- Museum number
Badge of the Anti-Gallican Society. In the centre is a painted enamel of the arms of the Society St George on horseback spearing flag of Royal Arms of France.The escutcheon is supported by a yellow lion and a grey double-headed eagle.A blue enamelled scroll has a gold motto. At the top an addition has been made of a crown set with rock-crystals surmounted by five ship's sails each bearing a flag with the cross of St George. The fitting for this addition is visible at the back. At the base is a seated Britannia painted beneath a glass medallion. The back is covered by silver-gilt plaques engraved with designs repeated from the front. A silver suspension loop is on the back of crown and the pendant is set in silver scrollwork with faceted rock-crystals.
- Production date
- 1750-1755 (circa)
Height: 13.90 centimetres (max)
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no 335:
The Anti-Gallican Society was formed about 1745 'to promote the BRITISH MANUFACTURIES, to extend the commerce of England, and to discourage the introducing of French Modes, and oppose the Importation of French Commodities .............[It] was always composed of Gentlemen of the best Character and Address, none being admitted but persons of Reputation and Loyalty .....' (The Antigallican Privateer, 'by a Gentleman just arrived from Cadiz', London 1757, p. 4). The Society continued to exist till the end of the Napoleonic Wars (see Alister 1970, pp.211-17).
A number of engraved or enamelled badges and boxes, and also ceramic items, bearing the suitably patriotic arms of the Society, are known but nothing as sumptuously made as this badge has been recorded (see Rackham 1924, 111, no.319, pl.41, for a more modestly framed painted enamel example). Most of the other Anti-Gallican pieces bear one of two transfer-printed designs which differ in detail from this badge: for instance, the French arms are on a shield, rather than on a flag. It is not known which artist engraved the copperplates for the two transfer-printed designs, though they may be compared with ones by Simon- Francois Ravenet, the Parisian engraver, who settled in London in about 1744 and whose copperplates were in use at Battersea (see Mew 11928 and C. Cook 1955). One of the leading Anti-Gallicans in the early 1750s was Stephen Theodore Janssen, Lord Mayor of London in 1754-5 (see Gentleman's Magazine, 22, 1752, p.381; British Library, Add. MS35593, f.38).As he was also the principal proprietor of the enamelling factory at York House, Battersea, which was working 1753-6 (Toppin 1932, pp. 65-8), it is possible that the enamel centrepiece to this badge was made at Battersea and that it is earlier than the two versions of the transfer-printed Anti-Gallican design on 'Battersea' enamels (see Watney & Charleston 1966, pp. 90, 96, pl.86). However, for a discussion of other London enamelling workshops of the mid-eighteenth century, see Benton 1972; for a reassessment of Janssen's short-lived enamelling venture and its relationship with the contemporary rivals, see Benton 1977.
By virtue of the subject and the putative link with Janssen, the badge and its surrounding scrollwork can be given a narrow date range. Gem-set jewellery of the eighteenth century is rarely datable with any accuracy and it is unusual to find a rococo design of such sophistication used in jewellery of this type. (Timothy Wilson)
Supplement to catalogue entry:
For an additional article on the Anti-Gallican Society not referred to in Hull Grundy catalogue, see Northern Ceramic Society Newsletter, no. 70, p. 7-9.
For further Anti-Gallican Society material see O'Connell 2003.
From 1751-53 the Society offered prizes for goods manufactured in England, a practice which may have influenced the founding of the Society of Arts in 1754. This is the only surviving Grand Presidents badge so far recorded, and the most ornate of the many enamelled badges and boxes produced for the Society. It is equally remarkable as a are survival of jewellery in the rococo style with its border of rock-crystals in a silver setting of asymmetrical scrolls and curves (visible clearly on the reverse). The row of ships along the top bears no relation to the Society’s arms, and may have been added for Admiral Vernon (1684-1757), MP and distinguished English naval officer, elected Grand President of the Anti-Gallican Society in 1752-53 (see Allan 1989, cited below, p. 623). Vernon was renowned for his capture of the Spanish colonial possession of Porto Bello (now Panama¬) in 1739 with a mere six ships. Vernon destroyed the fortifications but left the town intact so that it was open to British trade, as he put it in a letter to the Secretary of State, the Duke of Newcastle, ‘the only mart for all the Wealth of Peru to come to Europe' (Vernon to Newcastle, 31 Oct 1739, TNA: PRO, SP 42/85, fol. 31, quoted by Richard Harding in DNB), The five ships at the top may be a refence to this naval victory. The Society continued until the end of the Napoleonic wars. See also D.G.C. Allan, ‘The Laudable Association of Antigallicans’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol. 137, No. 5398 (September 1989), pp. 623-628 (papers of the Symposium on French Themes).
- On display (G46/dc18)
- Acquisition notes
- Anne Hull Grundy mss. note : 'Hakim, £750, 1975'
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.161 (masterlist number)