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1798 Birthday of John Philip Kemble, Great Britain.

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1798 Birthday of John Philip Kemble, Great Britain.


36mm - Details - N


Easily one of the top British actors of the Napoleonic era Kemble was also a businessman who managed/owned the Covent Garden and whose decision to raise prices after a fire in 1808 led directly to one of the worst civil disturbances in England during the wars, the so-called "old price" riots.


This medal along with a larger 52mm example were produced to honor his 41st birthday in 1798 and in addition to being distributed to his friends and colleagues were available for sale at a major London coin dealer.

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Very nice, he is certainly striking a pose.


I looked at your 1809 OP medals and noticed you used Brown's description " Head wearing long wig with pins sticking in it, trumpet and fans, etc., below." what he said is a fan is a wooden hand-operated bird-scarer or rattle. Hence Kemble's 'aitching head' from the noise of the trumpets and the rattles the protestors were using to protest the boxes and the increase in prices.


167094.jpgThe handle has two cogs which strike against thin strips of wood as the rattle is swung. The noise was loud enough to scare birds from the crop field.


I have one of the OP medals but still need to photograph it.

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