Medal

A small piece of metal, usually circular, struck or cast to give relief decoration on one or both sides. Medals can be made of bronze, silver, lead or gold and are comparable to coins in size, material, and decoration, but were not intended for use as currency. Portrait images typically decorate the front, whereas the back, if ornamented, usually displays an emblem, symbolic motif, narrative scene, and/or inscription that refers to the life or personality of the person on the front.

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Queen Mary I, after Jacopo da Trezzo, (circa 1555) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Mary I
after Jacopo da Trezzo
(circa 1555)
NPG 446(1)

Queen Elizabeth I, by Steven van Herwijck, 1565 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Elizabeth I
by Steven van Herwijck
1565
NPG 4294

Henry Scobell, by Thomas Simon, 1649 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henry Scobell
by Thomas Simon
1649
NPG 4363

Oliver Cromwell (

Oliver Cromwell ('The Dunbar Medal')
by Thomas Simon
1650
NPG 4365

Frances Teresa Stuart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox, cast of a medal by John Roettier, 19th century (circa 1667) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Frances Teresa Stuart, Duchess of Richmond and Lennox
cast of a medal by John Roettier
19th century (circa 1667)
NPG 1681

William Hunter, by Edward Burch, 1774 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

William Hunter
by Edward Burch
1774
NPG 6012

Edward Forbes, by Leonard Charles Wyon, after a bust by  John Graham Lough, (1856) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Forbes
by Leonard Charles Wyon, after a bust by John Graham Lough
(1856)
NPG 1609

Henry Fawcett, by Mary Grant, 1886 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henry Fawcett
by Mary Grant
1886
NPG 1086

Frank Hedges Butler, by William Morris, 1923 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Frank Hedges Butler
by William Morris
1923
NPG 6242

(Arthur) Neville Chamberlain, by Victor Demanet, 1938 - NPG  - Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

(Arthur) Neville Chamberlain
by Victor Demanet
1938
NPG 4268

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