Amongst the most spectacular items in the Museum are the dies for the Waterloo Medal. The idea behind the medal was that it would be presented to the heads of state of Austria, Russia, Prussia and Britain, the victorious allies in the war against Napoleon. The dies display Benedetto Pistrucci’s remarkable skill as an engraver and are regarded by many as a masterpiece of numismatic art.


He laboured over the dies, off and on, for the best part of 30 years but the tragedy of the story was that after all that time they were considered too large to risk hardening, meaning they could not actually be used to strike medals in the way that had originally been intended.

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