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Joseph Ignace Guillotin

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Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814), earned a medical diplomate in 1768, after having taught literature for several years in Bordeaux. In 1784, Louis XVI appointed him to a five member committee, chaired by Benjamin Franklin, to evaluate the “animal magnetism” quackery that was popularized by Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). He was a medical reformer during the French revolution and opposed capital punishment. In 1789, he recommended that executions should be carried out more humanely with a mechanical device rather than an imprecisely aimed axe. Thus, his name became eponymic. His family eventually changed their name to escape association with the device. After the Revolution he became an early advocate of the Jennerian vaccination.

Medal
Silver. France 1809. Signed. Honoring President of the Academy of Medicine.
Size
28 mm
Artist
Jean-Pierre Droz (1746-1823) Swiss medallist, Jean-Pierre Droz (1746-1823), Swiss medallist and coin engraver active in France and England. He trained in France; in 1786 he struck a pattern coin of Louis XVI with an edge inscription produced by a new type of collar. This attracted the attention of Matthew Boulton, who persuaded Droz to visit England in 1787 and to work for him at the Soho Mint in 1788. There Droz effected mechanical improvements to Boulton's coining machinery and cut dies for some patterns for the English coinage. After his return to France, Droz was appointed Keeper of the Mint Museum and in 1810 won a competition to provide designs for a new coinage. He contributed a large number of medals to the Napoleonic series produced under the direction of Dominique-Vivant Denon, and several to Mudie's National Series, as well as medals celebrating General Elliot's Defence of Gibraltar (1787) and King George III's Restoration to Health (both London, BM). (Forrer 1, 618)
Obverse
Clothed bust to right; on truncation, D.; in a curve around from lower left, JOS . IGN . GUILLOTIN SANTO MED. PAR. ACAD. PRÆSES. and below, 1807-08.
Reverse
Hygeia to right seated on a throne bearing double laurel wreath and two poppy heads; and holding the staff of Aesculapius with entwined serpent; in her left hand a mirror reflecting the sun's rays upon a globe; a cock standing on books spread at her feet; in a curve at top, COLLIGIT UT SPARGAT; at left of throne along edge, DROZ F.; in exergue, MED . ACADEMIÆ . PAR . / J. I. GUILOTTIN PRÆS . / 1809. in three lines.
Ref
Freeman 218; Storer 1403; Duisburg CCCX-1; Nilsson 251