Medal for Coalbrookdale presented at auction

A silver medal presented to a descendant of Coalbrookdale ironworks pioneer Abraham Darby is to be sold at auction on October 8.

The medal, bearing a Birmingham silver hallmark 1911, was awarded by the Shropshire and West Midland Agricultural Society to Alfred Darby II of the Coalbrookdale Factory inscribed ‘A.F.W. Darby Esq, Field Gate, 1910’.

Valued at a modest £80, the medal has been consigned to the ‘Made in Shropshire’ section of Halls’ Fine Furniture, European Ceramics and Works of Art auction in Shrewsbury.

Abraham Darby’s arrival in Coalbrookdale in 1708 started a chain of events which led to the Industrial Revolution. Beginning a tradition of ironmaking, which lasted for four generations, he repaired a furnace belonging to Sir Basil Brooke to make iron. Discovering that coal could be used to smelt iron, he set in motion the mass production of cast iron.

The medal was awarded to Alfred Darby II who was the last family connection with the Coalbrookdale Company when he died as chairman in 1925.

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