MB98 Medals Auction snippets: a golden Diamond, a silver sorrow and some bronze bloomers.

MB98137 France silver medal Basilica Sacre Coeur Montmartre consecrated 1919

There are only 230 lots this time in Simmons Gallery’s next online auction sale on 26 May. It begins with some thirty early medals issued by the British Art Medal Society. A very rare piece is a gilded example of the bronze medal Diamond by celebrated sculptor, Lynn Chadwick.

MB98010 Diamond bronze medal by Lynn Chadwick for BAMS 1983 MB98010 Diamond bronze medal by Lynn Chadwick for BAMS 1983

Made in 1983 for BAMS, out of an edition of 128 pieces only a few are known with this golden finish.  Our medal used to belong to Peter Bagwell Purefoy, the membership secretary of the British Art Medal society,  so it has a stellar provenance and a modest estimate (lot MB98010 £1500-£2000),   This example along with the rarer Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Terror/Virtue medal and other early BAMS issues dating from the beginning of the society in 1982 are in the sale.  


It’s not all modern and contemporary, and history isn’t always respectful.  One particular early piece of fun satirises the Austro-Hungarian Empress Maria Theresa – losing her bloomers as well as part of her empire! She doesn’t however get them back, and the reverse shows her putting on her Banian lederhosen while Karl I watches but cannot stop the crown slipping from his head.

Empress Maria Theresa losing bloomers satire medalEmpress Maria Theresa putting on Bavarian breeches

At the other end of the scale, is the silver medal for the consecration of the Sacré Coeur Basilica in Paris in 1919 (lot MB98137): the church was built as a national penance to atone for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and for the actions of the Commune in 1871, right there in Montmartre. As ever, remember to bid early – we use proxy bidding so others can’t see your maximum bid and you’ll be alerted if outbid. Although the close of the auction is staggered from 12 noon onwards on 26 May, there is no sniping and you might not be able to place a bid at the last minute. So bid high and bid early please! And enjoy!

MB98137 France silver medal Basilica Sacre Coeur Montmartre consecrated 1919MB98137 France silver medal Basilica Sacre Coeur Montmartre consecrated 1919

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