British Educational Award Medals from the Collection formed by the late T.H. Watts

Date of Auction: 13th March 2018

Sold for £400

Estimate: £200 - £260

LONDON, Bishopsgate, J. Cutler’s Academy, an engraved silver Prize Medal for Arithmetic by J. Jackson, legend, rev. legend (From Numbers’ Aid and Art Never will Fame depart), named (G. Dudley, Christmas AD 1817), hallmarked London 1817, 45mm, 22.48g (Grimshaw p.28; D & W 241/292, this piece). Good very fine, rare; pierced for suspension £200-260


The verse on the medal’s reverse, ‘From numbers' aid and art, never will fame depart’, is a mnemonic for resolving the original ‘Josephus problem’, in which from a circle of 41 men every third man is killed. It was also used as a winning formula in backgammon where the black pieces represented the Turks and the white, Christians