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Pictured: In a letter, dated Oct 24, 1866, Sir Thomas Myddelton Biddulph writes 'I am now commanded by Her Majesty to ask you to accept of two Medals, one of the Queen and the other of the Prince Consort which you make like to keep as Memorials of Her Majesty's acceptance of the Portraits'.
A pair of gold and silver medals gifted by Queen Victoria to a humble wine merchant has been discovered in a desk bureau after 156 years.
Victoria offered them as a token of gratitude to the tradesman, who had sent her two enamel portraits of her and her late husband, in October 1866.
The miniature portraits struck a chord with the monarch who was freshly mourning Prince Albert after his death just five years earlier.