The School Seal

School Seal on stone
School Seal carved in stone above the entrance to the Keppel Street building. Credit: LSHTM/Anne Koerber

The Seal of the School was designed by the sculptor and medallist Allan Gairdner Wyon FRBS RMS (1882-1962). He was a Londoner who studied at the Royal Academy Schools and exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Arts and the Paris Salon. He moved to Cornwall where he was Vicar of Newlyn between 1936 and 1955.

LSHTM logo

The design of the Seal is based on a coin of Selinus in Sicily struck in 466 BC. It shows two Greek gods associated with health - Apollo, the god of prophecy, music and medicine, and his sister Artemis, goddess of hunting and chastity, and comforter of women in childbirth - in a horse-drawn chariot. Artemis is driving while her brother the great archer is shooting arrows. The fruitful date palm was added to indicate the tropical activities of the School but also has a close connection with Apollo and Artemis: when their mother Leto gave birth to them on the island of Delos, miraculously a palm sprang up to give her shade in childbirth.

Asclepius, Apollo's son, was the god of ancient Greek medicine, and was frequently shown holding a staff entwined with a snake. Snakes were used in this healing cult to lick the affected part of the patient. Significantly Asclepius' daughters were Hygeia (the goddess of health) and Panacea (the healer of all ailments). Asclepius' staff with a snake coiled round it (known as a symbol of the medical professions) was placed at the base of the seal to emphasise the medical interests of the School.

The Seal was redesigned in 1990 by Russell Sewell Design Associates, and is retained today within the current School logo.