Great Britain: Great Exhibition: Prince Albert / Royal Coat of Arms

Great Britain: Great Exhibition: Prince Albert / Royal Coat of ArmsGreat Britain: Great Exhibition: Prince Albert / Royal Coat of Arms
Form: Circular
By: W.J. Taylor
Date: 1851
Ref:  BHM: 2459; Eimer: 1463; Laidlaw: 0898;
38.1 mmWhite Metal15.7 gm$18

Edge: Plain.

Obverse: Head of Prince Albert, left. Below the truncation: "W.J. TAYLOR MEDALLIST / LONDON". Legend above: "H.R.H. PRINCE ALBERT" and below: "STRUCK IN THE BUILDING OF THE EXHIBITION".

Reverse: Royal coat of arms with lion and unicorn supporters, crown crest and motto: "DIEU ET MON DROIT". Legend: "GREAT EXHIBITION OF THE INDUSTRY OF ALL NATIONS" and below between ornaments: "LONDON 1851".

Notes: The Great Exhibition of 1851 was held inside an enormous structure of iron and glass known as the Crystal Palace specially built for the event in Hyde Park, London. The exhibition ran for five months, from May to October 1851, during which six million visitors attended the gigantic trade show where the latest technology and displays of artefacts from around the world were on display.

The idea of the Great Exhibition originated with Henry Cole, an artist and inventor. He obtained the support of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, and the two of them organised the event which, because of its huge success, became the forerunner of many such exhibitions in the second half of the 19th century.

South Africa was represented by sixty exhibitors from the colonies of the Cape and Natal. Agricultural products, fruit, wood, minerals, animal skins, elephant tusks, ostrich plumes and eggs, and sea elephant oil were on display. There were also exhibits of native culture.

The screw-press on which this medal was struck was on display, exhibited by William Joseph Taylor.