Abigail Burt (b. 1989) studied at University College Falmouth, where she won prizes in the 2011 and 2012 BAMS Student Medal Projects. She was subsequently BAMS New Medallist for 2012-13, enabling her to study at the National Academy of Arts under Professor Bogomil Nikolov and spend time in the Engraving Department of the Royal Mint.
This medal appears here although it was not a BAMS commission and is not a BAMS medal, it was unusually commissioned directly by The British Museum on the retirement of Dr. Andrew Burnett. The medal commemorates the invaluable contribution made by Dr Andrew Burnett to the British Museum as Keeper of Coins and Medals (1992-2002) and Deputy Director (2002-2013). Burnett began his career at the Museum in 1974 and over the years has gained an international reputation for his work on Roman coins and his many numismatic publications. He was formerly President of the International Numismatic Commission (1997-2003) and of the Roman Society (2008-2012), and is now President of the Royal Numismatic Society. He was appointed a CBE by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours of 2012 and an Honorary Professor of University College London in 2013. The medal’s reverse depicts the British Museum’s Enlightenment Gallery, in acknowledgment of Burnett’s leading role in its creation. An ancient coin hoard spills from a shelf to form a tree of knowledge, in which appear three coins with a special meaning for Burnett: two early Roman Republican coins and a Roman provincial coin representative of his current major research project. A column and pediment allude to the British Museum and the classical tradition, whilst the Latin edge inscription is an adaptation by Andrew of a line from Virgil: not ‘happy is he who has come to know the rural gods’ but ‘happy is he who has come to know Roman coins’.