A CALENDAR 1833 by [POCKET PERPETUAL CALENDAR.]

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Unusual ‘King’s Portrait’ Calendar Medal

A CALENDAR 1833 Sunday Figures... [unsigned, with no maker of place of issue, though possibly Birmingham, by Thomas Halliday.]

1833. Single year brass calendar medal, 39 mm in diametre, with central shield shaped calendar table of Sundays in each month, with Dominical Letter and surrounding inscriptions giving date of calendar, law terms and date and time of eclipses, with on the obverse a central portrait of George IV surrounded by concentric panels giving principle feasts days of the year and noting new and full moons; a little burnished with some small areas of staining; A nice, bright example, though unsigned, of a pocket calendar medal, of particular appeal featuring as it does the portrait of William IV. Such pocket aide-mémoires found widespread popularity during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, with noted makers such as John Powell and Peter Kempson (1755-1824), both originally button-makers from Birmingham, amongst the most prolific coin and token manufacturers. Neither ever featured a monarch’s portrait however, making the present example more unusual.
The obverse provides the calendar table, as well as noting both sun and moon eclipses, and noting the law terms: Hillary Term Jan 11 to Jan 31; Easter Apr. 15 to May 8; Trinity May 22 to June 12; Michls Nov 2 to Nov 25.
The obverse features a bust facing right of Willian IV ‘King of Great Brit.’ and is surounded with three concentric circles noting the main feast days of the year, and noting the New and Full moons.
Coin auctions point to this being possibly the work of Halliday (1771-1844), and though we have not been able to compare visually, the present examples certaily bears strong similarities to examples by him held at the British Museum. ‘Medallist, token-engraver, manufacturer of buttons, studs, Halliday originally worked at Soho Mint before setting up own business, first at Islington Row and Ann Street, then at 69 Newhall Street for some 30 years until his death. He is considered to have produced some of the best commemorative medals of national and personal events, including Reform, Anti-Slavery and Public Institution medals. ‘With Thomas Halliday, the design of the calendar medal, basically unaltered since 1742, underwent a considerable change. The square calendar table on the obverse becomes shield-shaped with the law terms arranged along edge and the lunar table and the memorable dates alongside it are replaced by a circular arrangement. For the first time a portrait bust of the British monarch appears in the centre on the reverse, firstly of George IV and from 1830 of William IV’ ‘Silke Ackermann, Maths and Memory, Calendar Medals in the British Museum, Part I, The Medal, no. 45, Autumn 2004, p. 41.

Bibliography: Cf https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/C_1922-0407-374

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