9 May 2017

Q&A: British Historical Medals of the 17th Century (Jerome J. Platt, author and collector)

THE ‘JUXON MEDAL.’ ALTHOUGH OFTEN REFERRED TO AS A ‘MEDAL,’ THIS GOLD PIECE IS ACTUALLY A PATTERN FOR A FIVE UNITE (FIVE POUND) COIN (M.I. 374/270; 38 MM.). IMAGE COURTESY OF THE TRUSTEES OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM.

Books on 17th century military campaigns rarely mention the award of medals. Beyond the odd token of appreciation handed out by the monarch, I was unaware of them being routinely issued at all.

So it was fascinating to learn that the practice became increasingly common during the 1640s, with medals from the period highly prized by collectors today.

The subject is explored in a new book, British Historical Medals of the 17th Century, by Jerome J. Platt. I asked Jerome about who typically issued these awards and why, and learned more about the background to his own collecting ...

23 March 2017

Wolfwalkers: Oscar-nominated animators' new 17th century feature


Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Wolfwalkers, an animated feature from the makers of Oscar-nominated film Song of the Sea (2014).

The film's set in Ireland during Cromwell's attempt to subdue the population through the killing of wolves ...

14 February 2017

An Epithalamion, or Marriage Song on the Lady Elizabeth and Count Palatine being Married on St Valentine’s Day (John Donne, 1613)

Frederick and Elizabeth, King and Queen of Bohemia

Today marks the 404th anniversary of the marriage of Elizabeth Stuart (sister of Charles I) to Frederick, the Elector Palatine.

The pair married on 14 February 1613, with lavish simultaneous celebrations in London and Heidelberg. John Donne was commissioned to write a marriage song to celebrate the occasion, so, for all those celebrating Valentine's Day, here it is ...

28 January 2017

Royal Ordnance in 1637

One of the culverins on Gun Hill, Southwold. The origin of the six guns is still open to conjecture. Photo: © Copyright Evelyn Simak (CC BY-SA 2.0)

After revisiting an old guest blog article on 17th century siege warfare I stumbled across a fascinating analysis of a Royal Ordnance inventory  ...