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Reference:4201 Tanfield Vachell, c. 1703

Bust of Tanfield Vachell, to right, his long wig falling behind his shoulder. TANFIELD VACHELL. A sundial within an open landscape, shrubbery around; above, passing clouds and a radiant sun. NEC. PRAETERITVM. NEC. FVTVRVM. By Benjamin Richter. Silver, cast. 52 mm. (2.1 inches) in diameter.

Condition: Nearly extremely fine, a small and neat hole at the top. A beautifully cast and chased medal of great rarity.


Tanfield Vachell (1668-1705), born in Berkshire, was High Sheriff for the county and M.P. for Reading in 1701 and 1705. In 1704 he is recorded as having been asked to provide a character references for one Aston Beston. Tanfield Vachell was buried at St. Mary's, Reading. This medal is by Benjamin Richter, a Swedish medallist who came to London in 1703 and executed a group of portrait medals of English and Swedish gentlemen who were members of a club in London: Sir George Rooke, Sir Jacob Bancks, Sir William Rich and Richard Nevill (Medallic Illustrations ii, 250/37-40). In addition to the medal of Vachell, the article cited by Hill also describes and illustrates Richter's medal of Christoffer Leijoncrona, and refers in passing to another, of John Oriot. Two examples of the Vachell medal are known to exist. The example presently being offered is illustrated by Hill, who refers to the quality of cast as being so technically accomplished, as to make one question whether the medal is in fact struck. (See also 'The Second of three 'unpublished' Medals', by C. Eimer, Seaby Bulletin, September 1980).

Tanfield Vachell also established links through marriage with Sweden, where today descendants of Christoffer Leijoncrona and Francoise (or Frances) Vachell are living. 



G.F. Hill, 'Two Medals of Englishmen', Numismatic Chronicle (1919), series iv, vol. Xix, pp. 61-63, and plate V.,