Look and Think activities should take 5 -10 minutes.
Do activities might take longer depending on the task and how creative you are feeling!
‘Dangers Averted’ gold medal, Elizabeth I (1558-1603), c. 1588
Attributed to Nicholas Hilliard (1537-1619)
Gold, cast and chased. Weight 100.63 g, width (minimum), 51 mm, height (maximum) 59 mm
This medal celebrates England winning a battle against the Spanish Armada in 1558.
How has the artist shown us that Elizabeth is a Queen? Look closely here.
What side of the medal would you show if you could wear it? What important event from your life could you put on a medal?
You have two sides to tell your story.
Make your own medal celebrating a special event from your life. There’s a how-to video below.
Is the medal for you or is there someone else you would like to say thank you to?
According to Richard Kelleher, Assistant Keeper in the Department of Coins and Medal, the medal implies that the defeat of the Spanish Armada was symbolic of God’s divine intervention on behalf of the Protestant English state over the powerful Spanish Catholic fleet. Although the English won the upper hand at the battle of Gravelines, the real victory happened when a strong wind forced the Spanish fleet to sail north around Scotland and Ireland to get back to Spain. The Spanish boats were battered by storms and at least 60 of their 130 ships were sunk or damaged. The Spanish King Philip II is quoted as saying ‘I sent the Armada against men, not God’s winds and waves.’
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