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Voltaire Medal

Object Number: 
1947.311
Date: 
1778
Medium: 
Bronze
Dimensions: 
diameter: 1 9/16 in. ( 4 cm )
Description: 
Bronze struck medal with nude bust facing right; surrounding legend: "G.WASHINGTON. Er. GENERAL OF THE CONTINl. ARMY IN AMERICA." Reverse with radiant military trophy surrounded by legend: "WASHIN. REUNI PAR UN RARE ASSEMBLAGE, LES TALENS DU GUERRIER & LES VERTUS DU SAGE" ("Washington combines in a single union the talents of a warrior and the virtues of a philosopher").
Gallery Label: 
This medal was reportedly struck in Paris by order of Voltaire. The portrait is imaginary and this piece is the earliest medal ever struck for George Washington. Some authorities believe that the imaginary portrait is based on the features of British humanitarian Jeremy Bentham.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mr. James Hazen Hyde
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group