The Order of Spain given by Queen Isabel of Spain to Jean FranÃ§ois Gravelet (1824-1897), entitling him to use the title of 'Chevalier'. Gravelet was French-born and took the name Blondin from the owner of the first circus to employ him (later becoming 'Chevalier Blondin' or 'The Great Blondin'). He achieved fame in 1859 by walking on a tightrope across the gorge at Niagara Falls, a feat he repeated another 16 times. Blondin appeared at Crystal Palace in 1862-63 and was paid Â£1,200 for the twelve performances. Later in his life in 1887, he appeared on a tightrope at Carroun House Gardens in South Lambeth Road at an event organised by Mr J. Wright of The Lawns. He died in Ealing and is buried in Kensal Rise Cemetery. These medals form part of the Waller Archive, medal makers and decorative arts designers of Vauxhall.Ref: Museum Collection
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