1851 CRYSTAL PALACE- Magnificent High Relief 1851 Crystal Palace Medal #1333
This large white metal medal—like so many in our sale because it was the most-used at the time for such medals—offers more features to appreciate than most!
The high relief in the upper half of the obverse offers a very interesting perspective, showing people on the lawns surrounding the Crystal Palace. And while many medals logically have a dominant image of the building, this one provides a slightly different perspective so it can show a bit more of the far side of it.
The lower half of the medal is almost as if it were a completely different style. The design is in very high relief and the two angels surrounding the crowned oval guard Queen Victoria and Prince Albert inside. Still, the medal’s designer created that space dividing two very different styles to incorporate the architect’s name and then either the contractor or perhaps die sinker at the right side.
This multi-topic is a bit reminiscent of the medal actually struck more than 40 years later, the unusual Columbian medal that managed to show the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the landing of the Mayflower AND the landing of Columbus, a pretty tall order for a single medal. This is much more subtle and frankly, far more outstanding in terms of design and execution of the idea. While rather simple, the reverse manages to add a touch of design to an all-text side of the medal with the almost first-person story told around the perimeter.