World's Columbian Exposition Commemorative Presentation Medal

Dated 1892–93; struck 1895–96
Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American (born in Ireland), 1848–1907), and Charles E. Barber (American (born in England), 1840–1917)


Diameter and weight: 77 mm, 207.7 gm (3 1/16 in., 0.5 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Jan and Warren Adelson Gallery (Gallery 221)





Obv: Christopher Columbus striding ashore from a boat carrying three other figures, one holding a large banner that fills the field to the left. To the right two miniature ships pass through the Pillars of Hercules with PLVS / VLTRA between them, CHRISTOPHER / COLVMBVS / OCT XII / MCCCCXCII in the field to the right and signed AVGVSTVS SAINT-GAVDENS FECIT at the bottom.
Rev: A plaque reading WORLD’S · COLUMBIAN · EXPOSITION / IN · COMMEMORATION · OF · THE / FOUR · HUNDREDTH · ANNIVERSARY / OF · THE · LANDING · OF · COLUMBUS / · MDCCXCII · MDCCCXCIII · / TO [a raised plate embossed] BOSTON WATER BOARD is surmounted by a globe with two allegorical nudes, torches to left and right and surmounting a ship at sail on stylized waves. Signed in the exergue C. E. BARBER FECIT
Edge: plain


Presented to the Boston Water Board in 1896; to Cornelius C. Vermeule, Sr., a civil engineer and consultant to the Boston Water Board; by descent through the family to Cornelius C. Vermeule III; to the MFA, 2005, gift.

Credit Line

Gift of Cornelius C. Vermeule III in memory of Walter Muir Whitehill