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Victoria in Gold 1840 RRRR. or in Sawdust & Oxblood 1867?

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This is a bois durci plaque I posted previously LINK but what is that in the bottom left corner?

It is a gold medal by Jean Baptiste Merlen, BHM# 1916 RRRR.(highest rarity in BHM, generally considered as between 1 to 9 examples known) the larger one is 111mm the smaller is only 11mm & 1.1grams.


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That is OXBLOOD????!!!


These plaques/medallions were sold at the Exposition Universelle of the year 1867.

They are 111 mm or 4.3/8 inches. Produced by the Frenchman M. Latry.


The "real story" is what they are made from:


Animal blood (mainly ox-blood was used) and very fine sawdust, know as wood flour. This blood/wood mixture was pressed in moulds which were then heated, producing a very hard finish which showed fine detail and was very strong. The process was developed by Lepage and Talrich in 1855 and patented under the name BOIS DURCI, later they sold the rights to M. Latry. The objects produced resembled carved ebony, but being mass produced (from basically waste by-products), they were considerably cheaper.


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