James Brush, Medallist

(fl. 1771-1798)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Two Medals struck in Dublin and signed "Brush" are known. These are, 1st "The Orange Society Medal," an oval with ring for suspension; obverse, King William on horseback, within a border of flowers; on a scroll above, "The Glorious Memory," and underneath, "King and Constitution." On reverse, a sword and sceptre crossed, and a crown, with a wreath of leaves and lilies; on a scroll, "God Save the King." Signed in small letters Brush. 2nd "The Battle of Collooney"; struck in silver, to commemorate the engagement between the Limerick Militia under Colonel Vereker and the French under General Humbert. Obverse, the Arms of Limerick and inscription, "Corporation and Citizens of Limerick." Reverse, a Royal Crown with olive wreaths, inscribed, "To the Heroes of Collooney, 5th Sepr., 1798," and signed Brush.

James Brush, who issued these medals, was enrolled as a quarter-brother of the Goldsmiths' Corporation in Dublin in 1771, and afterwards carried on the business of a jeweller, to which he added that of a wine merchant, at No. 7 St. Andrew Street. In an advertisement which appeared in the "Dublin Chronicle" in January and February, 1789, he says:— "In the seal line he presumes to say that no person in this city can equal him for neatness and durability of the settings. He has engaged an eminent seal-engraver from London, specimens of whose work are ready for inspection; among them is a striking likeness of Mr. Grattan." The two medals described above are poor specimens of medallic art, and, though bearing Brush's name, were no doubt executed by some die-sinker in his employment. A Dublin Society Medal, oval, with loop for suspension, bearing a seated figure of Minerva and dated 1793, was probably also issued by Brush. His name does not occur after 1798.

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