engraving, date unknown
Height 12.9, sub height 11.7, width 9.4, diameter 4.6 cm


Boglewood: 3017
Hart:  815





Image not available 
Description (Hart):
Head, to left, profile.  Circular medallion, with border, containing title, resting upon a base, with laurel branches to right and flags to left.  On base, two lines from Voltaire.  Enclosed in a rectangle.




Source image:
No identified source.


G. Washington Ey. General of the Contint. Army [in] America. / Washington réunit par un rare assemblage / Les talens du Guerrier et les vertus du Sage. / Voltaire. / Dessiné et gravé par Testard d'après la Medaille frappée à Londres par le parti des Opposants / A Paris chés Testard rue des Cordeliers audessus de l'Egoût


Version I:  As described.  Collection:  National Portrait Gallery, London.

Note: The engraving text states that the engraving is based upon a medal struck in London, but two comtemporary sources tell a different story. 
     Samuel Curwen, an American living in England from 1775 to 1783, recorded in his diary for 20 April 1778 that the French philosophe Francois Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire, had caused a medal honoring George Washington to be struck in Paris. A notice in The Independent Chronicle, 20 August 1778, concurs:  "A medal has been lately struck at Paris, by direction of Mr. Voltaire, in honor of General Washington.  On one side is the bust of the General, with the inscription 'George Washington, Esq, Commander of the Continental Army in America.'  The reverse is decorated with the emblems of war, and [an] inscription. .  .  .  ."  Quoted in "An Early Washington Medal, 1778," Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, vol. 12, pp. 253-254 (February 1909.
      W. S. Baker, writing in 1878, states that the likeness of Washington was fictitious, and that only four examples of the medal were then known. The medal, shown below, comforms generally to Hart's description (above), but the statement in the caption of the engraving concerning the place of the medal's manufacture and its patronage ("made in London by the opposition parties") conflicts with Curwen's diary entry.

Voltaire medal

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