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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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forgery / medal

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Oval silver medal with ring for suspension. On both sides broad border of trophies taken from the Dutch, in which appear the shields of Holland and Zealand.(obverse) An anchor, from the beams of which are suspended three united shields, bearing St. George's cross for England, St. Andrew's for Scotland, and a harp for Ireland; the cable encircles the whole.
    (reverse) Naval engagement: in the foreground is a ship sinking, on the stern of which is the artist's name, and on the prow of another, his initials.


  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 17C
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 56 millimetres
    • Width: 52 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Medallic Illustrations 1
    Very rare.
    At the time of publication of this catalogue the British Museum did not possess an example of this medal. This example is a modern fake.

    Hawkins states (1885): “Four of these medals, with rings for suspension, were ordered by the Parliament to be struck in commemoration of naval victories over the Dutch in February, June, and July, 1653. Two with chains of £300 value each, were presented to Blake and Monk; two with chains of £100 value each, to Admirals Penn and Lawson. That of Admiral Penn, with its chain, remains in the possession of his descendant, Colonel William Stuart of Tempsford Hall, Beds. That in Her Majesty's possession is the one described in Van Loon as belonging to the Greffier Fagel, and which he erroneously supposes to be chased, not struck. The third specimen, formerly in the possession of Captain John Hamilton, was sold with the rest of his collection in May, 1882.
    For a fuller description of this and the three following medals see Numismatic Chronicle, The, and Journal of the Numismatic Society, London, XIII. p. 102. The original die of the reverse of this medal is in the British Museum. Recent imitations are not uncommon, and are easily distinguished by the absence of the artist's initials on the obverse, and on the reverse the sinking ship is inscribed, A. SIMON.”

    See Pinkerton, J., ‘The Medallic History of England to the Revolution’, London, 1790 (fol.), xxiii. 1; Van Loon, Gerard, ‘Histoire Métallique des XVII. Provinces des Pays-Bas’, 5 vol. La Haye, 1732-1837 (fol) [There is also an edition in Dutch, but with different paging], II. 366; Vertue, George, ‘Medals, Coins, Great Seals, &c., of T. Simon, Chief Engraver of the Mint to K. Charles the 1st, &c.’ [London], 1753, xvi.


  • Bibliography

    • Medallic Illustrations 1 p398.26 bibliographic details
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    26 May 1993

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Stabilize and lacquer


    Apparent loss of surface detail. A white haze to both surfaces.

    Treatment details

    Stabilized by consolidative electrolytic reduction in a 5% aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide electrolyte using stainless steel anodes.The reduced lead was washed in running tap water for 4 hours and then soaked for 2 minutes in dilute sulphuric acid ( 2 drops of concentrated acid to 1 Litre of distilled water), testing the pH at 30 second intervals. This was repeated until the pH of the acid wash remained unchanged with the lead present for 30 minutes. It was then washed in running tap water for 2 hours and finally rinsed in several changes of distilled water. It was dried through IMS. Lacquered with 5% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone. .

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Naval Reward
  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Coins & Medals

  • Registration number


  • C&M Catalogue number

    • MB1p398.26

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Object reference number: CME1514

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