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Obv. Bust of Turner Left. NAT : 1775 OB : 1851 under bust D. MACLISE R.A. DES. / L.C. WYON FEC.
Rev. 3 Celestial maidens, with flowing locks & dressed in classical garb, gaze wistfully at the young artist(Turner) from the heavens, whilst he paints a scene of a lake, mountains in the distance & a town by its edge. Behind the mountains the Earth is depicted with a man crawling behind a horse & holding it's rein, behind them is the Sun with rays.

Very high relief medal BHM#2416 55mm AV, RRR. AE N. Brown uses AE for both bronze & copper, this is most definitely copper!

I think that this is a truly great medal by L. C. Wyon.

There is lots of info about Turner online, as are many of his paintings, he was one of the world's greatest painters & he blazed a path, regarding light & the ephemeral, which still echos today.

2005, Turner's "The Fighting Temeraire" was voted Britain's "greatest painting" in a public poll organised by the BBC.
April 2006, Christie's New York auctioned "Giudecca, La Donna Della Salute" and "San Giorgio", a view of Venice exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1841, for US$35.8 million, setting a new record for a Turner at that time
July 7, 2010, Turner's final painting of Rome, “Modern Rome — Campo Vaccino”, from 1839, was bought by the J. Paul Getty Museum at a Sotheby’s auction in London for $44.9 million.

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A very nice medal indeed. The three dimensional obverse reminds me of a lengthy series of French medals generated between 1810 and 1835 by different french engravers and which depicted famous frenchmen throughout the ages (`Galerie Métallique des Grands Hommes Français'). There are a few real humdingers in that series that would grace any collection, and I suspect you might want to keep your eyes peeled for the occasional real bargain find......... sometimes for less than 10 dollars.

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  • 6 years later...
The scant descriptions of this medal only mention the scenic elements from his art portrayed on the reverse, which not only miss the possible significance of the Dioscuri(Castor & Pollux), Cassiopeia & the Three Graces but fail to acknowledge them at all. Though one does suggest the 3 heavenly women represent the 3 primary colours.


The Dioscuri(Greek) can be recognized by the skull-cap they wear, the pilos, which was explained in antiquity as the remnants of the egg. Whether the children are thus mortal or half-immortal is not consistent among accounts, nor is whether the twins hatched together from one egg. In some accounts, only Pollux was fathered by Zeus, while Leda and her husband Tyndareus conceived Castor. This explains why they were granted alternating immortality. One would live among the gods, whilst the other was among the dead and visa versa. They are also known as the Gemini or Castores in Latin. Skilled in taming wild horses and often depicted standing by them holding the reins.

Cassiopeia is a W shaped constellation it rotates around the celestial pole and is up-side down half the time. The five brightest stars of Cassiopeia - Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon Cassiopeiae - form the characteristic W-shape all five are prominent naked eye stars. They are oriented as a W when below Polaris during northern spring and summer nights. In northern winter they are above Polaris and the W appears inverted.


The Three Graces in Greek mythology, are referred to as the Charites, they were a trio of minor goddesses named Aglaea, Thalia and Euphrosyne. These three sisters were the daughters of Zeus and the Oceanid Eurynome. The role of the Graces in Greek mythology was to spread goodwill, pleasure and mirth, and were therefore welcome guests at festivities, especially at the banquets of the gods.

Bearing in mind that this is a memorial medal issued after death it appears to me that the Dioscuri's inclusion is meant to represent the circle of life, days, seasons, years & death, the sun still rises, cassiopeia still rotates in the heavens and life on Earth goes on and though Turner the man is dead, his art has placed Turner among the immortals and the 3 Graces await to welcome him to the banquet of the Gods.

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