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DonnaML's Top World Medals for 2022 (9 British & 5 French)


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Just as with my top World coins post from a bit earlier today, I'm not creating a poll, but please feel free to mention any you particularly like if you wish to do so.

Again, this is the first year in a while that I've purchased enough medals to make it worthwhile to create a list of my favorites. They're in (roughly) chronological order, first the British and then the French.

And, if you look carefully, you'll see two different medals depicting hippocamps! Which were apparently popular in the 19th century almost as much as in the ancient world.


Official Coronation Medals:

1. England, Charles II, Official AR English Coronation Medal, 1661, by Thomas Simon. Obv. Crowned and draped bust right, CAROLVS. II. D.G. ANG. SCO. FR. ET. HI. REX. / Rev. The King enthroned, left, holding scepter with right hand, crowned by Peace, flying right above, EVERSO. MISSVS. SVCCVRRERE. SECLO. XXIII. APR. 1661. 29 mm. Eimer 221 & Pl. 26 [Eimer, C., British Commemorative Medals and their Values (2nd ed. 2010)]; MI i p. 472/76 & Pl. xlv, no. 725 [Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. I p. 472, No. 76 (1885, reprinted 1969)]; Wollaston p. 6, no. v & ill. 5 [Henry Wollaston, British Official Medals for Coronations and Jubilees (1978)]. Purchased from Historical Medallions, UK, Jan. 2022.


2. Great Britain, Queen Charlotte, Official AR Coronation Medal, 1761, by Laurence Natter. Obv. Draped bust right, CHARLOTTA. D.G. M. BR. FR. ET. HIB. REGINA, beneath truncation, initials L.N. F. [Laurence Natter Fecit]. / Rev. The Queen standing facing, holding left hand to heart and scepter in right hand, crowned by Fame hovering above; to right, flaming altar with globe beside it; initials L.N. to right of altar; above, in ribbon, QVAESITVM. – MERITIS [Sought for his deserts (Horace)]; in exergue in two lines, CORON. XXII. SEPT / MDCCLXI. 34 mm. Eimer 696 & Pl. 78; BHM 66; Wollaston pp. 11-12, no. xiv  & ill. 22. Mintage 400 (Wollaston p. 16). Purchased from Sovereign Rarities, Ltd., London, UK, Jul. 2022.


Mudie Medals:

3. 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.


4. 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.


5. Great Britain, Admiral Lord Exmouth and the Bombardment of Algiers by the British Fleet, 1816 (struck 1820). Obv. Uniformed bust of Lord Exmouth, right, ADMIRAL LORD EXMOUTH / Rev. Neptune with trident pointing downwards, subduing and pacifying a hippocamp (sea-horse) beneath him, which he stands upon while it swims left on surface of ocean, with its head turned back towards him; in exergue, ALGIERS AUGUST 18 / 1816. By L. Brenet and F.-P. Gerard. AE 41 mm. Mudie 39, Eimer 1085 & Pl. 117, BHM 921. Purchased February 2022.*


*Issued in 1820 as part of James Mudie’s series of 40 medals commemorating British Military and Naval Victories, this medal is one of the few in the series that does not directly relate to the Napoleonic Wars. Instead, it commemorates the British attack on Algiers in 1816 to free European slaves from captivity. See BHM at p. 223: “The city of Algiers continued to support piracy and was used as refuge for those engaged in the slave trade. The British fleet under Lord Exmouth successfully bombarded the city upon the refusal of the city to abolish Christian slavery, a new treaty with the Dey abolishing this followed and Exmouth received honors from most of the states of Christendom.” 
Concerning the reverse design, Mudie states as follows at p. 149 of in his book An Historical and Critical Account of A Grand Series of National Medals, published in 1820 simultaneously with the medals (I own a copy of the original edition): “The superiority and grandeur of Britain on the Ocean, are here typified by Neptune controuling [sic] a Sea-Horse, which, from the inscription on the exergue. . ., more immediately relates to the successful attack on the chief piratical state of Barbary.”

Corporation of City of London Medals:

6. Great Britain, 1863, AE Commemorative Medal for the Corporation of the City of London (No. 9), Entry of Princess Alexandra of Denmark into the City of London on 7 March 1863 (in advance of her marriage on 10 March to the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII). By J.S. and A.B. Wyon. Obv. Bust of Princess Alexandra left, ALEXANDRA; J.S. WYON SC. beneath truncation / Rev. Londinia in center, draped and wearing mural crown, stands left with right arm outstretched to welcome the Princess standing right, led by the Prince of Wales, wearing Order of Garter, standing facing between them, holding her left hand. On the far left is Hymen, and on the far right, Peace (winged) and Plenty, the latter waiting on bended knee, with cornucopiae overflowing in front of her, to present diamond necklace and earrings which she bears on a velvet cushion. Behind them, the triumphal arch erected at London Bridge to welcome the Princess, surmounted by split quadriga with Britannia at center. WELCOME – ALEXANDRA above; in exergue, a shield with the City arms between the words MAR. 1863; J.S. & A.B. WYON SC. above to right. 77 mm., 249.1 g. Eimer 1561 & Pl. 170; BHM 2783; Welch 9; Whittlestone & Ewing 901. Mintage: 350.  Purchased April 2022



7. Great Britain, 1891, AE Commemorative Medal for the Corporation of the City of London (No. 24), Visit of Emperor of Germany, Wilhelm II, to the City of London, by Elkington & Co. Obv. Busts three-quarters right, conjoined, of  Wilhelm II, uniformed and wearing helmet surmounted by eagle, and the Empress, Augusta Victoria, draped (Wilhelm to left over Augusta Victoria to right), with heads turned to right, GULIELMUS II IMPERATOR ET REX / Rev. Londinia to right, wearing a helmet surmounted by a dragon, leans against a stone balustrade of the Embankment, and rests her right hand upon a low throne, on which is seated Germania to left; Londinia points with her left hand to the shipping on the Thames, beyond; St. Paul’s Cathedral is seen to left on opposite bank; Germania, helmeted, holds a sword in her left hand across her lap, her right hand resting on a shield bearing the arms of Germany. In the foreground on left is the British lion peacefully reclining right; below, at the foot of the throne, are two doves; to right, stone facia inscribed with the date JULY 10TH 1891 (incuse). 80 mm., 332 g., 12 h. Eimer 1768 & Pl. 195, BHM 3412, Welch 24, Whittlestone & Ewing 1668. Purchased from CNG (Classical Numismatic Group, LLC), E-Sale 511, March 9, 2022, Lot 558.



8. Great Britain, 1893, AE Commemorative Medal for the Corporation of the City of London (No. 25), Marriage of George Duke of York [future George V] to Princess Mary of Teck, by G.G. Adams. Obv. Busts left, conjoined, she draped, George Duke of York and Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (George to right over Mary to left), T.R.H. THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF YORK around, MDCCCXCIII beneath busts / Rev. The bride and bridegroom, with George to left wearing crown, raising right arm, and gazing upon Mary, advance left in a triumphal chariot driven by Cupid and drawn by two horses, and approach an archway with banners, bearing the monogram G M and inscribed FELICITAS G M, through which is seen St. Paul’s Cathedral; the couple are welcomed by Londinia standing right in front of horses, holding a cornucopiae up  with her right hand towards Mary’s extended right hand. In exergue, JULY 6TH, 1893. 71 mm., 248.5 g., 12 h. Eimer 1780 & Pl. 197, BHM 3452, Welch 25, Whittlestone & Ewing 1763. Purchased from CNG (Classical Numismatic Group, LLC), E-Sale 511, March 9, 2022, Lot 760.


9. Great Britain, 1902, AE Commemorative Medal for the Corporation of the City of London (No. 30). Visit of Edward VII and Alexandra to City of London, by Searle & Co. Obv. Busts left, conjoined and draped, she crowned (Edward to right over Alexandra to left); around from 7:00, IN HONOUR OF THE VISIT OF THEIR MAJESTIES KING EDWARD VII & QUEEN ALEXANDRA TO THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF LONDON; beneath busts, date • 25 OCT. 1902 • / Rev. Londinia, standing on right, crowned, facing left, presents a welcoming address to the King and Queen above her, seated three-quarters right upon dais on left. To left and beneath King and Queen, a ribbon inscribed CIVIVM AMOR ET FIDES; to right, fanfare blown by Fame on trumpet; beyond, façade of Guildhall. In exergue, sceptre and mace, crossed. 76 mm., 245.5 g., 12 h. Eimer 1874 & Pl. 208, BHM 3868, Whittlestone & Ewing 4850. Purchased from CNG (Classical Numismatic Group, LLC), E-Sale 511, March 9, 2022, Lot 768.  



Napoleonic Medals:

1. France, Directorate, AE Conquest of Upper Egypt, An 7 (1798), Napoleon Bonaparte as Général de l'armée d'Orient (struck 1806 after Napoleon’s coronation as Emperor)*, Paris Mint. Artist: André Galle, under director Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon. Obv. Bust of Memnon (after the “Colossi of Memnon” in Luxor [ancient Thebes] in Upper Egypt, which actually depict Pharaoh Amenhotep III) or Isis** left, wearing wearing nemes [royal striped headdress] with uraeus [sacred cobra, worn by deities and pharaohs] at forehead, no beard, CONQUÊTE DE LA - HAUTE EGYPTE. around from 7:00, GALLE F. [fecit] beneath truncation, AN VII. below bust / Rev. Crocodile left chained to palm tree behind with wide spreading branches,*** GALLE on ground line to right; in exergue, DENON DIREXIT. 35 mm., 20.89 g., 12 h.  Laskey IX at p. 18 [Capt. J.C. Laskey, A Description of the Series of Medals Struck at the National Medal Mint by Order of Napoleon Bonaparte (London 1818)]; Millin & Millingen 19 at p. 9 [Aubin Louis Millin de Grandmaison & James Millingen, Medallic History of Napoleon (London 1819)]; Scargill 4 at p. 7 [Ann Mudie Scargill, Medallic History of Napoleon Bonaparte (London 1820)]; Hennin 896 at p. 688 [Michel Hennin, Histoire numismatique de la révolution française . . . depuis l'ouverture des Etats-généraux jusqu'à l'établissement du gouvernement consulaire (Paris 1826)]; Julius 694 at p. 43 [Sammlung Dr. [Paul] Julius, Heidelberg: Französische Revolution Napoleon I. und seine Zeit : Medaillen, Orden und Ehrenzeichen, Münzen (Auktion 11 Jan. 1932, Otto Helbing Nachf., München, Auktions-Katalog 66) (available at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctionlots?AucCoId=514029&AuctionId=534684] [see David Block, “Books about Napoleonic Medals,” Numismatics International Bulletin, Vol. 19, No. 12 (1985), pp. 365-368 at p. 368, available at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/522907?page=21: “This sale did not take place; the Julius Collection was not sold until 1959”); Todd p. 79 (ill. pp. 22 & 81) [Richard A. Todd, Napoleon’s Medals: Victory to the Arts (The History Press, UK, 2009)].**** Purchased from Germania Inferior Numismatics; ex Roma Numismatics Ltd., Auction 24, 28 March 2022, Lot 1653 (“From the R. T. Collection of Napoleonic Medals from the First French Republic and Empire”), ex Phidias, vente numismatique, Paris, France. [Footnotes omitted.]


2. France, AE Medal, First Empire, Entry into Moscow, 1812. Artists: B. Andrieu & N. Brenet. Obv. Laureate head of Napoleon right, NAPOLEON – EMP. ET ROI.; on neck truncation, ANDRIEU F. / Rev. View of fortifications and gateway of Moscow with Kremlin buildings, etc.; French eagle atop standard planted on walls to left of center; French tricolor on top of highest  spire at center; ENTRÉE A – MOSCOU above; in exergue in two lines, XIV. SEPTEMBRE | MDCCCXII. 41 mm., 38.5 g. Bramsen II 1164 [Ludvig Ernst Bramsen, Médaillier Napoléon le Grand, ou, Description des médailles, clichés, repoussés, et médailles-décorations relatives aux affaires de la France pendant le consulat et l'empire, Vol. II, 1810-1815 at p. 35 (Copenhagen 1907), available at Newman Numismatic Portal]; Laskey CXXVII at p. 204 [Capt. J.C. Laskey, A Description of the Series of Medals Struck at the National Medal Mint by Order of Napoleon Bonaparte (London 1818), available on Google Books]; Millin & Millingen 276 at p. 92 (ill. Pl. LI) [Aubin Louis Millin de Grandmaison & James Millingen, Medallic History of Napoleon (London 1819), available on Google Books]; Scargill 94 at p. 126 [Ann Mudie Scargill, Medallic History of Napoleon Bonaparte (London 1820), available on Google Books]; Julius 2533 at p. 153 [Sammlung Dr. [Paul] Julius, Heidelberg: Französische Revolution Napoleon I. und seine Zeit : Medaillen, Orden und Ehrenzeichen, Münzen (Auktion 11 Jan. 1932, Otto Helbing Nachf., München, Auktions-Katalog 66), available at Newman Numismatic Portal (This sale did not take place; the Julius Collection was not sold until 1959)]; St. James’s Auctions, 3 Oct. 2011, Christian C. Jones Collection of Napoleonic Coins & Medals, Lot 1149 at p. 44 (ill.) [not my specimen]. Purchased from Noonans Auction 256, 15 Jun 2022, Lot 321 [with description “Some edge knocks and bruises, otherwise extremely fine”]; ex Coincraft, London (with undated Coincraft ticket).


Art Deco Medals:

3. France ca. 1920, Paris Mint, Aviation, AE Art Deco medal  by Paul-Marcel Dammann (1885-1939). Obv. Wind bride with plaited hair standing nude on left leg at edge of mountain pinnacle with right knee bent upward, attaching wing to her right ankle; in left field, FERIAM SIDERA* in two lines; in right field, MCMXX; at rim at 5:00, M. DAMMANN / Rev: Two fledglings in stork's nest at left atop mountain pinnacle; to right, parents hover in air nearby, encouraging them to fly / Edge: Lettering: BRONZE; Engraver’s Mark: Torch or Cornucopia?**. 90 mm., 226.8 g. CGMP [Catalogue général illustré des éditions de la Monnaie de Paris] Vol. 3 (1871-1945), p. 115. Purchased from Noonans, Auction 264, 16 Nov. 2022, Lot 916; ex Collection of Art Medals formed by Dr. Edith Greenwood (d. 1987).


* The quotation "Feriam Sidera" ("[I] will touch the stars") was taken from by Dammann from Horace, who ended his first ode, to Maecenas, 35-36: "Quodsi me lyricis vatibus inseres, sublimi feriam sidera vertice" ("Yet if you join me with the lyrical singers, I will lift my head to the stars"). [2nd footnote omitted.]

4. France 1927, Paris Mint, “Télégraphie sans Fil” (Wireless), AE medal by Paul-Marcel Dammann (1885-1939). Obv: Iris (in Greek mythology, the personification of the rainbow and a messenger of the gods), holding a caduceus, travels through the sky, zodiac signs behind her / Rev: A stylized microphone or transmitter enclosing the Earth emits wavelengths through a starry sky, TSF below (Telégraphie Sans Fil) / Edge: Lettering: BRONZE; Engraver’s Mark: Torch or Cornucopia?*. 68 mm., 137.2 g. CGMP [Catalogue général illustré des éditions de la Monnaie de Paris] Vol. 3 (1871-1945), 116A. See also Mark Jones, The Art of the Medal (British Museum 1979), at pp. 155-156 & ill. no. 423; https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O89899/wireless-medal-dammann-paul-marcel/. Purchased from Charles Riley, Feb. 2022. [Footnote omitted.]


5. France 1935, Paris Mint, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, Normandie Ocean Liner Inaugural Voyage Medal, Le Havre to New York, by Jean Vernon (1897-1975). AE 68 mm., 145.5 g., in original circular cardboard case. Obv. Standing female figure in high relief with head left and arms raised, holding in left hand the bridle and reins of a hippocamp (Sea Horse), rearing left above waves, whom she has just freed; below to left, ‘NORMANDIE’; to right, Jean Vernon / Rev. The Normandie at sea, three-quarters left, under steam, in high relief; above, ‘NORMANDIE’ • 79280 TX [referring to ship’s then-world record tonnage]; in exergue, in four lines, CIE GLE [Compagnie Générale] TRANSATLANTIQVE - French Line - LE HAVRE • NEW • YORK – 1935 / Edge: Lettering: BRONZE; Engraver’s Mark: Cornucopia of Paris Mint. Maier 333 (ill. p. 353) [Nicolas Maier, French Medallic Art 1870-1940 (Munich 2010)]. Purchased Dec. 2022 from Hedley Betts.




The top of the original cardboard case:



Edited by DonnaML
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Nice medals, Donna. 

I've always had a preference for Art Deco medals, with their stylized, clean designs, though I don't have any examples.  The Napoleonic and other 19th century medals are also nice and very reminiscent in style to my Italian scudo of the short lived Cisalphine Republic 1797-1802:


Edited by robinjojo
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I must say, Donna, you have one of the best eyes for artistic beauty🤩

Just incredible... or since most are French should I say, increda-blew!

Queen Charlotte's portrait is stunning, and the reverse even more so!

And Who the hell else has a coin depicting Memnon *even if on a world coin? Donna, that's who. 

And I LOVE the throw back to our famous chained Egypt on the reverse! Mine isn't so pretty but had about 1,800+ years on your showstopper!


I'll trot out a few I've shared too many times, but love your posts enough that I must share:1123068_1586268313.l.jpg.e04f32870cd17790b2d50b018eb64fb0.jpgIMG_2604(1).PNG.db1f4de5f5064362905ccfec4f1ce0b0.PNGIMG_2605(1).PNG.66dd0b2ff7add58bdc65eab3ecba5207.PNG

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