Gold Naval Medal for 1794 Battle Against French Realized £314,000

2016-04-09 Sat

Some artefacts of British naval Admiral Lord Graves’s life are getting good public attention inspite of his lustreless career. Bonhams in London auctioned a rare gold medal presented to Graves for the British Fleet’s victory at the Battle of the Glorious First of June, in 1794 during the French Revolutionary War. The medal, engraved Lloyds presentation trophy and seven logs and letter books, realized £314,000, including the buyer’s fee, against an estimate of £140,000 to £160,000. The premium is 20 percent on the first £70,000 and 15 percent of any amount thereafter.

His medal is one of only seven large examples awarded for the victory, according to the auction house.

The obverse of the medal depicts Britannia, a spear in her left hand and a shield below, standing on the deck of an antique galley. Her right foot rests on a helmet and a winged victory crowns her with a wreath.

The reverse features a wreath formed from oak (right) and laurel (left) encircling the periphery. An engraved inscription within reads “Thomas Graves Esquire Admiral and Second in Command on the 1 of June MDCCXCIV. The French Fleet Defeated.”