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Great Britain: South African War Memorial Medal (For King)

Great Britain: South African War Memorial Medal (For King)Great Britain: South African War Memorial Medal (For King)
Great Britain: South African War Memorial Medal (For King)Great Britain: South African War Memorial Medal (For King)
Form: Circular, cast.
By: Emil Fuchs / Elkington & Co.
Date: 1902
Ref:  AM: 39; Hern: 96,; Eimer: 1850; Laidlaw: 0006b;
Variations:
SizeMetalMassValue
69.8 mmSilver134 gm$450
69.8 mmBronze118 gm$320
52 mmSilver$390
52.4 mmBronze56.9 gm$270
44 mmSilver$300
44.5 mmBronze42.9 gm$220

Edge: Plain. Sometimes engraved.

Obverse: Helmeted figure of Bellona stands on a rocky ledge in the act of sheathing her sword. Below her, columns of cavalry and infantry marching along the coast towards ships waiting in a bay. To the left, above a headland, a radiant sun, inscribed: “PAX (peace)”. At the foot signed: “E. FUCHS”.

Reverse: Winged angel with olive-branch kneeling over a fallen soldier clutching a flag standard. Beyond, soldiers and tents on a battlefield. Above, and between the outstretched wings of the angel: “TO THE / MEMORY OF THOSE / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR / KING AND COUNTRY”. Below, a plaque flanked by a palm fond (left) and a laurel branch (right) tied together with a ribbon at the foot inscribed: “SOUTH AFRICAN / CAMPAIGN / 1899 1902”. At the base of the plaque, signed: “EMIL (left) FUCHS (right)”. At the foot, the maker’s mark which is either: “ELKINGTON” (on the 70 mm medal) or “E&Co.” (on the two smaller medals)

Notes: Comes inside a red case.

This later version of the Memorial Medal was made by Elkington & Company and not at the Heaton Mint.

Occasionally, examples are found with the name of an individual killed in the war inscribed on the edge suggesting that the medal was marketed as an unofficial memorial medal for the next-of-kin.

Emil Fuchs (1866-1929), sculptor and medallist of Viennese origin, worked in London and, latterly, in the United States. He evidently took pride in this particular example of his workmanship, because he exhibited the medal at the Paris Salon in 1908. In addition, he produced various portraits of members of the royal family. Perhaps the best known of these is his distinctive profile of King Edward VII, a defining image that came to be used on postage stamps and the Royal Society of Arts prize medal.