- Museum number
Beggar's Benison club medal; silver gilt; inscriptions; suspension loop; obverse: Adonis with hound and spear surprising Venus over whom Cupid watches; reverse: Adam and Eve, with lion and tree.
- Production date
- Curator's comments
- The Beggar's Benison was founded in 1732 in the port of Anstruther, north of Edinburgh, by a group of local lairds and merchants. Formed as a jovial society for the entertainment of libertines, the underlying link was tax evasion and the support of free trade. It lasted until 1836. The club adopted the motto: 'Be Fruitful and Multiply' and engraved it on medals worn at meetings. Various manuscripts and artefacts relating to the society are held at St Andrews University.
For a full account of the Beggar's Benison society, see J. Peakman, 'Lascivious Bodies. A sexual history of the eighteenth century', London 2004, chapter 6: 'Scottish Secret Sex Societies', pp. 129-147. See also Stevenson, David, 'The Beggar's Benison: Sex Clubs of Enlightenment Scotland and their Rituals', East Linton, 2001.
The subject is described in the 'Records of the Most Ancient and Puissant Order of the Beggar's Benison and Merryland, Anstruther', Anstruther 1892, reprinted Paul Harris Publishing (Edinburgh) 1982, pp. 19-20, as 'Adonis with his Dog or Hound and Spear, surprising Venus over whom Cupid watches.'
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: W.312