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1887 Victoria Large Silver Golden Jubilee Medal

1887 Victoria Large Silver Golden Jubilee Medal Boxed

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from
£1,250.00
Official large silver medal in original box, issued to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. Obverse: portrait of Victoria facing left wearing the Small Diamond Crown and a long lace veil in addition to several decorations and lavish jewels. Designed by Joseph Edgar Boehm, similar in many respects for his ‘Jubilee Head’ used on coinage from 1887 but more detailed. Legend: ‘VICTORIA REGINA ET EMPERATRIX’. Reverse: features central enthroned figure, representing the British Empire, holding a sword and an orb, two lions by her side. To her left the personifications of Science, Letters and Arts, to her right Industry and Agriculture. At her feet is Mercury, reclining, accompanied by ‘the Genius of Electricity and Steam’. Below this, five shield bear the names of the continents: ‘ASIA’, ‘AMERICA’, ‘EUROPE’, ‘AUSTRALASIA’ and ‘AFRICA’. Above fly two cherubs holding a wreath that holds the intwined letters ‘VRI’ and clutching shields bearing the dates of Queen Victoria's accession (mdcccxxxvii) and jubilee (mdccclxxxvii) in Roman numerals. At the very top of the reverse is the word ‘COMMEMORATION’. It’s a complex design attributed to Boehm and the British painter and sculptor, Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton. This impressive medal is the large type (Eimer 1733b, rather than 1733a), measuring 77 millimetres in diameter. It comes in its red leather case of issued from The Royal Mint with gold detail to the lid and an original information card, describing the design, enclosed. References: BHM 3219, Eimer 1733b.
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Obverse

Left-facing portrait of Queen Victoria wearing small crown, decorations and long lace veil. Signed ‘J.E.B.’ to truncation for Joseph Edgar Boehm.

Reverse

Enthroned figure to center, Mercury below, standing figures representing Science, Letters, Art, Industry, and Agriculture to either side, shields below, and cherubs above. ‘COMMEMORATION’ at the top.

Specification

77-millimetre silver official medal in original box of issue from The Royal Mint.

Who was Joseph Edgar Boehm?

Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Baronet, RA (1834-1890) was an Austrian sculptor and medallist who studied in Vienna before settling in London in 1862, becoming a British subject in 1865. He was renowned for his portrait busts of eminent Victorians, as well as his work for the royal family, totalling some 40 commissions. Boehm won several commissions tied to Queen Victoria's 1887 Golden Jubilee, including medals and a new coin portrait which would become known as the Jubilee Head. The design was severely criticised and quickly replaced, not long after the artist’s sudden death in 1890.

Frederick Leighton and the Royal Mint

In 1892 the Chancellor of the Exchequer convened a committee to assess new coinage designs, seeking to correct issues that had arisen with the Jubilee coinage, issued in 1887. Among the members of the committee was Sir Frederick Leighton (1830-1896), the popular British painter, then president of the Royal Academy. Leighton had a direct hand in official medals issued to mark the Golden Jubilee and would approve of the new portrait of Queen Victoria, chosen to replace the one introduced in 1887. Leighton and the committee selected a veiled portrait by Thomas Brock from a choice of seven designs. This would become known as the Widowed Head and can be seen on coinage minted between 1893 and the end of Victoria's reign.

This medal was also issued in bronze: 1887 Victoria Large Bronze Golden Jubilee Medal.

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