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Ferrier Lecture Medal: CM.71-2005

An image of Ferrier Lecture Medal

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Artist: Wyon, Allan Gairdner
Issuer: Royal Society
Issuer: Ferrier, David, Sir (Struck in the name of)




Sir David Ferrier, as he was at his death, was a pioneer in the field of the neurology of the brain. Working first at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases and Epilepsy in London and later in his own laboratories he was able to use electronic stimulation of the brain to associate certain areas in it with the motor functions of the body. He could thereby show that epilepsy and similar conditions were caused by genuine physiological problems in particular parts of the brain, which could therefore be affected by localised surgery. His work, controversial because of his experimentation on live animals, has nevertheless been the foundation of the modern mapping of the human cortex and of the treatment of many diseases of the brain. He was also a co-founder of the medical journal The Brain, which is still in publication. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1876 at the age of 33, and was knighted in 1911. When he died in 1928, a fund was set up to establish a triennial lecture in his name at the Royal Society, on the structure and function of the nervous system, and this lecture is still given today--the 2007 one used computer imaging to show how Ferrier's work continued in the twenty-first century. The invitation to lecture is considered one of the prizes of the Royal Society, and the successful lecturer is awarded a bronze medal. This piece is a proof of that medal from the workshop of the designer, Allan Gairdner Wyon.


History note: From the estate of the late Mrs Venetia M. Watson, daughter of the artist

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2005-01-31) by Watson, Philip Charles


1928 CE - 1929 CE


Bronze specimen

Components of the work

Object composed of bronze Diameter 52.0 mm Die Axis 0 degrees Weight 77.80 g

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Sir David Ferrier with inscription around

  • Text: DAVID · FERRIER M·D·F·R·S·1843-1928
  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Laurel wreath around empty field

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.71-2005
Primary reference Number: 156590
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 30 June 2016 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Ferrier Lecture Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-23 03:55:06

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{{cite web|url= |title=Ferrier Lecture Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-23 03:55:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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