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Medals and rosettes

Medals were widely awarded to successful show exhibitors from the mid-19th through the early 20th century. They usually featured, engraved or cast into the metal, the name of the awarding show society and the winning entrant and they were also often richly decorated with traditional symbols of abundance and plenty, perhaps positioning agriculture as key to human civilisation. Rosettes made of folded ribbon or paper, often in red, white and blue, emerged as decorative military awards in France in the early 19th century and were soon used in many European countries to signify party allegiances in election campaigns. Versions made from felt, sometimes printed with details of the award, became popular as agricultural show prizes in the later decades of the 20th century, arguably creating new cultural links between show competitions and the arenas of war and politics.


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More medals and rosettes in the Museum’s collection