Author Topic: Principal Obverse Types of Portraits on the British Medals  (Read 5854 times)

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Offline <k>

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Principal Obverse Types of Portraits on the British Medals
« on: September 28, 2011, 09:27:00 PM »
You may have seen my topic on the use of the crowned and uncrowned effigies of the British monarchs, as they appeared on the coins of the Commonwealth and Empire during the 20th century:

http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,4354.0.html

I am not knowledgeable about medals, but I was recently reading a Royal Mint document in the National Archives (London), dated 24th February 1936. It stated that the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal for the Army (of both Britain and the Dominions) showed the crowned effigy, whereas those of the Navy and Air Force showed the uncrowned effigy. It stated that King Edward VIII now wanted to end this anomaly, so that all medals for all forces in Britain and the Dominions should show the uncrowned head of the monarch.

Unfortunately the document did not show what conclusion was reached, if any. However, looking at this web page showing those medals from the reigns of George VI and Elizabeth II, it seems that this anomaly was NOT amended:

http://www.egframes.net/index.php?cPath=14_69


The document also stated that earlier (some time before 1936) there was some discrepancy between the effigy used on the medals of the British and Australian navies, which had annoyed the Australian naval heads at the time. I know that some of our members collect military medals, and that some are based in Australia and New Zealand. Do they have any knowledge of these matters?

In my original topic dealing with coins, the split was between Britain and the Dominions on the one hand, and the dependencies and the colonies on the other: during the reign of George VI, Britain and the Dominions used the uncrowned effigy on their coin, while the dependencies and the colonies were obliged to use the crowned head. Now with the medals we have the added complication of different uses by the different forces. Often enough we have heard of rivalry between the different forces, with their different traditions - here then is another twist to it.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 02:01:31 AM by engipress »

Offline Abhay

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Re: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal: Crowned/Uncrowned, UK/Dominions
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2011, 03:29:50 PM »
Sorry for being late in replying.

As per the Medal Yearbook, the following is a summary of the principal obverse types which may be encountered, referred to in the text by their type letters in bracket:

Queen Victoria (A): Young Head by William Wyon 1838-60
Queen Victoria (B): Veiled head by Leonard C. Wyon 1860-87
Queen Victoria (C): Jubilee head by Sir Joseph E. Boehm 1887-93
Queen Victoria (D): Old head by Sir Thomas Brock 1893-1901

Edward VII (A): Bareheaded bust in Field Marshall's uniform
Edward VII (B): Bareheaded bust in Admiral's uniform
Edward VII (C): Coinage Profile by George W. de Saulles

George V (A): Bareheaded bust in Field Marshall's uniform
George V (B): Bareheaded bust in Admiral's uniform
George V (C): Crowned bust in Coronation Robes
George V (D): Crowned Bust in Delhi Durbar robes
George V (E): Coinage Profile by Bertram Mackennal 1931-36

George VI (A): Crowned profile in Coronation Robes
George VI (B): Crowned profile INDIAE: IMP 1937-48
George VI (C): Crowned profile FID:DEF 1949-52
George VI (D): Coinage profile IND:IMP 1937-48
George VI (E): Coinage profile FID:DEF 1949-52

QE II (A1): Tudor crown BR:OMN 1953-54
QE II (A): Tudor crown but BR:OMN omitted 1954-80
QE II (B): St Edward crown 1980-
QE II (C): Coinage bust BRITT:OMN 1953-54
QE II (D): Coinage bust but BRITT:OMN omitted 1955-
QE II (E): New Bust for Diamond Jubilee Medal

I will scan the images tomorrow morning and post them here.

Abhay
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 01:56:19 AM by engipress »
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Offline Abhay

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Re: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal: Crowned/Uncrowned, UK/Dominions
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2011, 04:45:51 PM »
The Obverse of Queen Victoria:

Queen Victoria (A): Young Head by William Wyon 1838-60
Queen Victoria (B): Veiled head by Leonard C. Wyon 1860-87
Queen Victoria (C): Jubilee head by Sir Joseph E. Boehm 1887-93
Queen Victoria (D): Old head by Sir Thomas Brock 1893-1901
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 05:57:33 AM by engipress »
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Offline Abhay

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Re: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal: Crowned/Uncrowned, UK/Dominions
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2011, 04:47:44 PM »
Obverse of Edward VII:

Edward VII (A): Bareheaded bust in Field Marshall's uniform
Edward VII (B): Bareheaded bust in Admiral's uniform
Edward VII (C): Coinage Profile by George W. de Saulles
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 05:58:40 AM by engipress »
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Offline Abhay

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Re: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal: Crowned/Uncrowned, UK/Dominions
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2011, 04:49:03 PM »
Obverse of George V:


George V (A): Bareheaded bust in Field Marshall's uniform
George V (B): Bareheaded bust in Admiral's uniform
George V (C): Crowned bust in Coronation Robes
George V (D): Crowned Bust in Delhi Durbar robes
George V (E): Coinage Profile by Bertram Mackennal 1931-36
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 06:05:14 AM by engipress »
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Offline Abhay

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Re: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal: Crowned/Uncrowned, UK/Dominions
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2011, 04:50:55 PM »
Obverse of George VI:

George VI (A): Crowned profile in Coronation Robes
George VI (B): Crowned profile INDIAE: IMP 1937-48
George VI (C): Crowned profile FID:DEF 1949-52
George VI (D): Coinage profile IND:IMP 1937-48
George VI (E): Coinage profile FID:DEF 1949-52
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 06:07:23 AM by engipress »
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Offline Abhay

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Re: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal: Crowned/Uncrowned, UK/Dominions
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2011, 04:52:59 PM »
Obverse of Queen Elizabeth II:

QE II (A1): Tudor crown BR:OMN 1953-54
QE II (A): Tudor crown but BR:OMN omitted 1954-80
QE II (B): St Edward crown 1980-
QE II (C): Coinage bust BRITT:OMN 1953-54
QE II (D): Coinage bust but BRITT:OMN omitted 1955-
QE II (E): New Bust for Diamond Jubilee Medal
« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 06:09:37 AM by engipress »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal: Crowned/Uncrowned, UK/Dominions
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 05:04:57 PM »
Excellent display, Abhay. I still find the whole crowned/uncrowned hierarchy rather weird. It's strange to think that was considered so important in years gone by.