These medals (as the Sentimental Magazine referred to them) or medalets were included with each monthly issue of the Magazine from the first issue in March 1773 until March 1774 when they were discontinued. However, the Magazine itself continued in production until December 1777.
Each monthly medal depicted a famous person (see the table below). They were available in copper if 6d was paid for the Magazine, or in silvered copper if 9d was paid. The availability of silvered medals was only made known through newspaper advertisements almost three months after the Magazine’s first edition, but silvered medals for the first two issues were available in retrospect.
The copper medals are relatively common considering they were issued almost 250 years ago, but the silvered medals are less common. A significant amount of wear seen on some of the copper medals suggest they were used as regal coinage at a time of particular shortage. Apart from two varieties of a copper medal inscribed GB instead of Kirk, there are 13 different copper medals made, and inscribed, by Kirk. However, 17 different varieties are known for Kirk’s copper issues (see the table below). Not all the varieties of the silvered medals corresponding to each of Kirk’s copper varieties have yet been seen.
Prizes of silver medals were awarded by the Magazine each month and apparently these could be engraved with the winners’ names. However, none has yet been positively identified.
The medals were produced by Kirk of St Paul’s Churchyard. Silver medals (not engraved) and medals in other finishes exist from the same dies as the copper and silvered medals. This suggests that these could be purchased separately from Kirk.
The foregoing summarises some of the results of recently published research which has been carried out based on copies of the Sentimental Magazine itself.
More information is available in a booklet ‘SENTIMENTAL MAGAZINE MEDALS’ published in 2018 and a Supplement published in 2019 by Martin R Warburton, available from the author; contact – email@example.com
Martin R Warburton November 2019