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Badges of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

Badges of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

“… becomes the badge of a society.”

 – The Adventure of The Five Orange Pips (FIVE)

SHSL 1991 Switzerland Trip
SHSL members proudly wearing their badges during their 1991 trip to Switzerland. The central figure is the late Joseph W Moran, BSI ~ Photograph by Jean Upton

Editor’s Note: This post has been a “work in progress” for nearly a year as we tried to gather information about the various medals of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. Just a few hours after this was posted, we have been presented with evidence of a seventh medal existing. At the bottom of the post, now, is a picture from the SHSL’s 2012 Swiss pilgrimage and it appears to show the seventh badge.

This upcoming Saturday, January 9, 2016, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London will hold its 63rd Annual Dinner in the Members’ Dining Room at the House of Commons. Every year, one of the titles from the Canon is assigned to the festivities and this year’s is The Beryl Coronation.

Over the last 30 years, the SHSL has produced Six, seven different badges to commemorate special events. Let’s take a look at them.

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1988 SHSL Swiss Pilgrimage Medal ~ Photo by Roger Johnson

The first badge is from the SHSL’s 1988 pilgrimage to Meiringen, Switzerland for the dedication of John Doubleday’s sculpture of the sitting Sherlock Holmes statue outside the old English Church in that town.

The top bar has the shields of the Swiss Confederation and the town of Meiringen, with the wording 10TH SEPT / 1988. The black and gold ribbon colors are that of the Meiringen flag. A round 40mm medal is suspended from the ribbon.

OBVERSE: HOMAGE TO SHERLOCK HOLMES / (right facing bust of Sherlock Holmes, with deerstalker cap and pipe) John Doubleday’s initials appear below the truncation of the bust.

REVERSE: (serial number, engraved)

The SHSL returned to Meiringen in 1991 and two separate badges were issued during this excursion.

1991 SHSL Swiss Pilgrimage Medal honoring 700th Anniversary of Switzerland & 100th Anniversary of The Final Problem ~ Photo by Roger Johnson
1991 SHSL Swiss Pilgrimage Medal honoring 700th Anniversary of Switzerland & 100th Anniversary of The Final Problem ~ Photo by Roger Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

The first of the two medals in 1991 has a red and white ribbon (colors of the Swiss flag) and commemorates both the founding of the Swiss federation in 1291 and the duel at the Reichenbach Falls in 1891. The top bar has a progression of the Swiss Shield and has the wording 1291 – 1992. The words “Faude” and “Gippingen” are stamped on the reverse of the top bar. A 43mm bronze round medal is suspended from the ribbon.

OBVERSE: • SHERLOCK • HOLMES • / (right facing bust of Sherlock Holmes, with deerstalker cap and pipe) / 1291 • 1891 • 1991

REVERSE: blank (except for the incused stamped name of the mint: Faude AG)

1991 SHSL Badge commemorating the opening of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen ~ Photo by Roger Johnson
1991 SHSL Badge commemorating the opening of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen ~ Photo by Roger Johnson

 

 

 

 

The second 1991 SHSL medal was issued to commemorate the opening of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen, which was the primary purpose of this trip. A 38mm round bronze medal is suspended from a green ribbon. The top bar is blank, however this badge comes with a clasp bearing the name “Switzerland.”

OBVERSE: SHERLOCK HOLMES SOCIETY OF LONDON /  (right facing bust of Sherlock Holmes, with deerstalker cap and pipe) / (symbol) 1991 (symbol)

REVERSE: (laurel wreath)

1999 SHSL Badge for the unveiling of John Doubleday's Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street Station ~ Photo by Roger Johnson
1999 SHSL Badge for the unveiling of John Doubleday’s Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street Station ~ Photo by Roger Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next SHSL badge, the fourth, was issued in 1999 and for the first time the SHSL did not even need to leave London. John Doubleday had created another statue of Sherlock Holmes, this time standing, that was erected outside the Baker Street Station of the London Underground. This badge was issued to commemorate the unveiling of that statue.

A 48mm by 28 mm oval white base-metal medallion was suspended from a white and black ribbon.  The medallion has a gold colored bevelled edge. The top bar has the date 1999, with a deerstalker cap to the left and a pipe to the right. The back of the top bar is stamped “Faude Gippingen,” the medal’s manufacturer.

OBVERSE: (rendering of Doubleday’s Sherlock Holmes statue, facing right)

REVERSE: Blank, with an incuse stamp of “Faude Gippingen.”

2001 SHSL 50th Anniversary Medal ~Photo by Roger Johnson
2001 SHSL 50th Anniversary Medal ~ Photo by Roger Johnson

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2001 and that occasion saw the issuance of their fifth medal.

A 38mm bronze round medal is suspended from a blue ribbon. The top bar has no design or wording.

OBVERSE: THE SHERLOCK HOLMES SOCIETY OF LONDON / (right facing bust of Sherlock Holmes, with deerstalker cap and pipe) / • 1951 – 2001 •

REVERSE: 50TH / ANNIVERSARY

2005 SHSL Swiss Pilgrimage Medal ~ Photo by Roger Johnson
2005 SHSL Swiss Pilgrimage Medal ~ Photo by Roger Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SHSL’s sixth and final (to date) badge reverts back to a previous design and was issued for their 2005 trip back to Switzerland. The design of the 1999 medal was reused for this particular issue.

A 48mm by 28 mm oval white base-metal medallion was suspended from a red and white ribbon. The medallion has a gold colored bevelled edge. The top bar has the phrase, 221B, with a deerstalker cap to the left and a pipe to the right. The back of the top bar is stamped “Faude Gippingen,” the medal’s manufacturer.

OBVERSE: (rendering of Doubleday’s Sherlock Holmes statue, facing right)

REVERSE: Blank, with an incuse stamp of “Faude Gippingen.”

The two medals depicting John Doubleday’s statue of Holmes at Baker Street Station came in paper envelopes, bearing the name and address of the mint: Faude Medaillen AG, CH-5316 Gippingen [Switzerland].

In correspondence with John Doubleday, he offered up that the medals were produced in Switzerland from drawings which he supplied.

SHSL 2012 Pilgrimage to Switzerland ~ Photo by  Martin Hesp
SHSL 2012 Pilgrimage to Switzerland ~ Photo by Martin Hesp

Shortly after we published this post, we were sent the above photo from the SHSL’s 2012 trip to Switzerland. The badge pictured appears to feature Doubleday’s 1991 statue of Sherlock Holmes. We are attempting to get more information on this medal.

Our thanks to the 48th Garrideb, Roger Johnson, aka “A Shilling Map of London,” for his invaluable aid and assistance in providing this information.

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