Half Ball Feet
Half Ball Feet. A half hemisphere of metal attached to the back of a medallic item to make a paperweight of it. The hemispheres resemble half a ball, hence the name, and they serve as "feet" to raise the medallic item from the surface it rests on. Usually plaquettes have four such feet, one at each corner (example: Columbia University Bicentennial Plaquette, 1952-011), and round medals have three feet (Monarch Life Insurance Company 50th Anniversary Medal, 1950-003). Customarily the reverse die is designed to accommodate these feet with raised circles – limiting guides – in the relief design. The half ball feet are soldered within these guides to a raw medal – after the piece is fully struck up and trimmed but before it is finished. Large medallic companies produce their own half ball feet (Medallic Art Company die 1951-080) or jewelry supply houses stock such ball feet in solid brass. Smaller medal manufacturers have used full spheres, as ball bearings, instead of half ball feet; while these serve the immediate function, they are somewhat less artistic and can break off easily. These are termed ball feet. See paperweight.
excerpted with permission from
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor