60mm. Silver. By A. Barre.
Obverse with bare head of Napoleon III, reverse showing crowned imperial arms, border around of the arms of the participating foreign nations, named in tablet 'AWARDED TO SMITH & BECK FOR MICROSCOPES'.
Good Extremely Fine and a wonderfully detailed medal.
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.