Orders, Decorations and Medals (16 & 17 September 2010)

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Date of Auction: 16th & 17th September 2010

Sold for £500

Estimate: £500 - £600

The Portuguese Military Order of Christ awarded to the celebrated medallist and artist William Wyon, who designed many of the campaign medals included in this collection

Portugal, Kingdom, Military Order of Christ, Commander’s neck badge, 56mm. by 41mm., double-sided, gold and enamel, unmarked, with gold ring suspension, circa 1840, good very fine £500-600

Footnote

Ex Spink, 27 September 2007, Pattern Coins, Specimen Medals, Wax Studies & Drawings from the Wyon Family - ‘The Property of a Lady’.

In 1835 the Portuguese Government applied to the British Government to permit William Wyon to proceed to Lisbon for the purpose of making a model of Her Most Faithful Majesty Donna Maria to be used for the obverse of a new coinage for Portugal. Nicolas Carlisle, in his A Memoir of the Life and Works of William Wyon, published in 1837, states:

‘The consent of the British Government being obtained and his medical advisors being of the opinion that his health might be improved by the sea voyage, Mr. Wyon embarked on the 22nd September and, after a very tempestuous voyage, arrived safely at Lisbon. His stay in that capital appears to have been satisfactory in the highest degree. The model of Her Majesty was esteemed to be a most happy likeness - and the youthful Queen was so well pleased that she graciously commanded Mr. Wyon to execute a large medal from it, to be used in the intended coinage. After an agreeable residence of six weeks in the city of Lisbon, Mr. Wyon requested the permission of Her Majesty to return to England, which being graciously complied with, our artist, in the month of November, stepped again upon his native soil, to the great joy of his family, and amidst the congratulation of his friends, for the consummate manner in which he had upholden the taste, talent and dignity of the unshackled genius of a Briton, and he now reaps a proud reward in the new series of coins, which he has engraved for the Portuguese Dominions.’