What just happened?

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.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Lead medal - no reverse.(obverse) Bust of Anne Boleyn, three-quarters, left, pedimental headdress, with large veil at back, cross hanging from necklace, low dress and mantle over shoulders. In the field, initials.

  • Date

    • 1534
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 38 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

        THE MOOST HAPPI . ANNO 1534
  • Curator's comments

    Medallic illustrations 1
    Probably cast from a carving in wood or hone-stone.

    Hawkins states (1885): "Anne Boleyn, daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, married publicly 12 April, 1534, and beheaded 19 May, 1535. This medallion commemorates her coronation, which took place on Whitsun - Monday, 1 June, 1534, and her dress as given on this piece corresponds with contemporary records of the ceremony of that day."
    In fact, Anne’s coronation was held on 1 June 1533. The medal may therefore have been devised to celebrate the birth of Anne and Henry’s second child, for records show that Anne was pregnant in 1534, but she either miscarried or gave birth to a still born baby. Anne was in fact married publicly in 1533 and beheaded in 1536.
    The most likely interpretation of the letters A R is that they refer to Anne herself as ANNA REGINA (Queen Anne).


  • Bibliography

    • Medallic Illustrations 1 p34.22 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    2015, 16 Mar - 19 Jul, Paris, Musee de Luxembourg, Les Vrais Tudors PROMISED
    2009 9 Apr-3 Aug, London, Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII, 500th Anniversary
    2012 27 Apr-9 Sep, London, National Maritime Museum, Royal River

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    4 February 2003

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Light clean and coat silver with B72.


    Lightly coated with dust and grime dulling the silver and gold surfaces, some thick waxy dirt in deep recesses.

    Treatment details

    Dust and particles removed by washing and brushed with soft artist brush in Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol, methanol). Other surface deposits, not tarnish/patina, removed by cleaning using Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol, methanol) on cotton wool swabs. Surface lightly brushed with soft dry brush.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Commemoration of: Coronation of Anne Boleyn.
  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Coins & Medals

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • E H leads (11 24)
  • C&M Catalogue number

    • MB1p34.22
Lead medal.

Obverse & Reverse

Lead medal.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: CME730

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help