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Richard Yeo (c. 1720-79)

Medal commemorating the Battle of Culloden. 1746

5.15 cm (diameter) | RCIN 443228

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  • 1 medal : silver

    Obverse: Cuirassed bust of the Duke of Cumberland right, hair tied behind and with a lion's skin wrapped around his armour. GULIELMUS . GEOR . II . R . FIL . DUX . CUMBRIAE .

    Reverse: The Duke as Hercules trampling upon Discord and raising Britannia. In exergue: PERDVELLIB . EX . ANG . FUGAT . / AD CULLOD . DEBELLAT . / 16 . APR . 1746

    After the defeat of the Jacobite forces at Culloden, several medals commemorating the engagement were struck. This is probably the finest of them, designed by Richard Yeo, afterwards engraver to the Royal Mint, and successor to John Tanner as Chief Engraver in 1775. He was a member of the Society of Artists, and a founder member of the Royal Academy, with whom he exhibited 1769–70. He designed two medals for the Battle of Culloden: the first was designed to be worn, but this second was created for a collector’s market, issued in gold, silver and copper. It was advertised in the London Gazette, 3–7 February 1747, and was available by subscription at one guinea for the silver and half a guinea for the copper. The gold was to be sold for two guineas more than the cost of the metal. The obverse showed a bust of the Duke of Cumberland, possibly modelled from life, with a lion’s skin wrapped around him, and the reverse an image of Hercules trampling Discord, while raising Britannia. The inscription on the reverse emphasised the message – in translation, ‘The rebels driven from England and defeated at Culloden, 16 April 1746’. The lion’s skin may have been draped around the duke in order to identify him with the Hercules on the reverse, who is shown, following tradition, clad in the skin of the Nemean Lion (whom he killed in his first Labour).

    Text adapted from The First Georgians; Art and Monarchy 1714 - 1760, London, 2014.
  • Medium and techniques

    5.15 cm (diameter)