The New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register/Volume 11/Number 64/National Series of Medals


The Series of Medals, engraving under the superintendance and at the expense of Mr. Mudie, is designed to record forty of the most memorable events of the late war, by sea and land, beginning with the hostilities against the French Republic, and ending with the battle of Algiers. In France, from very remote periods, the government has always been at the expense of striking medals on public events. Buonaparte was sensible of their moral and political influence on society, and paid a particular attention to the encouragement and improvement of this art. He spared no expense to bring it to the highest state of perfection. The Emperor Alexander, impressed with a similar conviction, has, lately, granted a considerable sum to a Russian nobleman, who is employing the best artists to engrave a series of medals, to commemorate the expulsion of the French from Russia.

But, in England, we are accustomed to carry on many works of a public nature by the enterprising efforts of individuals: and thus the medallic record of our national glories is the undertaking of a person in private life, who relies on the spirit of his fellow subjects, unsupported by the government in this very arduous and expensive project. The able manner in which many of the medals have been executed, and the patriotic object of the design will, I trust, ensure its ultimate success. But, if the lists of subscribers, which have reached me, be correct, that support is not as extensive as I think Mr. Mudie had reason to hope for. I am inclined to attribute this to his plan not being generally known; and I hope, by these remarks, to give it a greater publicity. Surely no work of art can be more deserving of general support than that which is designed to record the splendid victories of our fleets and armies, during the memorable period of the last twenty-five years. I confess that I am much surprised, on observing that scarcely any encouragement has been given to this national series by the individuals or the families of those whose actions are thus immortalized. The moral influence of painting is great indeed, and cannot be too highly appreciated, but pictures are perishable, and even statues are liable to accident and decay. On the contrary, the convenient size and materials of medals, combine to render them the most durable records of human glory. The last medal, which I have seen of Mr. Mudie’s, is that on Lord Howe’s victory of the 1st of June; and I think the spirit and beauty of the execution challenges competition with any medal of the famed Napoleon Series, though the name of the artist, Wm. Wynn, has not before appeared in the Series. I flatter myself that your tasteful readers will not deem this judgment too favorable, and will agree with me in opinion, that Mr. Mudie, and his patriotic object, and the spirit of his efforts, is amply entitled to public commendation and encouragement.An Amateur.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Public domainPublic domainfalsefalse