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Exploration Medals

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  • Polar Hero – Jean-Baptiste Charcot Medal – 1930

    Polar Hero – Jean-Baptiste Charcot Medal – 1930

    Large commemorative medal to celebrate the life of Jean-Baptiste Auguste Etienne Charcot (1867-1936) issued in 1936 under the auspices of Expeditions Polaires Francaises. Charcot Frances greatest polar explorer led two successful expeditions to the Antarctic during the Heroic era. He was a doctor and son of neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot.

    His first expedition from 1904-1907 in the Francais explored the west coast of Graham Land. This was followed by the 1908-1910 explorations in the Pourquoi-Pas? The subject of the edition offered here. Later he turned his attention to the North and made scientific explorations off Greenland and Svalbard again in the Porquois-Pas? He died when the ship was wrecked in a severe storm off the coast of Iceland in 1936.

    This substantial bronze medal, 67mm in diameter and weighing 150 gm celebrates his life. It was designed by E.M. Lindauer, with a bust after Paul Richer. Richer, an anatomical artist, was a colleague of Charcot’s father and worked with him in illustrating certain medical texts. Richer’s sculptures are found in museums around the world including the Musee d’Orsay.

    The medal carries a bust of J.B. Charcot on the front acknowledging Paul Richer and on reverse and image of the Pourquoi-Pas? Among icebergs with Expeditions Polaires Francaises above and the ships name below. Very good condition with very strong relief.

    An example of this medal sold as lot 79 in the Scott Amundsen Centenary Sale at Bonhams, London in 2012 for A$2,500

    Special Antarctic Collectable Celebrates the life of J.B. Charcot

    $590.00

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  • Abel Tasman Medal – 350 Years

    Abel Tasman Medal – 350 Years

    Unlike our other example this medal is silent about its purpose. However, it was issued to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the discovery of Tasmania by Abel Tasman. We think also sponsored by the Trust Bank of Tasmania.

    40 mm diameter, 25 gm, intricately engraved, in heavy relief, with an image of Tasman performing some nautical calculations and his vessels on one side with leaf design on reverse.

    Tasman celebrated with a nicely engraved design

    $55.00

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  • Abel Tasman Medal – 350th Anniversary of the Discovering of the West Coast of Tasmania 1642-1992

    Abel Tasman Medal – 350th Anniversary of the Discovering of the West Coast of Tasmania 1642-1992

    An interesting medallion for historians and the cartographically inspired. Produced for the Trust Bank of Tasmania.

    48 mm diameter, 42 gm, intricately engraved on one side with gum leaf design on reverse.

    The intricate design has a map of the central west coast of Tasmania noting Zeehan, Queenstown and Strahan; a nice image of Tasman’s vessel and a compass rose. Narrative details of the sighting 24th November 1642 and the landing at Tasman Bay on the East side on the 3rd of December 1642.

    Tasman – first European sighting commemorated

    $70.00

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  • George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1968

    George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1968

    George Bass, Surgeon and Explorer carried out two voyages to confirm the Bass Strait and the separation of Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land) from mainland Australia – known affectionately in Tasmania as “The Other Island”.

    First, in 1797 he set off in an open whaleboat with a crew of six. They sailed to Cape Howe at the farthest point of South-east Australia and, from there sailed west along the Gippsland coast to Western Point, at the entrance to Port Phillip. Observations of the rapid tide and long south-western swell supported his view that a large Strait lay in front of him.

    In 1798 he set out again, with Matthew Flinders in the sloop Norfolk and circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land. They visited the Derwent River which had previously been named by Captain John Hayes. On return to Sydney, Flinders promoted the naming of the Strait after Bass … the then Governor, John Hunter agreed.

    Bass’s later life was adventurous and possibly … likely … tragic, making the date of his death noted on the medal questionable.

    The medal was struck in 1968. It was produced by K.G. Luke & Sons, Melbourne for the Numismatic Association of Victoria. 160 examples were produced in this bronze form and a similar number in silver. 50mm in diameter, 48gms weight, with a high relief bust of Bass facing right, carrying his spyglass. On the reverse a delightful image of the whaleboat, the sloop Norfolk and the chart and route of the vessels, appropriately dated.

    Unusual medal to celebrate the achievements of George Bass

    $170.00

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  • Bass and Flinders – Circumnavigation of Tasmania – 200th Anniversary Medal

    Bass and Flinders – Circumnavigation of Tasmania – 200th Anniversary Medal

    Together Matthew Flinders and George Bass were the first to circumnavigate Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), in HM Sloop Norfolk, in 1788/89.

    This large fine limited run medal was produced in Tasmania to celebrate the 200th anniversary i.e. 1998/99.

    Only 120 were produced in this form, this being number 53, marked to the rim. Cast in white metal, 800 mm diameter, 115gms weight. Strong deep profile, fine condition.

    Carries the bust of both Flinders an Bass either side of the sloop’s mast, with descriptive text. On the reverse a map of Van Diemen’s Land with the route taken marked and a fine and substantial depiction of the vessel fully rigged.

    Limited numbered run of important maritime celebration.

    $150.00

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  • James Cook Bicentennial Medal (1970) by Andor Meszaros

    James Cook Bicentennial Medal (1970) by Andor Meszaros

    A striking medal issues by the National Trust of Australia in 1970 to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of James Cook’s discovery of the east coast of mainland Australia.

    Copper bronze 50mm in diameter, weigh 60gm (160gm cased). Heavy relief portrait of Cook dominates the right hand edge of the medal with the Endeavour helmsman covering the whole of the background … the impression is of is singularly focused observation of the fits sighting .. which would have been at Point Hicks. The narrative James Cook 1770-1970 to the left and below that the signature of the medallist Andor Meszaros. On the reverse the National Trust emblem. A fine example still housed in its original felt lined case all in fine condition. 3,000 medals were cast so it is not uncommon but how many still have their original case and remain unmarked.

    Hungarian born Andor Meszaros (1900-1972) perhaps Australia’s greatest medallist. He was a natural sculptor and held high positions in the art in Australia and, recognised by his peers internationally. His name was made as a medallist when he designed the Melbourne Olympic Games Medals in 1956 … he also designed the Australian Vietnam War Medal in 1968.

    James Cook honoured at 200 years by distinguished medallist Meszaros

    $70.00

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