THE CATCH CLUB 1784 GOLD MEDAL
inscribed FOR COMPOSING THE BEST SERIOUS GLEE MDCCLXXIV / STEPN PAXTON OF LONDON / 'Violoncellist'; the reverse with Orpheus and Bacchus inscribed LETS DRINK AND LETS SING TOGETHER, Catch Club, instituted London 1762, the medal signed T. PINGO F., in original fishskin case
44mm. diameter and 73.6g, 2.596oz
The gold in this medal is not stamped, but its purity is estimated to be of 22k or higher.
The medal is in crisp, clean condition, with two knocks to the edge.
The case is good with wear as to be expected commensurate with age and use.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Ellen Willmott (1858-1934);
her nephew Robert George Berkeley (1898-1969)
Inventory, 1949, 'A gold medal “Presented to Stephen Paxton, 1784”, in the Strong Room
Viscount Gladstone et al, Nobleman and Gentleman's Catch Club, Three Essays Towards its History, London, 1996, p.16
The Catch Club was originally founded in 1761 (and instituted a year later) to encourage the composition and performance of glees, catches and canons. Viscount Gladstone in his 1930 essay, The Story of the Noblemen and Gentleman's Catch Club, writes that from May 1762 it was decided to institute a gold medal worth 10 guineas 'for the best catch, canon and glee, words and music'. He also refers to the present medal being 'in the possession of Miss Willmott'.
Stephen Paxton won three of the club's medals for 'How Sweet, How Fresh' (1779), 'Round the Hapless Andrés Urn' (1781) and 'Blest Power Here See' (1784) for which the present medal was awarded.