Great Britain: Great Exhibition: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert / Jurors Medal

Great Britain: Great Exhibition: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert / Jurors MedalGreat Britain: Great Exhibition: Queen Victoria & Prince Albert / Jurors Medal
Form: Circular
By: W. Wyon (obv) and G. G. Adams (rev) / Royal Mint
Date: 1851
Ref:  BHM: 2464; Eimer: 1457; Laidlaw: 0974;
64 mmCopper-Bronze$720

Edge: Plain. Impressed at the top with the name of the recipient and at the bottom: "JUROR GREAT EXHIBITION EXHIBITION 1851". This medal named to: "C. DE ROSSIUS ORBAN".

Obverse: Conjoined bare heads of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, left, she laureate. Pair of Dolphins below, trident on right. Legend above: "VICTORIA D:G: BRIT: REG: F:D: (rose) ALBERTUS PRINCEPS CONJUX." and below: "MDCCCLI." Signed, divided by the date: "W.WYON RA. (left) ROYAL MINT (right).

Reverse: Bare breasted figure of Industry, seated on a cornucopia, crowned by winged fame, standing on her left and encouraged by Commerce, standing on her right. In the exergue, a yard measuring rod and a scale pan linked by a chain and encircled by a laurel wreath, toppled helmeted bust below. Signed: :G. G. Adams" below the exergue line on right. Legend: "PULCHER ET ILLE LABOR PALMA DECORARE LABOREM".

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.

There were 318 jurors appointed to the panels tasked with judging the exhibits in each class. Of these 160 were from from overseas. A further 97 associate members were co-opted to provide particular expertise wherever required. As 30 of these jurors were from other panels, only 67 additional medals would have been awarded to them. In addition an unknown number were struck for inclusion in the presentation sets. Each juror received a personal letter from Prince Albert when awarded the medal.