1731 Sovereigns of England Set by J. Dassier


George II, 1731, Sovereigns of England, by Jean Dassier, the complete set of thirty five bronze medals, from William the conquerer to George II, the last being the dedication medal (MI.498/43), and with the bronze medal of Queen Caroline (MI.499/44), all 41mm; Cromwell reduced size, 38mm. contained in original flat leather fitted case (interior re-lined in green felt) 

This choice set, the finest and most appealing we have encountered, has an abundance of eye appeal. Each medal mint state with superb tone. We note a few sets of similar quality have auctioned at CNG and St James's Auctions where they're realised in excess of £3,000 

Swiss medallist Jean (John) Dassier (1676-1763) “trained under his father Domaine Dassier (1641–1719), chief engraver at the Geneva Mint, and studied in Paris under Jean Mauger and Joseph Roettier. From 1711 he was assistant engraver at the Geneva Mint and in 1720 succeeded his father as chief engraver, a post he held until his death. Around 1720 he designed and executed his first series of medals: those of French monarchs (72 medals) and religious reformers (around 24). In 1728 he visited England, where he refused the offer of a position at the Royal Mint. In 1731 he issued a series of medals dedicated to George II, depicting British sovereigns from William I to George II. This consisted of 35 medals available in gold, silver and bronze, some of which were damascened. He was joined in this project by his second son, and the medals are described in his A Sett of Medals of all the Kings of England (London, 1731) and An Explanation of the Medals of the English Monarchs Engraved by John Dassier and Son (Birmingham, 1731)” (Grove Art Online).

“Having being presented to Queen Caroline, perhaps through the good offices of Wake, Dassier set out proposals for a set of thirty-three medals of English sovereigns from William I to George II, to whom the series was dedicated. Based on engravings by George Vertue for Paul Rapin de Thoyras’s History of England, these were advertised in the prospectus published in 1730 for purchase by subscription at 6 guineas for sets in copper and at 15 guineas for silver. During his second stay in England Dassier also planned, according to Vertue, to engrave many remarkable persons noted for great Actions in the government of this nation in Times passd. and learned men of all degrees lately or formerly or of the present time which he proposes to grave at his own expence. (Vertue, Note books, 3.51–2). Medals of Milton, Bacon, and Selden were included in this set. Together these two medallic series belong to those series of historicizing portraits in different media that were being formulated at Stowe and elsewhere during the 1730s to represent figures from the national past” 

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