Tag Archives: medallions

eBay, Bulldogs and Royal Visits

I found out about how to unpin the post I mentioned previously. It didn’t take much in the end, I looked at the page as I was getting ready for a new post, saw it was marked “sticky” and prodded a few random buttons until it cleared.

I’m feeling quite tech savvy now,

Today’s main project was writing up a collection of prize medals belonging to a dog breeder who appears to have had a good deal of success in France in 1924 and 1925.

If you want a test of your creative writing skills try writing up a pile of dog prize medals in an attractive yet accurate way. They are lovely medals, but they are a real test of writing skill.

I’m also working on a drop-down menu for Royal Visit medallions. These used to be quite popular before the Great War. These are some of the better ones.

 

This is for the Royal Visit to Derby in 1906

 

 

 

This is for the opening of Kew Bridge in 1903

More Medallions, Many More Medallions…

We lost a medallion today. We have boxes of them, so it wasn’t a surprise, as you always feel like you’re on the edge of disaster.

I looked for it twice, handling every plastic-cased medal we had in the shop.

Nothing.

Rather than writing to the customer to confess I’d lost it, I decided that I’d have another look through, and double check every medallion. I found it after twenty minutes. It was in a plastic case with a blue insert. I was looking for a red insert, which is what the computer told me I was looking for.

 

 

In the end the only discrepency I found between the eBay shop and reality, was one medallion. I solved that when I moved a notebook and found the missing medallion had slipped underneath.

It also gave me chance to sort out some new ones. We keep finding more…

 

 

A Different World (Part 2)

I had one more good medal to put on eBay today, which took some doing, as we had parcels to do and a queue of customers to serve. This is how it should be – we’ve missed the customers over the last few months.

This medal commemorates the life of Frederick, Duke of York, second son of George III, commander-in-chief of the British Army and the subject of the nursery rhyme “The Grand Old Duke of York”.

He wasn’t well regarded as a general, after some early setbacks in his career, but ended up reorganising the army into the force that Wellington used to defeat the French.

Frederick, Duke of York, reverse

Frederick, Duke of York, reverse

If you are interested, you can read the link.

However, you might like to have a look at this picture.

Portrait of Frederick, Duke of York - Lawrence 1816.jpg

Frederick, Duke of York

He’s not going to win any beauty contests, is he?

However, there is another reason for including it – it’s by Sir Thomas Lawrence. You may remember him from yesterday, though it really doesn’t matter if you don’t.

 

He was 63 when he died, which is only three years older than me. I’ve noticed a distressing tendency amongst people to be not much older than me when they die. On Radio 4’s Last Word the average age was 75, which is good, but could be better.

I’m about the age that my Mum was when we had to stop her reading obituaries and making similar calculations. I might have to stop listening to Radio 4 on Fridays.

A Different World

Today I entered the world of Shakesperean actors, literary London and Dracula. The item that took me there was a commemorative medal bearing a portrait of Sir Henry Irving – out first theatrical knight. The medal is dated 1891 – he still had four years to go before his knighthood.

He was famous for The Bells, in addition to his Shakesperean roles, and for reputedly being the model for Count Dracula. When you look at some of his pictures you can see why.

These days he is probably as famous for having Bram Stoker as his assistant, as he is for being a great actor. Stoker worked for him for 27 years and in that time they were both to dine at the White House and rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

 

 

The medal, as you can see, has had a hard life and someone has put a hole through it. They used to do that and wear them from ribbons round their necks.

Next, we have a medal to Sir Thomas Lawrence, a fashionable, somewhat raffish painter who died at the age of 60 in 1830. He had been President of the Royal Academy for 10 years at the time of his death. I have plundered Wikipedia for two of his more famous paintings.

 

 

The medallist is the wonderfully named Scipio Clint. I don’t know why he had such a distinctive name, as his father was George and his brother Alfred. He used designs by two well-known sculptors, one being E H Baily, designer of the Nelson statue that stands on the column in Trafalgar Square.

 

Finally we have Sir Isaac Newton, in the form of a medal by John Croker commemorating the death of Newton in 1727.

Newton is an interesting man – a framer of great scientific principles, alchemist, heretic,  reputed inventor of the cat flap and Master of the Mint. In the last job he was responsible for the Great Recoinage of 1696.

During the recoinage he was greatly helped by John Croker, which suggests that the depiction of Newton on the medal is probably accurate, even if it is not flattering.

All three of the medallions have seen better days, but they are all great pieces of history. There is something very calming about working with things of this age, which is more than you can say about decimal coins.

A Few Loose Ends

The Queen Elizabeth medallion I used to illustrate yesterday’s post had sold by the time I got to work.

Elizabeth I Souvenir Medallion

Elizabeth I Souvenir Medallion

This is the magic of eBay.

We had another seven parcels to pack, and, in the morning, a crowd of customers. For the second day in a row we were delayed in our parcel packing by actual people coming into the shop. Though we couldn’t do without eBay customers, it’s always nice to have people to talk to.

In the afternoon the rush subsided and we had time to add a few more medallions to our eBay shop.

The medallion in the Featured Image commemorates Sir Christopher Wren and features part of his memorial inscription around the edge, though the original is in Latin – LECTOR SI MONUMENTUM REQUIRIS CIRCUMSPICE. I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with Latin – I’d like to be good at it, as it’s always been the sign of an accomplished gentleman, but apart from showing off and reading gravestones I’m not sure how much use it is.

The two bronze medallions have a common obverse and two different reverses for the opening of the new magistrates’ courts in Nottingham and Mansfield.

According to the date on them, they are now 23 years old. I remember when they were made. It was quite a big event at the time – new Nottinghamshire commemorative medallions. It’s strange how time passes.

 

Hard Day at the Shop

Obviously “hard” is a comparative term. Six hours sitting in a heated shop packing parcels and chatting to customers is not hard compared to some of my previous jobs, and they weren’t hard compared to working on a trawler or building skyscrapers.

However, from starting to finishing, there was scarcely a moment when we didn’t have a customer in, often two or three at a time.  We sold quite a lot in the morning, spent over £1,000 buying during the afternoon and ended up selling some more. We did all this with just two people as the boss was off at the York Coin Fair. We often have busy days when he’s away.

Souvenir Medal Castle Rising Norfolk

Souvenir Medal Castle Rising Norfolk

This is one of the medallions we put on eBay. At this sort of magnification you can clearly see  the reflection of my camera and a large quantity of dust. It’s not a stunning level of professionalism is it?

Southwell Minster Souvenir Medallion

Southwell Minster Souvenir Medallion

I see we’ve already sold seven items on eBay, so we will have to get a move on, as the Post Office closes at noon.

A Few Medallions

I put a few medallions on eBay today. That’s the trouble with selling things – you need to keep putting things on to replace them.

They aren’t the greatest medallions, but they aren’t the worst I’ve ever pictured, as reular readers will be able to confirm.

 

Of course, not all subjects are equally interesting. Unless you are really into decorative lighting, or Olympia, or 1989…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A medallion of niche interest