Alternative name: Coned

Bronze medal titled 'Battle of Britain' by Melbourne sculptor Michael Meszaros, 1988. Commissioned by the British Art Medal Society to design a medal to be sold to the Society's subscribers.

Inspired by 'No Moon Tonight' a book by Don Charlwood, a Melbourne-born aerial navigator and veteran of World War II, Meszaros designed a double-sided medal showing on the obverse a small fighter plane caught in the intersecting path of three spotlights. The reverse shows the same plane after it has been shot down. Meszaros originally called the piece 'Coned', referring to the cone of spotlights, but the Society renamed it 'Battle of Britain'.

Formed in 1982 the British Art Medal Society is a non profit organisation, linked to the British Art Medal Trust, which aims to promote and encourage medallic art, including the production of contemporary work. It commissions contemporary medals, which are produced as limited editions of 100 or less and sold to its members.

Physical Description

Bronze medal with obverse design of a small plane caught in 3 spotlights. Reverse design of a crashed plane protruding from rubble.

Obverse Description

Aircraft caught in the beam of three intersecting spotlights

Reverse Description

Rocket protruding from rubble

Edge Description



This is one of 44 art medals in the Museum's collection by Michael Meszaros, dated from 1960 through to 1987, which chart the evolution of a new phase of the medal tradition in Australia. While Australian medals have previously largely been commissioned works associated with official commemorations or major awards, these are personal artworks. In addition to their aesthetic value, they document nearly two decades of Australian life from a personal and popular point of view, drawing on cultural trends, sporting and leisure, and emerging issues such as environmentalism. This is a modern development in Australia, but it harks back to the European tradition, developed in the Renaissance, of medals as artistic works.

For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.

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