Commemorative Silver Medal
In 1714, Queen Anne's Government offered a handsome reward for any 'generally practical and useful' method of finding a ship's longtitude. The enormous sum of £20,000 was promised to anyone in the world whose method was proved accurate within thirty miles after sailing for six weeks across the Atlantic.
It was John Harrison, many years later, who eventually won the prize. Born in 1693 and reared in the small Lincolnshire village of Barrow on the south bank of the Humber, Harrison might have been expected to follow in his father's trade as a carpenter but he educated himself to such an extent that, without ever serving a day's apprenticeship to a clockmaker, he was able to construct timepieces of phenomenal accuracy.
Three early 'sea-clocks', still in good working order, gave hope of success. But it was his fourth timekeeper, a silver watch over five inches in diameter, which after two demanding voyages to the West Indies demonstrated beyond doubt that Harrison had solved the most difficult and perplexing problem of navigation.
This medal is the latest in a series of centenary medals begun in 1986 and commemorates the tercentenary of the birth of John Harrison. The reverse design, modelled by Frederick Mogford, is based on John Harrison's orginal Sea Clock completed in 1735 with the top of the dial replaced by a splendid portrait of John Harrison after a cameo portrait by James Tassie. In keeping with the earlier medals in the centenary series, the sixteeth century Arms of the Royal Mint appear on the obverse.
Alloy - Toned Sterling(.925) Silver
Diameter - 63mm
Weight - 152.5gms
ISSUE LIMIT - 2,500
This stunning Commemorative Silver Medal is housed in the original Royal Mint Blue case with Certificate of Authenticity.