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Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), cast and chased gold medal of Elizabeth I
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Тhis medal shows an image of the English queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603). Originally hung with drop pearls, this was probably a gift from Elizabeth I to a favoured courtier or political ally. Miniatures were often given as gifts of this kind. The portrait miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard appears to have been the first English artist to make medals in any numbers.

On the reverse is a laurel tree labelled with the royal monogram ER (Elizabeth Regina). The legend translates as 'Not even danger affects it', a reference to the legend that laurel was immune from lightning. This is likely to symbolize Elizabeth's resistance to the threat of Catholicism both at home and abroad. This image of Elizabeth is one of many created in various materials during her reign.

Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), cast and chased gold medal of Elizabeth I

Cast in London, England, c. AD 1580-90
Ht 5.6 cm
Wt 57.57g
Edward Hawkins Collection

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