I recently handled a remarkable British award medal for Art, issued by the Royal Academy of Art in London, and it is one of the most beautiful medals I have seen in a while and I wanted to share it with you.
The Royal Academy was instituted in 1768 and a medal was produced to commemorate the event. The obverse features a lovely portrait of King George the Third by Thomas Pingo (1714-1774), a British medallist and engraver for the Royal Mint who also made the reverse die of an amazing male torso based on the “Belvedere” torso in the Vatican, with simply the word “STVDY” above. The medal was used as a prize medal for top students in several classes and awarded in silver (as this example) and in bronze, in fact, the medal and its design were so popular that it was repeated under William the Fourth, Victoria, Edward and a version continued until 1936 when a new design was adopted.
This medal was awarded to an artist named Thomas Millichap in 1811 and it is engraved on the edge “TO THOMAS MILLICHAP FOR THE BEST DRAWING FROM THE ANTIQUE. DEC 1811.”
It also came with its original box, which is quite rare for an early medal, and an engraved painted ivory disc that was presented and personalized prior to the silver medal.
I was able to find a biography of the artist, who lived from 1785-1870, painted portraits and subjects and when he passed his property “Goldness House (Worcester) was a substantial property, with over twenty-eight acres of land attached ” (Worcestershire Chronicle, 13 July 1870)
In addition to being a beautiful example of medallic art, it also has all this rich history and the condition is truly remarkable because it has remained with its rarely seen original case and the extremely rare ivory disc makes this one of the nicest medals to come my way in a long time. It would have a current estimated value of $3,000 – 4,000.
Please send me pictures and emails of your curiosities. I look forward to hearing from you soon.