Among the many souvenirs manufactured to ‘celebrate’ the start of the Great War, commemorative medallions were a popular item for sale to the general public. Traditionally these commemorative medallions had been produced commemorate significant events for many years and examples for the Royal Jubilees and Coronations were common, but so were less obvious topics such as episcopal conferences and the visits of ships where souvenir medallions were produced. Today we are looking at a rather elegant example of the craft from the outbreak of World War I.
The obverse depicts Justice seated blindfolded holding a set of scales and a sword thrust into an eagle whose wing spreads out below, her sword hand also holds a victors wreath; around, “PRO CAUSA IUSTITIAE 1914.”
The reverse depicts portraits of the allied leaders, at the centre Great Britain (George V) around, Belgium (Albert I), Russia (Nicholas II), Italy (Victor Emanuel III), Serbia (Peter I) and Japan (Emperor Yoshihito Taisho).
This medal seems to have been produced in a number of finishes and as well as the bronze example we have here, gold plated and silver versions can also be found. It is also to be found with and without the suspension ring at the top. The design of this particular medal is rather attractive with the figure of Lady Justice being in the Art Nouveau style and rather French in influence.