• Medallions

    The medallions shown here all date from the early 20th century.

    Medallions were first produced in small numbers by the Romans as a means of rewarding victorious generals. The art of making them was revived during the Renaissance when sculptors and jewellers produced individually cast medallions. These commemorated successful battles or the reigns of rulers, Only the aristocracy could afford these costly items, and so they were often displayed in special cabinets. Methods of die-casting large medallions were perfected in the 19th century, The initial medallion was designed by specialist sculptors or medallists, but the finished product was mass produced. As a result, medallions became popular collectable objects for the middle classes, although the subjects shown still celebrated an event or person.

    During the First World War medallions were produced not only as commemorative items but also for propaganda purposes, and as a means of raising money for the war effort.

    The sinking of the <em>Lusitania</em>Karl Goetz
    The sinking of the Lusitania

    The obverse shows Death selling tickets at Cunard’s New York office beneath a German sign that says business first. A man reads a newspaper article about the U-boat menace and the German ambassador raises a warning finger. The reverse shows the sinking Lusitania, with armaments falling from her deck and German words that say no contraband.
    RELAWM13813

    The sinking of the <em>Lusitania</em>Karl Goetz
    The sinking of the Lusitania

    The obverse shows Death selling tickets at Cunard’s New York office beneath a German sign that says business first. A man reads a newspaper article about the U-boat menace and the German ambassador raises a warning finger. The reverse shows the sinking Lusitania, with armaments falling from her deck and German words that say no contraband.
    REL/01276

    Dixmuiden: withstand the raging of the stormUnknown
    Dixmuiden: withstand the raging of the storm

    RELAWM01219

    Grieving woman and child at a soldier's graveMarcelle Lancelot-Croce
    Grieving woman and child at a soldier's grave

    RELAWM09346.001

    Heroes of VerdunCharles Pillet
    Heroes of Verdun

    RELAWM09354.001

    Unnamed prize-winners medallionLouis-Alexandre Bottee; Adolphe Rivet
    Unnamed prize-winners medallion

    RELAWM09357.001

    Burial of the unknown French soldierMarcel Dammann
    Burial of the unknown French soldier

    RELAWM09361.001

    To the glory of the armies of right and libertyJulien Prosper Legastelois
    To the glory of the armies of right and liberty

    RELAWM09596.002

    Versailles peace treaty, 1919Raoul Benard
    Versailles peace treaty, 1919

    RELAWM09597.001

    ANZAC: in eternal remembrance 1914–19Dora Ohlfsen
    Anzac: in eternal remembrance 1914–19

    The Australian sculptor Dora Ohlfsen designed this medallion while she was working in Rome. It was manufactured in England. Ohlfsen returned to Australia in 1920 to promote the sale of the medallion in aid of permanently disabled Australian and New Zealand soldiers. The obverse shows the figure of Australia crowning her dead son with laurel.
    RELAWM14879

    John Bull (England) tries to presuade a reluctant Uncle Sam (United States) to cross the Atlantic and join the warKarl Goetz
    John Bull (England) tries to presuade a reluctant Uncle Sam (United States) to cross the Atlantic and join the war

    RELAWM13825

    U-Boat blockadeKarl Goetz
    U-Boat blockade

    RELAWM13831

    England's honourable flag: U-41Karl Goetz
    England's honourable flag: U-41

    RELAWM13817

    The awakening of Australian Art Dora Ohlfsen
    The awakening of Australian Art

    RELAWM14881

    I shall strike the stars [reverse]Marcel Dammann
    I shall strike the stars [reverse]

    RELAWM14885