SA Union: Royal Visit of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, Presented to Native Chiefs / Royal Cypher & Map
|Form:||Circular. Mounted within a hollow, tapered, oval, silver frame with beaded border and loop to a ring for a long yellow ribbon for wearing round the neck.|
|By:||Percy Metcalfe / Royal Mint, Pretoria|
AM2: 286; Laidlaw: 0099d;
Mounted medal showing conjoined crowned and robed busts of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, left. Signed: “P.M.” on King’s shoulder close to the rim.
Mounted medal showing the Royal cypher: “GRE” with imperial crown above against background of a map of Southern Africa. Across: “19 (left) 47 (right)". Legend above: “KONINKLIKE BESOEK”; and below: “ROYAL VISIT”.
The King and Queen and their two daughters, the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret toured Southern Africa in 1947. The purpose of the visit was to show Royal appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices that South Africa, Southern Rhodesia and other Commonwealth countries had made during the Second World War.
This medal was presented native chiefs during the royal tour of Southern Africa. It was given chiefs in South Africa. A similar medal (Laidlaw 0099b) with a slightly different reverse was produced for chiefs in the other Southern African colonies.
The same medal without the frame (Laidlaw 0099c) was presented to European dignitaries.
The obverse design is the same as the 1937 coronation medal but the dies have been re-made with a larger size
It is reported that about 250 of these special framed medals were made. The frame is slightly irregular and has no hallmarks and for these reasons it seems unlikely to have been made by Crichton Brothers of London as has been recorded elsewhere. It was probably made by a jeweler in South Africa.
A similar medal was sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries, Lot 1055 New York International Sale 1/10/2011 for $1,265