A Topsham scholar (obverse)

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A Topsham scholar (obverse)

Richard Sainthill, a member of a Topsham family, was a scholar in the field of numismatics (the study of coins). His spent most of his life in Cork in Ireland and is best remembered nowadays for his book Olla Podrida, a mix of papers on coins and medals; the odd name derives from a Spanish stew with lots of ingredients.

In 1835 he issued this fine example of the Victorian art of making medals. The obverse, seen here, shows a portrait bust of Sainthill. On the reverse a female figure is welcoming a younger female and drawing back a curtain to reveal an old bearded man. The legend reads 'IRRADIATING THE PRESENT, RESTORING HE PAST'.

Acknowledgments: © Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council

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