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Medallion, Maiden Voyage

Item Number: 47009 Sold

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The French Line went for commemorative bronze medallions in a big way.  More than five were produced for Normandie alone.  Cunard?  Not so much.  They could not resist doing a medal for the Queen Mary, however.  And what a medal too.  This fine bronze medal was designed by Gilbert Bayes and was made by the Royal Mint in a limited quantity of 3,000.  The obverse is a three-quarter bow view of the Queen Mary, and the reverse is a view of New York City through the old Bargate of Southampton.  Very cleverly done!  The back also incorporates a Cunard lion and a White Star in a fashion I had never seen before.

All this contained in the original leather presentation box that is silk and velvet lined.  According to sources in the UK, Cunard gave many of these medals away in 1936, including a number to key people at John Brown.  When the ship was leaving service in 1967, Cunard found a number of these medals still in storage.  They decided to sell them on board in that last year of service but at 1936 prices!  This one was purchased on her final voyage to Long Beach according to the person I bought it from.  Her mother was on the cruise.

The medal measures about 2¾” in diameter, and the box is about 4” square.  In excellent condition with absolutely perfect box.

As a side note, Bayes had other Queen Mary connections as well. He, along with Alfred Oakley, produced the massive carved gesso panel of Unicorns in Battle in the first-class lounge.  Mr. Bayes also created a bronze statue in the lounge entitled The Sea King’s Daughter.