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Queen Victoria 1897 Diamond Jubilee Portrait Medal

Queen Victoria 1897 Diamond Jubilee Portrait Medal


Produced to commemorate the 1897 Jubilee Year of Queen Victoria's reign, this stunning two-sided 1897 Diamond Jubilee Portrait Medal features a detailed profile portrait of Queen Victoria on each side. Romantically depicted in Greco-Roman bust style with bandeau and olive branches at the inception of her 60 year-reign, young Victoria is surrounded by a gracious blessing from Proverbs. It reads:

'Longitvdo Diervm in Dextera Eivs'
'Et in Sinistra Gloria'
'Length of days in her right hand; and in the left, glory.'

The obverse side of the coin features a crowned and veiled bust of the Queen at the time of her Jubilee. It proclaims:

'Victoria Annvm Regni Sexagesimvm Feliciter Clavdit XX IVN MDCCCXCVII'
'Victoria successfully completed the sixtieth year of her reign, 20 June, 1897'

Designed, modeled and engraved by George William de Saulles, prolific metalsmith and obverse coin craftsman during the final two decades of Queen Victoria's rule, this medal is a lovely example of a more specialized class of royal memorabilia, produced to commemorate grand historic events through the ages. Artisans like de Saulles were commissioned to create beautiful pieces of memorabilia. Highly collectable, their meaning goes far beyond memorializing an event long past. They are substantial works of art, having captured the spirit of their time as much as they capture our imaginations today.

The striking medal nestles within its original presentation case under a lid adorned by a crown and the date span 1837-1897. With an elegant presence considered au courant in its time, this splendid artifact from the reign of Queen Victoria, is sure to lend its grace and beauty to any setting.

Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. 2.25" in diameter. Presentation case 3.25" x 3.25". In good antique condition with wear to the presentation case. as seen in the alternate images.

Learn More About Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 until her death on January 22, 1901. From May 1, 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.

Victoria was born on May 24, 1819 and was the daughter of Prince Edward, the fourth son of King George III. In a twist of fate, both her father and the King died in 1820, and Victoria was raised under close supervision by her very strict German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. On June 20, 1837, Victoria's uncle King William IV died at the age of 71, and at the very young age of 18, Victoria became Queen.  In her diary she wrote, "I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen."

The United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy, in which the Sovereign held relatively few direct political powers. Privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Publicly, she became a national icon, and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. By all accounts a happy union, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning Victoria the nickname "the grandmother of Europe".

After Albert's early death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning for the remainder of her life, choosing to wear black and having a special crown fashioned that would allow her widow's cap (head veil) to remain in place for royal engagements. 

The 60th anniversary of her reign, her Diamond Jubilee, was a time of joyous public celebration on June 22, 1897. Queen Victoria had surpassed her grandfather King George III as the longest-reigning British monarch on 23 September 1896, an event she marked privately at Balmoral Castle.  Writing in her journal, she reflected "People wished to make all sorts of demonstrations, which I asked them not to do until I had completed the sixty years next June." The Diamond Jubilee became a historic opportunity to celebrate Victoria's status as longest-reigning monarch, in addition to marking 60 years on the throne.

On the anniversary date of her accession, 78 year-old Victoria once again reflected in her journal: "This eventful day, 1897 has opened, and I pray God to help and protect me as He has hitherto done these sixty long eventful years! I feel sad at the new losses I have sustained... God will surely help me on! How well I remember this day sixty years ago when I was called from my bed by dear Mama to receive the news of my accession!"

Until the record-setting service of Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and seven months was the longest of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history.  Still referred to today as the Victorian era, it was a period of vast industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom.

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