You can click on the medals to see the reverse.
This brooch's obverse depicts the American Eagle and the British Lion jointly fighting a serpent at their feet; behind them the American and British flags.
The reverse bears maker's mark at top, MEDALLIC / ART CO. / NEW YORK; below pin, OFFICIAL / BUNDLES FOR BRITAIN / INC. / © MALVINA HOFFMAN
"Bundles for Britain" was a relief program founded by Natalie Latham and modeled on the British War Relief Society. The war had just begun in 1939 but British citizens were already starting to experience hardship. Nathalie Latham decided to help.
Originally started as just a small group of Mrs. Latham's friends knitting and shipping socks and hats to British sailors, at its peak "Bundles for Britain" would have 2000 chapters across the U.S. with more than 1.5 million volunteers. And they shipped far more than socks and hats - cots for children, bedding, hospital beds, X-ray machines, medical supplies, even ambulances.
The organization only operated until the U.S. entered the war in 1941 but it raised $2.5 million in goods and money, an inordinate amount at the time.
This handsome brooch also came with enameled flags.
This design by Hoffman was chosen as the 51st issue of the prestigious Society of Medalists series.
The obverse bears stylized compass rose and Greek cross dividing the heads of European (NW), Asian (NE), American Indian (SW), and African (SE). Around, PROCLAIMING LIBERTY EVERY ONE TO HIS BROTHER
The reverse bears a northern polar projection of the world map, resembling the UN emblem. Around, NO MAN IS AN ISLAND ENTIRE OF ITSELF - EVERY MAN IS A PIECE OF THE CONTINENT; at left, JOHN DONNE 1575-1631; at right, © M.H.
Malvina Hoffman traveled the globe for several years to create a display for the Chicago Century of Progress Exhibition in 1933-34. The plan was to make precise sculptures of all "The Races of Mankind." Malvina Hoffman ended up casting 97 bronze sculptures for the exhibit, which remained a major attraction for the Field Museum for many decades.
Her SOM medal picked up on this work. She wrote in her "From the Artist"
"The thought prompting the design and quotations on this medal is the ever timely problem: how the races of the world can learn to understand one another."
The medal measures 73mm in diameter and was produced by the Medallic Art Company of New York. Its reported production quantity is 722 in bronze.
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