 40) or Bellona [Roman goddess of war] (BHM & Eimer) standing right, on the prow of a galley with lion’s head at prow, holding trident in left hand and thunderbolt in raised right hand. NILE 1. AUG 1798. COPE-NHAGEN 28 APRIL 1801. TRAFALGAR 21 OCT 1805 around. AE 41 mm. By T. Webb/J.P. Droz. Mudie 6 at Ch. VI pp. 27-40 (ill. Pl. 2) [James Mudie, An Historical and Critical Account of A Grand Series of National Medals (London 1820)], BHM I 595 [Brown, Laurence, British Historical Medals Vol. I, 1760-1837 (Seaby 1980)], Eimer 962 (ill. Pl. 103), Bramsen I 436.  Purchased from Noonans Auction 256, 15 Jun 2022, Lot 310.

image.jpeg.418cab86164ea69868407cb5d84444e2.jpeg

 

Regarding the question of whether that's Britannia or Bellona on the reverse of the Admiral Nelson medal -- which I'm sure caused all of you a sleepless night last night -- I was considering putting up a poll. But decided that I'm already rather sure of the correct answer, and don't really need one to help me make up my mind. There are three main reasons:

1. James Mudie said that it's Britannia in the book about the series that he wrote himself (see p. 40). He didn't design the coins, but it was his series of medals, and surely he should have known?

2. The fact that there's a lion's head on the prow of the galley upon which the figure stands. Needless to say, the lion is associated with Britain. And not particularly with Rome.

3. Perhaps most persuasively, the figure carries a trident, not a spear or sceptre (as described incorrectly in more than one catalogue). By the time the medal was struck in 1820, Britannia almost always held a trident on British coins and medals -- "Britannia rules the waves" and all that sort of thing -- and had done so for some time. See, e.g., the reverse of my 1797 cartwheel twopence:

[IMG]

By contrast, I'm not aware of any iconography of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war -- either in ancient times or in Neoclassical design -- associating her with a trident (an attribute of Neptune) as opposed to a spear or sword. 

Therefore, I think that Christopher Eimer's and Laurence Brown's identification of the reverse figure on the medal as Bellona must be incorrect.

Edited by DonnaML
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