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Marquis of Wellington, British Victories in the Peninsula, 1815

Twenty-five gilt metal medalettes, contained in tubular gilt bronze container. The obverse of each struck with a figure of winged victory bearing victor’s laurels and a sword surrounded by the legend ‘By the Mercy of God’. The reverse of each inscribed with the date and place of a British victory in Iberian Penisula. The lid of the tube set with the portrait of the Marquis of Wellington. The tube inscribed ‘British Victories in the Peninsula’, and the base of the tube set with a medalette inscribed ‘First / Battle / Portugal /  Aug. 17 1808 / Last Battle /  France / Ap 10 1814’. Inside of the lid bearing maker’s details ‘Manufactured by Thomason & Jones’.

Sir Edward Thomason (1769-1849) was a silversmith, manufacturer and inventor. He was the son of a Birmingham buckle-manufacturer, and at the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to Matthew Boulton, of Soho. After the retirement of his father in 1793, he started a manufactory of gilt and plated buttons, then also medals, tokens, works in bronze, and silver and gold plate - signed Thomason & Jones. In 1802 he hit the jackpot when he patented an improvement to the corkscrew. Over the next fourteen years his factory turned out 130,000 units before allowing manufacture under license. In 1818 he was elected to the office of High Bailiff of Birmingham. He was also vice-consul for the town of Birmingham for the governments of Russia, France, Prussia, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Sweden and Norway. He was knighted by William IV in 1832.

© The Armoury of St James's 17 Piccadilly Arcade London SW1Y 6NH