1851 Great Exhibition Rare Council Medal - By W.Wyon

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  • Regular price £1,995.00

Eimer 1455, BHM 2461.

89mm. By W.Wyon.

Reverse showing standing figures of Commerce and Industry, their hands clasped, each crowned by Britannia. Edge reads 'SMITH & BECK. CLASS X. COUNCIL MEDAL OF THE EXHIBITION'.

Good Extremely Fine and very rare. By far the rarest of the 1851 Great Exhibition Medals with only 174 awarded, compared with 2918 prize medals. 

Richard Beck (1827-1866) and Joseph Beck FRAS, FRMS (June 1828-18 April 1891) (nephews of J.J Lister) formed the optical manufacturing firm of R and J Beck in 1843, based at 69 Mortimer Street, London. James Smith worked with the company under the name of Smith and Beck, renamed Smith, Beck and Beck in 1854 but reverting to R and J Beck when Smith retired in 1865. In 1968 the company was taken over by The Ealing Corporation, South Natick, Massachusetts, becoming Ealing Beck Ltd., then in 1990 Davin Optronics acquired the business and today it still trades in Hemel Hempstead as Beck Optronic Solutions Ltd. Smith is credited with helping to raise the status of the use of microscopes within scientific research.