A Collection of Life Saving Awards formed by Dr Paul Démogé

Date of Auction: 6th December 2017

Sold for £360

Estimate: £300 - £400

France, Second Empire, Medal of Honour for Saving Life, Ministry of the Marine, large silver medal, 6th issue, by Caqué, 44mm, Napoleon III on obverse; 6th model reverse inscribed ‘A Daniel Shea Commandant du Life Boat Royal Albert. Services a la Marine Marchande Françaies 1859.’ on cartouche flanked by supporters, with ball and ring suspension, silver stamp to edge, minor edge bruising, good very fine £300-400


‘On 8 March 1859 the French brig Gonsalve, of Nantes, driven towards the English coast, found herself unable to weather Trevose Head and was forced to run for Padstow harbour, Cornwall. As the brig reached the lee of Stepper Point eddy winds caught her and the tide and heavy seas drove her out onto Doombar Sand. The Institution lifeboat Albert Edward was launched and, although repeatedly filled by seas, took off the crew of seven before the brig went to pieces.’

Daniel Shea served as Coxswain of the Padstow Lifeboat the Albert Edward (not the Royal Albert as erroneously referred to on the medal); for this action, and for the rescue of the four man crew of the Ipswich schooner Frederick William in near identical circumstances on 15 March 1859, he was awarded the R.N.L.I. silver medal.