Great Britain: Great Exhibition: Prince Albert Commissioner's Award / "FOR SERVICES"

Great Britain: Great Exhibition: Prince Albert Commissioner's Award / "FOR SERVICES"Great Britain: Great Exhibition: Prince Albert Commissioner's Award / "FOR SERVICES"
Form: Circular
By: W, Wyon
Date: 1851
Ref:  BHM: 2465; Eimer: 1458; Laidlaw: 0909;
47.7 mmBronze72.7 gm $160

Edge: Plain. Thickness 5.8 - 7.0 mm. This medal Impressed: "BENOIT FABER.".

Obverse: Bare head of Prince Albert, left. Signed: "W. WYON. R. A." below the truncation. Legend: "H:R:H: PRINCE ALBERT PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION."

Reverse: Within a laurel wreath tied at the bottom: "FOR / SERVICES". Legend above: "EXHIBITION OF THE WORKS OF INDUSTRY OF ALL NATIONS." and below: "MDCCCLI.".

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.

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition appointed Commissioners to organise the work involved. Those appointed from outside Britain were responsible for promoting the exhibition and facilitating matters for exhibitors from their country. This medal was awarded one of the Commissioners for Belgium, M. Benôit Faber, the delegate from the Chamber of Commerce at Namur.

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.