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Medal - Paul Simon Memorial Award, Numismatic Association of Victoria, Australia, 1986 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20802

Bronze medal commissioned by the Numismatic Association of Victoria, inscribed H.Park. Designed by Michael Meszaros in 1976 and minted by the Paris Mint.

The Paul Simon Memorial Award was established in 1977 by Mrs Jessica Simon of Ballarat in memory of her late husband, a keen numismatist. The award was established to recognise outstanding contributions to numismatic societies and clubs. Designed by renowned medallist Michael Meszaros, the reverse of the medal shows a hand holding an Israeli coin with a menorah and Hebrew inscription, illustrating Paul Simon's love of his people and his religion. Nominations for the award were invited from societies and clubs throughout Australia each year, and were collated by State representatives on an Award Committee. Winners were announced in the Australian Coin Review each year.

Paul Simon was a leading authority on gold coinage of the world and a major collector. He was a former President of the Numismatics Association of Victoria and a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society of London. An amateur geologist and gold fossiker, Simon was also director of the former Stone's Style Drapery Store in Ballarat, was President of the Bridge Street Traders' Association in Ballarat and operated other businesses in Melbourne and Horsham. He was also an active member of the Ballarat Synagogue. Simon hoped to see a gold museum established in Ballarat, and in 1976 the Gold Museum was opened at Sovereign Hill. His collection was donated to the Museum by his widow Jessica, and a wing of the Museum was named the Jessica and Paul Simon Gold Pavilion.

This medal was inscribed in error. Ray Jewell, Foundation President of the Numismatic Association of Australia, had been talking to Hayden Park on the telephone just before he made the arrangements to have the medal inscribed. He accidentally gave Park's name instead of the name of the correct recipient, Haydn Powell. The incorrectly engraved medal was given to Museum Victoria, and another medal inscribed. The new medal was presented to Powell in late 1986 or early 1987.
A bronze medal (67 mm diameter) featuring a profile head of Paul Simon by Michael Meszaros and a hand holding a large Israeli coin
Statement Of Significance:
For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Numismatic Association of Australia
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 67 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: numismatic awards, religions judaism, coin collecting, medals, collectors, haydn powell, recipients
Themes this item is part of: Australian Numismatic Society, Sydney, New South Wales, Hayden Park, Banker (circa 1940s- ), Michael Meszaros, Sculptor & Medal Artist (1945-), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Paul Simon, Coin Collector (?-1972), Andor Mészáros, Medal Artist (1900-1972), Raymond Thomas Nunne Jewell, Numismatic Collector (1927-1992), Cultural Diversity Collection, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Meszaros Medals Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: numismatics
Series: Australian Prize Medals
DateEra: 1986 AD
Obverse Description: Head of Paul Simon. Beneath head, MICHAEL MESZAROS 1976 / [monogram]
Reverse Description: Hand holding medal. On the image of a medal is a menorah (seven -branched candlestick] with Hebrew letters beneath and laurel wreath either side. On left of medal image is inscribed ISRAEL. On the right are Hebrew letters.
On right side MICHAEL MESZAROS 1976 [monogram]
Edge Description: Engraved H. PARK - WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1986 ~ NO. 16
Shape: round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: Numismatic Association of Australia, Australia, 1986
Artist: Michael Meszaros, Australia
Commissioned By: Mr Raymond Jewell, Australia
Mint: Paris (Mint), Paris, Victoria, France, 1986
Person Depicted: Paul Simon, Victoria, Australia
Person Named: Hayden Park, Western Australia, Australia, 1986
Other Association (See Comments): Haydn Powell, Western Australia, Australia, 1986

Medal No 16 originally intended to be awarded to Powell, but incorrectly inscribed.
  1. [Catalogue] Sharples, John P. 1990. Medals as Art: Australia and the Meszaros Tradition.
  2. [Article] Jewell, Raymond T. 1986. Michael Meszaros: The Man and his Medals. Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. 2: 4-24.
  3. [Article] Seymour, Frank. 1997. The Paul Simon Memorial Award Medallion. Australian Numismatic Journal. 38
  4. [Article] 1977. The Paul Simon Memorial Award. Australian Coin Review. 14 (1)

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