William Shakespeare, National Edition of Works 1803, silver Subscriber’s Medal, by Conrad Küchler, in PCGS holder, named to Sir Alured Clarke, a British Army commander in the American War of Independence, consequently of historical significance
Obv: Shakespeare seated on a rock flanked by the dramatic muse and genius of painting, on base HE WAS A MAN TAKE HIM FOR ALL IN ALL I SHALL NOT LOOK UPON HIS LIKE AGAIN
Rev: 15-line legend and date 1803
Edge: SIR ALURED CLARKE
References: BHM 553; E 950
Condition: Extremely fine; Diameter: 47mm
Notes: This medal was given by some London booksellers to those who had subscribed to a new edition of Shakespeare’s works. Sir Alured Clarke (1744-1832) eventually rose to the rank of Field Marshal. He arrived in America in 1777 and took charge of all British troops in Georgia in May 1780. He then deployed to Philadelphia to supervise the evacuation of British prisoners of war at the closing stages of the American revolutionary war. He went on to be Governor of Jamaica then lieutenant governor of Lower Canada. Thence to India where he became Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, briefly Governor-General of India and finally Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. I have kept the medal in its PCGS holder (although as a European I loathe the practice of ‘slabbing’!), but most of the name on the edge is clearly visible.