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Death Medal George III 1820


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This is BHM#1001 WM. 40mm by Thomas Wyon Senior, signed T.W. on the truncation. Notice though, in the exergue, below DIED 81 YEARS you can see CCCX or at least partially. On elverno's Napoleonic Medals site you can see the same reverse die was used on BHM#1002 with the same CCCX(not quite as noticeable though) http://www.napoleonicmedals.org/coins/bhm-1002rev.htm. So clearly the latin numerals were started in the exergue then abandoned. Strangely, Brown attributes BHM#1001 solely to Wyon, but states BHM#1002 by T. Wyon Sr. or T. Willets and Messrs Kempson & Son(the obverse is signed K & S) http://www.napoleonicmedals.org/coins/bhm-1002.htm . He doesn't see to realise that the reverses are from the exact same reverse die, he just states for 1002 reverse similar too 1001.

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Now I have enlarged the exergue it also looks like a D or 5 below the E in YEAR.

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The curious aspect is that really for so long his death would have not been unexpected - in fact he was near death nearly 30 years before when he first had been diagnosed with some of the mental illness issues. Of course we all know that after 1811 the regency under his son was started and George III was sidelined in everything even the media. Of course the Napoleonic wars and the events in the continent were paramount and George III basically dropped off the map.

 

So it is funny that the reverse would have borrowed work from a previous medal - it was not like a shock death like Princess Diana - actually his death had been anticipated for some time.

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So true what you say about poor George but there is no record of the reverse being used for any other medals, just these 2 death medals in 1820, the design is clearly for a King's death. So I do not think it was an earlier die that was altered, I think Wyon must have just started engraving a different design in the exergue(using latin numerals) but then changed the design for an aesthetic reason, possibly because the obverse used arabic numerals he decided to be consistent by using arabic on the reverse too.

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