The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Part I



Assay Medals - Lots 2139-2215


Assay Commission Medals

Medals issued for the annual meeting of the Assay Commission have formed an important part of numismatics for many years. Such medals were struck at the Philadelphia Mint for presentation to Mint officials, government dignitaries, and people invited as observers from the public sector. For a typical year in the 19th century, probably several dozen or even upward of 50 were issued in one medal, such as bronze, with a few others made in different metals such as aluminum or silver. Many restrikes and mulings were created for numismatists. After about 1920 the issuing procedures tightened, and, perhaps, only a couple dozen were made of most later years.

It seems that Harry Bass did not endeavor to form a definitive holding in this series but, far from that, simply acquired a few scattered issues of interest. These are presented below, with attributions to the book by R.W. Julian and Ernest E. Keusch, Medals of the United States Assay Commission, 1860-1977.

 

2139     1873 Assay Commission medal. JK-AC-12. Silver. Plain edge. 243.6 grains; 33.6 mm. Proof-65. A visually stunning piece, richly toned in violet, rose, and blue iridescence on the design motifs, with equally deep and pleasing toning on the mirror fields.

J. POLLOCK/DIRECTOR in two lines below standing figure of Archimedes, ECKFELDT on catafalque on reverse. The obverse of this medal is from the same die employed in 1871. The reverse die is new and depicts a funeral catafalque with ECKFELDT inscribed thereon, within a finely detailed wreath, ANNUAL/ASSAY/1873 below.

Jacob Eckfeldt, assayer at the Philadelphia Mint, passed away August 8, 1872, in his 41st year of service. Regarding Eckfeldt, R.W. Julian wrote: "Due to his long tenure, he had a wide circle of friends, and as he was of a family long connected with the Mint, it is probable that upwards of 50 (or even more) medals in various metals were struck for varying distribution beyond the regular assay commissioners. At least two medals were sent to commissioners unable to attend due to illness. One of these, Professor John Torrey, was himself to die shortly and then be honored on the assay medal of 1874."

From RARCOA's sale of the Harry X Boosel "1873" Collection, April 1972, Lot 916.

 

2140     1874 Assay Commission medal. JK-AC-13. Silver. Plain edge. Dies by William Barber. 241.0 grains; 33.6 mm. Proof-64. Pewter gray on the high points, iridescent blue and silver in the mirrored fields.

The obverse of this issue portrays Archimedes in an archway and has the same basic motif as seen on several earlier issues. No director's name appears below. The die differs, however, from the related issue of 1871 (AC-10) in that the 1874 die without the director's name shows Archimedes standing in an archway without clouds, and with shading or depth to the right. There are other differences in design detail, minor in nature and visible under low magnification, including an unfinished portion on the right side of the pedestal supporting the bust of the helmeted figure to the right.

The reverse is new and is somewhat similar to that of 1873, except that the catafalque is inscribed in two lines: J. TORREY/OB. MAR. 10, -73.

Professor Torrey, a well-known chemist, had been appointed to numerous earlier Assay Commissions, including those of 1861 through 1867, and again from 1869 through 1873, although a fatal illness kept him from participating in the 1873 meeting.

Regarding the pedigree, Edmund A. Rice, of Cranbury, NJ, was an active numismatist for many years and was a frequent attendee of East Coast events. In 1948, much numismatic memorabilia from the closed Henry Chapman business went to Rice, who during the next two decades sold numerous cabinets, duplicate auction catalogues, tokens and medals, and other items to interested collectors.

Purchased from Edmund A. Rice, October 9, 1972.

 


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2141     1901 Assay Commission medal. JK-AC-45. Silver. 899.8 grains, 39.5 mm wide, 56.1 mm high. Matte Proof-64. Plain edge. Rectangular. Pewter gray on satiny matte surfaces.

Bust of William McKinley to left on obverse, inscriptions above and below, reverse with Mint assay scene.

The 1901 Assay Commission met February 13 of that year. The Annual Report of the Director of the Mint for that year indicates that 40 silver plaquettes were made; two additional single pieces were made circa 1905-1906, raising the recorded number produced to 42 pieces.

Purchased from "Quality" Sales Corp., circa 1972.

 

2142     1927 Assay Commission medal. JK-AC-71. Yellow bronze antiqued surfaces. Plain edge. Edge lettered VIRGINIA H. CARPENTER, as standard for pieces of this type presented to Assay Commission members. 930.5 grains; 50.9 mm. Proof-64.

Dies by John R. Sinnock. Obverse with bust of Calvin Coolidge to right, SINNOCK SC on truncation, reverse with kneeling Hermes, with cornucopia, NATIONAL PROSPERITY below. A lovely piece from an artistic standpoint.

Upon being sworn in as president (after the death of Warren G. Harding in 1923), Coolidge, at the time in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, as his first presidential activity ordered a glass of Moxie at the general store in town.

 

Rare 1931/2 Assay Commission Muling
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2143     1932 Assay Commission medal. JK-AC-77, a muling of the obverse of AC-76a and the reverse of AC-79. Antiqued bronze. Plain edge. 832.2 grains; 50.6 mm. Matte Proof-63. Golden tan matte surfaces. Antiqued finish chipped on the edge at 3:00, otherwise quite nice overall.

Obverse with portrait of Washington below a depiction of Mount Vernon, dates 1732-1932. Die by J.R. Sinnock. Reverse with MINT OF THE UNITED STATES PHILADELPHIA PA around, no date below. Die by Adam Pietz. A rarity, one of just three specimens believed to exist.

From Medals of the United States Assay Commission 1860-1977: "This mule used, by accident, a 1932 Assay obverse (AC-76b) and the reverse from the 1931 Assay medal. Discovered by John Jay Pittman, for a long time his was the only example known. In 1985 a second specimen (now in the Keusch Collection) was found by Carl W.A. Carlson." Evidently, a typographical error occurred in this description, as careful examination of the reference book reveals that the muling is actually the obverse of AC-77b muled with the reverse of AC-79, not AC-75, as stated therein. AC-75 has a dated reverse, while AC-79 is undated, as appears on the presently offered example. Adding the two specimens mentioned above to the Bass Collection example indicates that three are known.

 

Washington Tokens and Medals

Our offering of Washington tokens and medals from the Harry Bass Collection includes specimens from the 1790s onward. Attributions are to the latest (2nd) edition of Russell Rulau and George Fuld's Medallic Portrait of Washington, a handsome book released a few months ago. Copies are available from our Publications Department.

 


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2144     Washington, circa late 1790s. Baker-65. Twigg medal. White metal. Plain edge. 252.3 grains; 35.7 mm. AU-58.

Uniformed bust of Washington facing right. Lustrous light gray surfaces with a few minor marks scattered about. A very pleasing quality example of this historic medal, marking the military and political highlights of Washington's career. The obverse die is signed by the engraver, TWIGG, thus the name assigned to this medal. Further details about Twigg are unknown, he remains unidentified after 210 years. In fact, Forrer mis-identifies him as an American diecutter. Some time ago David T. Alexander devoted a column to the medals of Twigg in Coin World.

From Stack's sale of May 1974, Lot 145.

 


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2145     Washington. 1797. Baker-72A. Sansom medal. Red bronze. Plain edge. 152.7 grains; 40.6 mm. Proof-65.

Bust of Washington, in civil dress, facing right. The original dies were engraved by John Reich whose initial, R, appears on the bust truncation. A superb example in red bronze, with a satiny Proof finish, not mirrored as the term usually implies. Edge marks noted at approximately 3:30 and 8:30. Just 308 examples of this variety were made from restrike dies engraved at the Mint in 1859 under the aegis of James Ross Snowden at the height of the Washingtonia craze. Earlier known as Baker-72, today as 72A.

From Stack's sale of May 1974, Lot 144.

 


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2146     Washington medal, 1805. By Daniel Eccleston. Baker-85. Rarity-6. Copper. Plain edge. 2,140.5 grains; 76.5 mm. AU-50.

Armored bust of Washington facing right, this depiction being called a "singular deceit" by Baker. Light tan with traces of original red. An aesthetically pleasing example of this rare medal. This obverse is signed by British engraver Thomas Webb (active 1804-1827); while the reverse bears an Indian, head downcast, standing in the center with the legends around in three lines including THE LAND WAS OURS. A fascinating satirical medal which should be of interest to many, including numismatists and historians.

Although Daniel Eccleston is fairly well chronicled in England, his activities in America are not known to the cataloguer, except as related below. It would be interesting to learn details of the Mount Vernon visit, especially as Eccleston later sharply satirized his host in the above described medal. Eccleston wrote the following, after his obituary had been published in error or as a whimsy:

"And the Ladies cry, in doleful dumps, 'Daniel's dead. What's Trumps???' Friend Minshull, I hope, through the channel of the next Lancaster Gazette to have the privilege of thanking thee for the pains thou hast taken in the obituary of thy last publication, in sketching my character, though it is, in several instances, erroneous. Had I been a worldly-minded man during my residence on that small speck of earth on which thou still continues to exist, I had many opportunities of amassing a fortune, during my residence in America and the West Indies, as well as in England, and might, long before thou sent me across the river Styx, have been driving about amongst you in my leathern vehicle, called a coach-but my visionary schemes, as thou callest them, were not entered into solely with the view to profit. I might truly have said with St. Paul, that I had known both how to want and how to abound; and I could also have added, that I never murmured, but was always content with every dispensation of Providence. To the sketch thou hast drawn. I will with thy leave, just add one circumstance, namely, that I was two or three years in Virginia and the northern provinces of America; and in my returning from Montreal to Boston, sailed down Lake Champlain and Lake George, in a birch-bark canoe, with the King of the Connawaga nation, and five other Indians, and was 11 days and 12 nights on the lakes and in the woods with them. During my residence in Virginia, when at Alexandria, I had the pleasure, and I may also add the honor, of meeting with General Washington, who gave me an invitation to call and spend a few days with him on his estate on Mount Vernon. We are totally precluded from giving you poor mortals any description of this happy country.…"

From New Netherlands Coin Co.'s 63rd Public Auction Sale, April 1972, Lot 618.

 


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2147     Washington calendar medal, circa 1850s. Baker-386. Rarity-8. Brass. Reeded edge. 254.1 grains; 36.2 mm. AU-50.

Washington standing in uniform, an orderly holding a horse in the background. Bright yellow around the periphery, some lustre remaining. The central obverse is light blue and olive, while the central reverse is light olive-brown. The central reverse, encompassing the calendar, rotates so that one can match the days of the week, with the dates of the month. Per conventional wisdom, dies were engraved by Benjamin C. True of Cincinnati, OH, struck in 1857 through 1859; although further study is indicated. An ingenious item developed for persons like this cataloguer (not Dave Bowers), who can never keep track of the date. This item is listed as Rarity-8, which suggests that between five and nine examples are known.

 

2148     Washington calendar medal, 1858. Baker-387. Rarity-5. Brass. Reeded edge. 208.1 grains; 33.8 mm. MS-60.

Equestrian figure of Washington in uniform. Bright golden brass with darker toning on the higher points. A few very minor marks are present. Dies cut by Peter H. Jacobus of Philadelphia in 1858. His initials PHJ are hidden in the ground below the horse's tail.

 


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2149     Washington Mint medalet, circa 1860s. Baker-155A, Julian PR-25. Silver. Plain edge. 57.0 grains; 18.3 mm. Paquet's Mint Series. Proof-64.

Undraped bust of Washington facing right. On the bust truncation is the engraver's initial P. A sharply struck, deeply mirrored Proof example with exquisite toning, primarily blue and amber with teal and russet blended in. A few very minor abrasions are noted under magnification. This is one of a series of medalets by Anthony Paquet, produced during his employment with the Mint.

 

2150     Washington Civil War store card, 1862, N. & G. Taylor. Baker-577. Fuld PA-750-V-03b. Rarity-7. Brass. Reeded edge. 263.0 grains; 38.5 mm. AU-58.

Undraped bust of Washington facing left. Bright yellow lustre with very pleasing surfaces. N & G Taylor Co. 303 Branch St. Philadelphia. This is a scarce variety among the several styles issued by this firm. Although this is a Civil War store card, it is much larger than the typical cent-size issues and is more like a silver dollar.

 

2151     Washington, 1860s, circa. Undated Baker-113G. Rarity-7. Lovett's Mount Vernon medal. Uniface. White metal. Plain edge. 153.0 grains; 33.8 mm. AU-58.

Draped bust of Washington facing right. Originally struck as a Proof with considerable mirrored finish remaining. Light gray, slightly darker on the highest points. The obverse die was engraved by George H. Lovett, most likely in the 1860s. The intended reverse depicted George Washington's residence, Mount Vernon. Of course, this medal is uniface and thus, Mount Vernon is in absentia. The complete medal was included as part of a series of 16 medals engraved by Lovett, showing each president's residence beginning with Washington and continuing through Lincoln, thus our estimate of the time of production. This uniface medal is listed in the just-released Medallic Portraits of Washington, 2nd Edition, by Russell Rulau and George Fuld, where it is assigned a rating of Rarity-7, suggesting that between 10 and 19 pieces are known.

For purposes of the Washington items in the present sale, we have used the recently published Rulau-Fuld reference mentioned above. Their rarity scale is adapted from that proposed by Sheldon, however, the scale used for this series ranges from Rarity-1 to 10, thus the true Sheldon scale, which so many numismatists are accustomed to, must be disregarded for this series.

From Superior's sale of the Ruby Collection, Part I, February 1974, Lot 1986C.

 

2152     Washington medalet, circa 1870s. Baker-436B. The Washington Elm. Rarity-5. White metal. Plain edge. 303.0 grains; 39.7 mm. Proof-64.

Undraped bust of Washington facing right. Attractive light gray, the central obverse field and all of the reverse field deeply mirrored. The high points of both the obverse and reverse have a deep cameo appearance. Produced in celebration of the centennial of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Left and right, below the bust of Washington, is the small notation I.F.W. DES. and G.H.L. FEC. Isaac F. Wood prepared the design and George H. Lovett engraved the dies. Wood, a wealthy man, spent much leisure time enjoying his coins. Information about him appears in American Numismatics Before the Civil War, 1760-1860.

 


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2153     Washington medalet, circa 1875. Baker-438A. Assumed Command 1775. Rarity-6. White metal. Plain edge. 108.4 grains; 27.7 mm. Proof-64.

Undraped bust of Washington facing right. Produced for the centennial of Washington assuming command of the Continental Army. Light gray, a lovely combination of deeply mirrored central fields and cameo devices, displaying soft satiny fields around the obverse and reverse borders, as illustrated. A product of George H. Lovett published by Isaac F. Wood.

 


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2154     Washington Centennial Reception, 1876. Baker-412A. Rarity-5. Copper. Plain edge. 161.0 grains; 27.6 mm. Proof-63.

Undraped bust of Washington faces right. Second obverse. An attractive Proof with bright red mixed with teal and lilac. A few very minor corrosion spots are visible on the obverse. The dies were engraved by George H. Lovett, whose initials appear at the bottom of the obverse. The reverse inscription suggests the subject matter of this small medal: ACADEMY OF MUSIC, CENTENNIAL RECEPTION, BALL, & TEA-PARTY, NY, Feby. 22nd, 1876. We hope that a good time was had by all.

 

2155     Washington, 1876 Centennial medals. Complete set of Lovett's Battle series No. 1. White metal. Baker-440B through 447B (alternatively, HK-92, 95, 98, 101, 104, 107, 110, and 113). Average Proof-63 or finer.

Each is identical for obverse style, bust of Washington to right, THE CENTENNIAL YEAR OF OUR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE and a circle of stars around, date below, reverse with common theme, naming battles of 1776. Housed in its original box of issue, and exceedingly rare as such. The outside of the forest green leather box has not fared as well as its contents, being somewhat tattered in most places, although the dual hook-and-eye clasps are in perfect working order. The inside of the box is lined with pale green satin, somewhat crinkled but not overly disturbed otherwise. A ribbon in the inner top of the box announces GEO. H. LOVETT/MEDALLIST/NEW YORK in gold leaf, crisp and fresh to this day. A rare display item, a showpiece set for the lover of Washingtonia.

From Stack's sale of May 1974, Lot 160.

 

2156     Washington, 1876. Items from the Centennial:

An interesting selection of Washington medals, all relating to the 1876 Centennial celebration. The medals range in size from 18 mm to 52 mm. Metals include silver, brass, bronze, and white metal. Many are as made, a few are lightly circulated, two are holed for suspension. The following Baker numbers are represented: B-322 (in two metals), B-394 (HK-44), B-403, B-407 (rare), B-425 (in two metals), B-426, B-427, B-431. Also included is a large (60 mm) piece struck on wood, 8 mm thick at the edge, thicker at the center due to high relief details. An interesting group. (Total: 11 pieces)

 


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2157     Washington, 1878. Valley Forge Centennial. Baker-449, Julian CM-48. Rarity-7. Silver. Plain edge. 442.9 grains; 40.7 mm. Proof-63.

Undraped bust of Washington facing right, BARBER in small letters below the bust, identifying William Barber as the designer, after Pierre Simon Du Vivier (or from adaptations thereof by Paquet, Wright, et al.). An attractive, deeply toned cameo Proof with mirrored interior fields and lustrous devices. The border around both obverse and reverse has satiny lustre. One of only 62 struck, according to the Rulau-Fuld reference. Listed by R.W. Julian in Medals of the United States Mint, the First Century, 1792-1892 as CM-48. Julian noted that in the first production just 21 examples were struck in silver, in June 1878. He notes that additional silver examples were struck, from time to time, for sale to collectors.

From Stack's sale of May 1974, Lot 153.

 

2158     Washington, 1881. Yorktown Centennial. Baker-451A. Rarity-4. 261.7 grains; 32.9 mm. Bronze. Plain edge. MS-63.

Bust of Washington facing one-quarter left. Light brown with splashes of amber and blue, and with traces of original red. A superb example, with satiny lustre and mirrored fields around the bust. A very attractive souvenir medal produced for the centennial of the surrender of Yorktown. Struck by William H. Key for Sigmund K. Harzfeld (information concerning whom will be furnished gratis upon request by the successful bidder).

 


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2159     Washington, 1883. Centennial of the Evacuation of New York City. Baker S-319. Rarity-4. Bronze. Plain edge. 1,252.3 grains; 57.3 mm. Proof-64 or finer.

Standing statue of Washington. Prooflike reverse. A superb medal of beautiful design and appearance, satiny reddish Matte Proof bronze, the reverse being mirror Proof over somewhat convex fields, giving the piece an interesting and distinctive character. This medal was struck by the Royal Swedish Mint in Stockholm, on behalf of the American Numismatic Society. The design was prepared by Charles Osborne of the ANS with dies engraved by Lea Ahlborn. Ms. Ahlborn, of Sweden, was a fine and charming lady who was a favorite of the Society.

From Stack's sale of May 1974, Lot 152.

 

2160     Washington, 1883. Centennial of the Evacuation of New York City. Baker S-319. Rarity-4. Bronze. Plain edge. Duplicate of the preceding. 1,249.8 grains; 57.2 mm. Proof-64 or finer.

 

2161     Washington, 1883. Evacuation of New York City. Baker-460B. Rarity-5. White metal. Plain edge. 156.3 grains; 31.9 mm. Proof-58.

Undraped bust of Washington facing right. Extremely well-detailed light gray with deep mirrored fields. A patch of heavy hairlines is in the left obverse field, a lighter patch in the right obverse field. The obverse bust was modeled by Anthony C. Paquet many years earlier, and used on the 1861 Mint Allegiance medal (Baker-279).

 

2162     Washington, 1883. Evacuation of New York City. Baker-460B. Rarity-5. White metal. Plain edge. 156.6 grains; 32.0 mm. A duplicate of the preceding medal. EF. Light gray with several spots of discoloration and minor corrosion.

 

2163     1889 Washington. Inaugural centennial medals. Various grades from EF holed to prooflike Mint, mostly high grade. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as President in New York City April 30, 1789. This group is attributed to the Susan H. Douglas monograph:

I Douglas 7A. White metal. 918.6 grains; 51.4 mm I D-7A. White metal. 722.1 grains; 51.2 mm I D-9. Brass. 113.0 grains; 25.9 mm I D-9A Brass. 108.3 grains; 25.9 mm I D-13B White metal. 685.8 grains 43.8 mm I D-20 White metal. 287.2 grains 40.1 mm I D-26 White metal. 68.8 grains 24.7 mm I D-42A White metal. 218.3 grains 35.3 mm I D-47 White metal. 343.9 grains 39.7 mm I D-48 White metal. 741.1 grains 50.5 mm I D-48 White metal. 737.8 grains 50.6 mm I D-48 White metal. 747.6 grains 50.5 mm I D-49A White metal. 247.3 grains 38.0 mm I D-51 White metal. 251.2 grains 36.7 mm I D-51 White metal. 219.9 grains 36.9 mm. (Total: 15 pieces)

From Stack's sale of May 1974, Lot 162.

 

2164     Washington, 1889. Centennial of George Washington's inauguration. Douglas-47. Souvenir medal of the Centennial Festival. White metal. 366.6 grains; 39.8 mm. AU-50. Holed for suspension, as issued. A number of minor hits and light rim bumps are noted.

Dies by Robert Lovett, Jr., dean of Philadelphia medalists and diecutters.

 

2165     Washington, 1889. Centennial of George Washington's inauguration. Douglas-52. Thirteen Links. Bronze. 266.8 grains; 53.8 mm. Proof-62. Reflective chocolate brown Proof surfaces.

The obverse portrait, from the Pierre Simon Du Vivier bust, rises in high relief from the concave field. The reverse features the sun at the center surrounded by 13 links representing the unity of the original 13 colonies, with the Fugio pattern-esque touch of having a tiny sun face at the center. Published by S.H. & H. Chapman in April 1889. The obverse die draws upon certain earlier work by the late Charles Cushing Wright, the portrait puncheon being his artistry, and is signed by him.

 

2166     A trio of bronze Washington medals, all circa 1931-32. Average MS-63 antiqued finish, each in a round oxblood leatherette box, probably as issued:

I MDCCLXXXI-MCMXXI (1781-1931). On the obverse, WASHINGTON-DE GRASSE-TILLY-ROCHAMBEAU arcs above a trio of conjoined busts of the three allied victors at the decisive Battle of Yorktown, Virginia, the date, in Roman numerals, below, reverse with CAPITULATION/DE/YORKTOWN superimposed on a map of the battle. Die signed P. TURIN. 67.6 mm I 1932 GEORGE WASHINGTON, stars, and dates 1732-1799 around bust of Washington to left, LUCIEN BAZOR 1932 on truncation, reverse with scene of Mount Vernon, PATRIAE LIBERATOR/ET DECVS/1732-1932. 67.9 mm I Circa 1932 copy of the famous Washington Before Boston medal. 68.6 mm. The edge of each is marked BRONZE followed by a cornucopia, a privy mark of the Paris Mint. (Total: 3 pieces)

 

2167     1932 Washington. Baker-900C. Proclaim Liberty. 1532.2 grains; 56.2 mm. Matte Proof-65. Bronze. Plain edge. Bright golden bronze and much the same as when made.

Designed by Laura Gardin Fraser and struck at the Philadelphia Mint for sale to the public.

 

2168     Washington. Group of popular Washington medals early and late, including:

I Baker-91. Silver. Plain edge (2). Proof-63, and EF-45. TIME INCREASES HIS FAME I B-155A. Silver or silvered bronze, later striking, antiqued finish. Plain edge. MS-60. Paquet's Mint Series I B-245A. Silver. Plain edge. Proof-63. Paquet's Mint Series. Washington obverse, Lincoln reverse. Deeply toned, dark oxidation before Lincoln's portrait I B-279. Bronze. Plain edge (2). EF to AU, both later strikings (in our opinion). U.S. MINT OATH OF ALLEGIANCE I B-324. Bronze. Reeded edge. Proof-55. Battle Monument, Baltimore (a.k.a. the Monumental City for this and other art). Dies by R. Lovett, Jr. I B-436A. George H. Lovett and Isaac F. Wood collaboration. Bronze. Plain edge. Shattered obverse die, and quite interesting as such. Proof-63. The Washington Elm I B-438. Lovett and Woods. White Metal. Plain edge. Proof-65. ASSUMED COMMAND. A superb gem specimen I Adoption of the Constitution medal. Silver. Plain edge. Antiqued finish. Washington to right, SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION arcs above, ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION curves below on obverse, reverse with 150TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION arcs above, 1787-1937 below, eagle on book with WE THE PEOPLE in cartouche at center. A nice group overall. (Total: 10 pieces)

 

2169     Washington medals and a Franklin medal: I Washington, 1797. Reich's Sansom Medal Mint copy. Baker-72. Copper, bronzed. Plain edge. Proof-63 BN I Store card of R. Lovett, Jr. Die Sinker. Baker-556, PA-339. Brass. AU-50. Equestrian Washington obverse, Lovett's advertising reverse I Benjamin Franklin medal by Dupré. Paris Mint restrike. BRONZE on edge. Struck from original dies. AU-50. (Total: 3 pieces)

From New Netherlands Coin Co.'s sale of April 1972, Lot 619.

 

Diverse Tokens and Medals and
Other Numismatic Items

By their very nature, tokens and medals are diverse. Below are many interesting medals, loosely arranged by alphabetical subject. However, as the topics are many, and some groups contain multiples, we advise that you check the entire listing.

 

2170     Allender counterfeit-detecting gold coin scale, circa 1851-3: J. Allender's Gold Coin scale, patent pending, manufactured by I. Wilson, New London Conn. A superb, like-new example of this popular coin scale type, with full "lustre," if you will, on its bright brass surfaces. A treasure unto itself, as it is housed in the bottom (alas, no top) of its original box, with the original label containing operating instructions and the original counterweight. Best of all, the paper and cardboard components are as nicely preserved as the actual scale!

This is a relatively early entry in what would prove to be an extensive series of scales with different imprints and configurations invented by Allender.

This and related Allender scales are described in fascinating detail (especially p. IV-1-2 for this particular model) in the new book, U.S. Coin Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors, by Eric P. Newman and A. George Mallis.

 

2171     1897 Bickford dollar. HK-834. MS-63. Aluminum with brass central insert. Plain edge. 58.9 grains; 28.0 mm. Obverse with HERE IS SHOWN THE VALUE OF OUR DOLLAR IN THE COIN OF DIFFERENT NATIONS OF THE WORLD around a circle, international coinage ratios in smaller circles around another circle, INVENTED AND PROTECTED BY DANA BICKFORD within that circle around brass insert, insert marked REPUBLICAN INTERNAT'L DOLLAR, reverse with THIS COMBINATION COIN WILL WHEN ADOPTED BE GOOD IN ALL NATIONS/HEAL ALL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GOLD AND SILVER MEN/AND FULLY SETTLE ALL FINANCIAL QUESTIONS/APPROVED BY ALL GOOD BUSINESS MEN in decreasing circles around the brass insert, same markings on this side of the insert as on the obverse.

Notes concerning Bickford are found in Session II under the 1874 Bickford pattern $10 gold.

 

2172     California souvenir. Circa 1949, but dated "1855." Round brass "slug," a souvenir modeled after the Wass-Molitor $50 round pieces of the 1855 era. Rich olive-gold toning on both sides.

Liberty to left on obverse, 13 stars around, date below, reverse with SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA FIFTY around an eagle styled after the Wass-Molitor reverse, wings spread, shield and arrows in talon, ribbon in beak. On a ribbon above the eagle appears 1809 GRS and 887 THOUS. Somewhat prooflike on both sides.

Purchased from Julian Leidman, May 30, 1972.

 


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2173     1917 Catskill Aqueduct medal by Daniel Chester French. Medallic Art Co. New York. Johnson-29. Silver. Round. 3,584.4 grains; 75.8 mm. Essentially as struck. Matte-like steel gray and silver surfaces.

Large high-relief portrait of Ceres to right on obverse, DCF on truncation, reverse with full-length nude Greek boy to left, emptying jug of water, TO COMMEMORATE THE COMPLETION / OF THE CATSKILL AQUEDUCT / AN ACHIEVEMENT OF CIVIC SPIRIT / SCIENTIFIC GENIUS AND FAITHFUL LABOR / 1905 NEW YORK 1917 in background. One of only 23 examples thought to exist, and important as such.

Daniel Chester French is best remembered for his statue of the Minuteman located in Concord, Massachusetts, where the famous "shot heard 'round the world" occurred in April 1775, touching off the American Revolution.

 

2174     1876. Centennial Exhibition. Baker-426B. Rarity-4. Danish Medal. White metal. 780.9 grains; 52.6 mm. Proof-63. Bright and reflective Proof fields, the devices being lightly frosted. A beautiful example of this popular medal. As an additional bonus, the original box, with the logotype of V. Christensen, the Copenhagen publisher of this medal, is included; the first we can recall seeing (a meaningful statement).

The dies were prepared by J. Ohlrik, and the medals were made by F. Schmahlfeld. This is one of the larger, more elegant medals of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition.

 

2175     1876 Centennial Exhibition medal in silver. HK-20. Plain edge. 385.1 grains; 37.7 mm. Proof-60 to 63. Iridescent toning. With original case of issue.

A large coining press was brought to the Exhibition in Fairmount Park, and the silver impressions were struck in situ and retailed for $3 each (in contrast, bronze and gilt pieces were struck within the Mint and were sold for $1).

From Paramount's ANA sale, August 1972, Lot 935.

 

1876 Large Size Silver Centennial Medal

One of Just 10 Struck

2176     Centennial of American Independence medal, 1876. Large format. Authorized by an Act of Congress, June 1874. Silver. Plain edge. 1198.4 grains; 57.4 mm. Proof-63. One of only 10 pieces struck in silver in this large format.

Dies unsigned. Richly toned in gunmetal-blue iridescence. Obverse with IN COMMEMORATION OF THE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE around a trio of figures, ornately detailed and beautiful to behold, portraying Liberty crowning Industry and Art, reverse with THESE UNITED COLONIES ARE OF RIGHT AND OUGHT TO BE FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES around kneeling Liberty, hand raised in supplication to a constellation of rays and stars.

In the American Journal of Numismatics, H.W. Holland notes that specimens of this medal were struck in copper, copper gilt (gold plated), and silver, of which only 10 pieces were struck.

From our sale of the Austin Collection, May-June 1974, Lot 1257.

 

2177     Centennial Exhibition and Columbian Exposition: A group of exposition pieces:

Columbian Exposition: I Christopher Columbus medal, 1892. Aluminum. Plain edge. 34.9 grains; 34.3 mm. Proof-60. Columbus and dual dates on obverse, reverse reads THIS MEDAL IS MADE OF THE WONDERFUL METAL around a wreath, ALUMINUM / UNTARNISHABLE / MALLEABLE / TASTELESS / ODORLESS / DUCTILE within the wreath I Maryland Columbian Exposition Participation medal, 1893. Bronze. Plain edge. 689.9 grains; 44.8 mm. Proof-63 BN. High relief portrait of Columbus, surmounted by an eagle, with dates of journey on obverse, reverse with wreath composed of reeds, terrapins, and ducks around, 1893 / COMMEMORATING / MARYLAND'S / PARTICIPATION IN THE / WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION above the State Arms, within the wreath I Fourfold scene medal, 1893. White Metal. Plain edge. 942.9 grains; 58.4 mm. Proof-63. Obverse with DISCOVERY OF AMERICA OCTOBER 1492 arcing above, LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS DEC. 1620 curves below appropriate scenes, reverse with SIGNING OF DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE JULY 4TH 1776 arcing above a scene of the event, WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION on a ribbon that divides the field at the equator, eagle on shield below ribbon, bust of Columbus to left, bust of Washington to right. BOLDENWICK & CO. / PAT'D OCT. 7 1890 stamped on edge I United States of America Independence medal, 1876. Bronze. Plain edge. 675.5 grains; 50.1 mm. Proof-63. Obverse with helmeted head of Athena to left in high relief, within a beaded circle, die signed VEYRAT F. below truncation, child's face maker's mark below artist's name, beaded circle with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA INDEPENDENCE and dual dates 1776-1876 within circle, crossed U.S. flags at center, BRICHAUT DIR. between flags in tiny letters. (Total: 4 pieces)

 

1956 U.S. Congressional Gold Medal

To Surviving Veterans of the Civil War

Dies by Gilroy Roberts

One of Just Four Pieces Struck

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2178     Civil War Veterans. National gold medal, 1956. 0.999 Fine (nearly pure gold). 10.24 troy ounces, 69.8 mm. Essentially as struck, save for two minuscule edge test cuts. Lustrous matte-like surfaces. A rarity of great importance, forging as it does a direct link with one of the last surviving veterans of the War Between the States.

Obverse with conjoined busts of Grant and Lee to right, Grant's name behind his head, Lee's name in front of his face, HONOR TO GREAT SOLDIERS arcs above, AND TO GREAT AMERICANS arcs below, G. ROBERTS 1956 on truncation, reverse with Union and Confederate shields at top, torch with crossed olive branch and sword between, PRESENTED / WITH HONOR / TO THE SURVIVING VETERANS / OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES / ACT OF THE CONGRESS OF THE / UNITED STATES / OF AMERICA in seven lines below. This beautiful and historically important medal contains more than 10.5 ounces of .999 fine gold! Struck by order of the 84th Congress, 2nd Session, pursuant to Public Law 730, Chapter 631, and approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 18, 1956. Designed by Gilroy Roberts and struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Only four examples were struck and the dies then destroyed. Of those four pieces, one is now in the Smithsonian Institution, while another was reportedly destroyed by vandals.

The other two medals were awarded, one each, to Walter Williams of Houston Texas, and John Salling of Grundy, Virginia, both Confederate veterans. This specimen is the Williams piece, originally purchased from the family prior to its appearance at auction in 1976. Housed in its tan box of issue.

From Stack's ANA Sale, August 1976, Lot 3321.

 

2179     Columbian Exposition medals, 1892-3. "Morgan dollar style," large and small formats. Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Columbus's journey to the New World. All are attractive and essentially as made. Obverse copied after George T. Morgan's silver dollar of 1878, but here in higher relief and with some stylistic differences: I Gilt. 89.4 mm I Bronze (2). 89.4 mm, and 35.9 mm I Aluminum. 89.4 mm. Same design on each, obverse with circle of 49 small stars around head of Liberty to left, 1892 below bust, reverse with landfall of Columbus scene, DEDICATED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN HONOR OF THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA around. Dies signed W.M. on Liberty's truncation.

Gilt. 3,513.3 grains; 89.4 mm. • Bronze. 3,430.6 grains; 89.4 mm. • Small bronze. 252.4 grains; 35.9 mm. • Aluminum. 1,124.6 grains; 89.4 mm. • Aluminum, small: 79.2 grains, 35.9 mm. (Total: 5 pieces).

 


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2180     1893 Christopher Columbus medal, American Numismatic and Archaeological Society, by Tiffany. Bronze. Plain edge. 3,962.5 grains; 76.9 mm. Matte surfaces as issued.

Obverse with mythical portrait of Columbus facing left. Reverse with inscription from a grateful America which "honors its discoverer." Struck by Tiffany & Co. for the Society. A large, impressive, and somewhat scarce medal.

 

2181     J.J. Conway. Trio of restrikes. Circa. 1956. Average AU-58, or finer. Each lightly polished: I 1861 $2.50. Kagin-1 I 1862 $5. K-2 I Undated (1861) $10. K-3. The complete set of three pieces. All pieces are struck in goldine, and 200 sets were issued. An interesting group of fantasy pieces. (Total: 3 pieces)

This set is quite curious and interesting. Production is said to have occurred within the walls of the Denver Mint, circa 1956. To our knowledge, goldine (a brass-like alloy) was the only metal used, but who knows? The $2.50 and $10 pieces are similar to the original issues of circa 1860, while the $5 piece is a fantasy combining dies for which there was no original counterpart. The $5 obverse, dated 1862, bears the inscription UNION on a copy of the portrait from the contemporary federal $5 coin. The reverse is the $5 Conway die.

These issues point out the need for additional study of certain territorial-related gold coins of the mid-19th century. The dies for various Colorado issues were probably made in the East, and no doubt a careful study of die punches would reveal the source, especially if they were made in one of the hotbed cities of token issuance such as Cincinnati (in particular), Philadelphia, or New York. Today the Conway "restrikes" are quite elusive, and only occasionally do we encounter sets such as this.     

 

2182     Counterfeit detector balance scale. British gold coin scale, probably mid 19th century, known as [first letters not clear]mmons's Improved Sovereign Balance to "Weigh and gauge sovereigns and half sovereigns, so exact that no counterfeit can possibly go through the gauge of sufficient weight to turn the balance." Mint condition, sparkling brass, housed in a somewhat tattered red cardboard slip-box of origin, the front label partly missing.

This is one of a large class of balance scales to test gold coins. Made in England, a counterpart to numerous American issues. Years ago such devices were fairly common in British antique and related shops, and the writer can recall seeing them on the early morning market in Portobello Road, this being circa 1960. However, rarely were they in the condition as offered here, and still rarer yet, in the original box (in fact, we can't recall ever seeing one in an original box).

The attention of present readers is called to a related book compiled by Eric P. Newman and A. George Mallis, published earlier this year under the title U.S. Coin Scales and Mechanical Counterfeit Coin Detectors. Copies are available for $35, plus $4.50 postage from EPNNES, 6450 Cecil Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63105. Our firm has no financial interest in the book; we are simply passing along the information as we enjoy our own copy and feel that others might like to own one.

 

2183     1905 Denver Mint test coin or medal. HK-876. Copper. 267.5 grains; 34.1 mm. MS-64. Lustrous subdued red surfaces.

DENVER/1905 on obverse, reverse blank save for dentils around the border. Struck in 1905 to test the presses at the Denver Mint, which was opened for business the following year. Over the years we have had, perhaps, 10 to 20 examples of this ever-popular Denver Mint item, of which this is certainly among the finest.

Purchased from Goliad Corporation, August 8, 1972.

 

2184     1837 Hard Times token. HT-33, Low-19. Hard Times token. Illustrious Predecessor. MS-60 RB. Copper. Plain edge. A lustrous specimen with gentle olive highlights on satiny red surfaces. An ever-popular and quite common type, even in Mint State.

The obverse depicts a diamondback terrapin, native to the Chesapeake Bay region of the country. It supports a strongbox on its back marked SUB TREASURY, a reference to the slow transfer of public funds. The reverse jackass is a satirical representation of Andrew Jackson and of his successor, Martin Van Buren, following in his steps.

From New Netherlands Coin Co.'s sale of April 1972, Lot 624.

 

2185     1837 Hard Times token. Feuchtwanger cent. HT-268, Low-120. EF-40. Sharpness of AU, but with some old scratches hidden on the reverse. Dies 6-I. Rarity-1. Mostly silvery surfaces with some areas of toning.

Notes: Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger, issuer of this token, was born in 1807 at Furth, near Nuremberg, Germany. He attended Heidelberg University and, among other things, became an expert duelist. By the late 1820s, when he came to America, he seems to have developed an alloy, popularly called German silver, which resembled silver metal, but had negligible or no silver content. Upon importing some of his alloy, later called Feuchtwanger's Composition (as stated on the reverse of the above token), customs agents declared it to be silver, perhaps at once an annoyance and a high compliment!

A prolific writer, he contributed to many magazines and other publications, an early American byline being in 1831 in Silliman's American Journal of Science. From at least that year, until at least 1837, he maintained premises at 377 Broadway, New York City. Meanwhile, he exhibited at the annual fair of the American Institute, an early-day promotion society for arts and manufacturers, and in 1834, 1835, and 1836 he was awarded silver medals for his alloy and for a highly admired display of over 100 items made from it, among which were table ware, mugs, scissors, and a beer pump.

On September 13, 1837, he petitioned Congress to adopt his metal as a substitute for copper for the purposes of minor coinage. Such request was considered at length, but ultimately rejected. It seems that Feuchtwanger did not have the powers of persuasion or the political connections of the later well-known proponent of nickel, Joseph Wharton. In the meantime in 1837-or at least the tokens bear the date 1837-Feuchtwanger issued a veritable flood of "cents" (so proclaimed) of his alloy. Such is the piece offered above.

 

2186     Indian Head "gold" eagle fantasy. 81.9 grains; 26.6 mm MS-63. Matte-like golden surfaces.

Purchased from Stack's sale of the Gaston DiBello Collection in 1970, where the catalogue read as follows: "Obverse design showing Indian head, similar to the regular design, with no date. Reverse: similar to adopted reverse, with motto. This is an electrotype, skillfully joined and gold plated. Possibly a designer's working model for eventual finishing for a completed die. Origin of acquisition by Mr. DiBello not available." In actuality, the piece might aptly be called "Bela Lyon Pratt meets Augustus Saint-Gaudens." The obverse most closely resembles that of Pratt's incused design types of 1908-1929, though not incused, while the reverse resembles the Saint-Gaudens eagle of 1907-1933. Intriguing and quite attractive overall. Just a guess: DiBello bought it at the Farouk sale in 1954, and earlier the former king of Egypt had paid a hefty price for it as an "unlisted pattern." The present cataloguer does not believe it is the work of either Saint-Gaudens or Pratt.

From Stack's sale of the DiBello Collection, May 1970, Lot 502.

 

2187     Lincoln birth centennial, 1909. Official Centennial Medal. King-309. Dies by J.E. Roine. Silver (sterling, .925 fine). Plain edge. 2466.5 grains; 62.7 mm. Matte Proof-63. Number 34 of just 100 pieces struck.

Lovely silver gray surfaces. Obverse with ABRAHAM LINCOLN around high relief bust of same, to left, birth and death dates divided by bust, designer's name at truncation, Medallic Art Company monogram in field. The reverse shows a wreath with LIBERATOR above, EMANCIPATION / PROCLAMATION / SIGNED / JANUARY FIRST 1863 and a facsimile signature within, and 1909 / CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION below, 34 stamped in the field at 4:00, STERLING stamped in small letters in the field at 8:00. A tiny edge bruise is seen at 3:00 on the obverse, and some other tiny areas of edge roughness are seen on the reverse.

From New Netherlands Coin Co.'s sale of April 1972, Lot 621.

 

2188     Medallic trio, all essentially as struck:

I 1833 Benjamin Franklin and Jean-Baptiste Antoine Montyon medal. Bronze. 41.7 mm. Dies by Barre. "Genius" medal by the Society Montyon and Franklin, regarding the two featured personages, who most likely struck up their friendship during one of Franklin's trips to France I 1864 Green St. M.E. Church Sunday School, Philadelphia. Christmas medal. Bronzed copper. 38.2 mm. Front facade of building with identifying text on obverse, ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN around BEHOLD, I BRING / YOU GOOD TIDINGS / OF GREAT JOY / WHICH SHALL BE / TO ALL PEOPLE / CHRISTMAS / 1864 at center of reverse I 1961 Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Cornish, New Hampshire medal. Dies by Coin Medals, distributed by Toivo Johnson. Copper. 75.8 mm. Landing of Columbus on the obverse, reverse with front view of "Aspet," home of Saint-Gaudens in Cornish, New Hampshire, with a Saint-Gaudens MCMVII High Relief double eagle above the house, and text lauding the accomplishments of the famous Yankee sculptor. Johnson, primarily a commemorative dealer, advertised these heavily during the height of the medal craze (which was launched by Presidential Art Medals of Englewood, OH). (Total: 3 pieces)

 


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2189     Mint medal. 1836 First Steam Coinage medal by Christian Gobrecht. Copper. Plain edge. 200.0 grains; 28.0 mm. Proof-63 BN. Olive highlights on golden brown surfaces.

Struck by the first steam-powered coinage press in the Philadelphia Mint, this important early Mint medal commemorates the event. Obverse with Liberty Cap in circle of rays, reverse with UNITED STATES MINT and 1836 in outer circle, FIRST/STEAM/COINAGE/MAR. 23. in inner circle. Rim cud break at lower obverse. Scarce so fine.

This event was to have taken place on February 22, 1836, this being George Washington's birthday. However, the equipment was not in readiness, and the die was altered to read Mar. 23, when the event actually occurred.

From Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions, August 1980, Lot 893.

 

2190     Mint medal. George F. Robinson medal, 1871. Julian PE-27. 4021.0 grains; 76.9 mm. Bronze. Plain edge. Beautiful bronzed Proof as issued.

Dies by Anthony Paquet (who received $1,250 for the work) after designs by G.Y. Coffin. Deep chestnut with some lighter reddish brown on the high points. Awarded by the Congress of the United States to Robinson for his heroism while defending the life of Secretary of State William H. Seward. Obverse with bust of Robinson to left, two wreaths above, award information in the fields, reverse with scene of Robinson fending off knife-wielding Lewis Paine as he attempts to kill bedridden Seward on the night of April 14, 1865. Across town, Paine's co-conspirator, John Wilkes Booth was carrying out his portion of the infamous events of that night.

R.W. Julian considers Coffin's obverse to be "rather poor quality". but, "the reverse of this medal shows one of the most dramatic scenes in American history."

From RARCOA's sale of the Harry X Boosel "1873" Collection, April 1972, Lot 920.

 

2191     Mint medal of Grant. Ulysses S. Grant medal, 1873. Julian PR-15. Bronze. Plain edge. 3298.6 grains; 75.8 mm. Proof-63, basically as struck.

Dies by William and Charles Barber (jointly signed on obverse, collaboration of dad and fair-haired son). Iridescent reddish tan surfaces. Bust of Grant to left, name around, maker's names below truncation on obverse, reverse with PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES around a wreath, inauguration dates within.

From RARCOA's sale of the Harry X Boosel "1873" Collection, April 1972, Lot 918.

 


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2192     1925 Norse American medal. Bronze, triple silvered. Large format. 2,423.8 grains; 70.6 mm. MS-64. Bright silver with some specks of toning. Swirling die polish lines are visible on each side. Similar to the standard Norse American medals but much larger format. Only 60 were made, and are seldom seen today.

Norse-American medal mintages and distribution:

Thin silver, 12.2 grams, 1-1/2 inches, 6,000 minted, none melted.

Thick silver, 19.7 grams, 33,750 minted, 2,000 melted, net distribution 31,750.

Gold, 15.6 grams 1 inch, 900 fine gold, 100 minted, 53 melted, net distribution of 47 pieces. (Offered earlier in the sale under commemoratives).

Special copper-bronze, triple silver plated (as offered in this lot), 2 5/8" diameter, 154.9 grams, 60 minted.

 

2193     Philadelphia. Appreciation medal to A. Thiers, by Anthony Paquet. 1873. Bronze. Plain edge. 1,843.8 grains; 63.5 mm. MS-64. Deep brown.

Obverse with arms at center (shield surmounted by a hand holding scales, flanked by goddesses), MDCCLXXXIX (1789) beneath, PHILADELPHIA arcs above, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA curves below, reverse with French legend LES FRANCAIS DE PHILADELPHIE RECONNAISSANTS around a wreath, A / A. THIERS / POUR SERVICES RENDUS / A LA / REPUBLIQUE / FRANCAISE / 5 SEPTEMBRE / 1873 in wreath.

A masterfully done die pair by Paquet, who by this time was back in the private sector (having been on the Mint staff 1857-1864).

From RARCOA's sale of the Harry X Boosel "1873" Collection, April 1972, Lot 924.

 

Rare Silver 1905 Saint-Gaudens Medal

Maxfield Parrish's Specimen


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2194     Saint-Gaudens medal. Private celebration of June 23, 1905. Matte Proof-60 or marginally finer. Silver. 670.0 grains, Size: 81.0 mm height, 46.5 mm width.

Originally the property of noted American artist Maxfield Parrish, consigned to our sale of the Dr. Curtis R. Paxman Collection, November 1974, by Maxfield Parrish, Jr., who wrote the following description of this exquisitely rendered piece:

"This medallion was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1905 'In Affectionate Remembrance of the Celebration of June 23rd, (XXIII, as spelled out) AUGUSTA AND AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS.' This message appears along the bottom edge in larger type than the list of names on either side of the stylized chariot seen front view in the middle of the bottom panel. The 'Masque of Hours' (sometimes called 'A Masque of Ours') was produced by the residents of the Cornish Colony at that time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the "founding" of the colony by Augusta and Augustus Saint-Gaudens when they moved there. The Masque was a joint effort by all of Saint-Gaudens's friends, and included a playlet written by neighbors, music composed by Arthur White, and the building of a wooden temple (later copied in marble), very much as shown in the center of the medallion. The people who acted in the playlet, and those who simply came to see it, all have been recorded in microscopic lettering in the dome-shaped upper panel and the rectangular one below, separated by the stylized view of the chariot in the middle. At the end of the play, Mr. and Mrs. Saint-Gaudens were invited into the chariot, and it was pulled up the lawn to their house. Augustus, always deeply impressed by things Hellenic, was tremendously impressed by this occasion-so much so that he commemorated it by these medallions, in silver, and presenting one to each of the persons named on it. With a five power lens they may all be read as follows, starting with the upper panel. The names are given below. Mabel Churchill and Ellen Shipman appear twice, because one of each was the daughter of the other."

Then follows a lengthy list of 28 names from the upper panel, followed by 62 names from the lower plinth. A rarity of some importance, commemorating as it does a peek into the private lives of the Saint-Gaudens family at play.

From our sale of the Dr. Curtis Paxman Collection, November 1974, Lot 1085.

 

Galvano-Style Model or Plaque of

1879 Coiled Hair $4 Obverse


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2195     Model of the 1879 Coiled Hair $4 Stella obverse. Morgan's Coiled Hair design. Molded in Gutta Percha (tentative based upon appearance), in the form of a large model with raised rim within a square, the diameter of the coin design measuring 88.1 mm, the entire being a recessed part of a larger Gutta Percha unit measuring 169.8 mm by 161.2 mm. Of unquestioned Mint origin, in our opinion, this may have been taken from a galvano (electrotype impression of a model) or made in some other way. However, the present impression shows the date, 1879, and in a slightly different position (farther to the right) than on the finished coins; typically, galvanos of this period did not include the date.

The unit is handsome and impressive, deep glossy brown-black and somewhat reflective. For the pattern enthusiast we admire some of the finest work of George T. Morgan and this, indeed, will be a wonderful exhibit item and showpiece. We have never seen or heard of another, or even anything remotely similar.

 


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2196     1860 Wealth of the South token. Fuld-511/514b. Brass. Plain edge. MS-60. An olive-gold specimen of a fairly scarce and quite popular token. Obverse with NO SUBMISSION TO THE NORTH arcing above, 1860 below, battlements and cannon around a palm tree at the center, reverse with THE WEALTH OF THE SOUTH arcing above, RICE TOBACCO SUGAR COTTON below an assemblage of those four crops. Choice for the grade.

This and related tokens were from dies cut by Benjamin True in 1860, and struck by John Stanton in Cincinnati. Marketing was accomplished in the South, where the sentiment gained strong favor with citizens. The "wealth of the south" philosophy dated from an earlier time, and held that the true strength of the South came from the land-including the crops mentioned. In contrast, the strength of the North was said to be fleeting, to be based upon banking, manufacturing, and other man-made facilities and activities. Years later in 1896, William Jennings Bryan would unwittingly pick up the same theme in his famous "Cross of Gold speech," which held that if farms were leveled, they would rise again as if by magic, but if cities were leveled, grass would grow in the streets.

The Wealth of the South dies were also combined with dies for the 1860 presidential campaign, creating a veritable numismatic panorama-not to overlook mulings with dies of certain merchants.

From Stack's sale of March 1973, Lot 148.

 

2197     1860 Wealth of the South token. Brass, traditionally called silvered, now known to be tin. MS-60. Deep silver-blue iridescence on both sides.

Described in the New Netherlands sale of April 1972 as: "Ascribed to the presidential campaign of John C. Breckinridge. Prooflike Unc., fields splendid, palmetto with faintest trace of rub. Exceedingly rare." At that time, only two previous auction records were cited. The catalogue description ends with: "We believe this is the finest reported."

From New Netherlands Coin Co.'s sale of April 1972, Lot 658.

 

2198     Store cards and merchant tokens of the 19th and 20th centuries. Various circulated (mostly) grades:

I Carl O. Bye. Wallin, Mich. Brass. Plain edge. Good for 5c in trade. 24.8 mm I James M. Clark & Co. Merchandise Norwood, KY. White metal. Plain edge I Stave & Lumber Co. Reverse with 50 in center and 14 stars around rim. 25.5 mm I As preceding, but with 25 in center and 16 stars at the rim 21.5 mm I J.R. Crooke & Co. Merchandise Greenwood, KY. White metal. Plain edge. Reverse with 100 in center and 16 stars around rim. 28.5 mm I B.B. Ott Washington, Court House, Ohio, with 2-1/2 in center. White metal. Plain edge I 1873 Brent's Kentucky whisky. 21.6 mm I 1843 Peter Schuttler, Chicago. Brass. Plain edge. Agt. for the Schuttler wagon. Agricultural implements. 32.3 mm I 1850 S. T. Suit. Jefferson Co. KY. White metal. Plain edge. Kentucky currency. 27.6 mm I Wilcox Crittenden & Co. Brass. Plain edge. Galvanizing and tinning. Established 1847. 19.1 mm. (Total: 8 pieces)

 

2199     Store cards, including Scovill cards: A selection of 19th-century merchant tokens, all round, all half dollar sized:

I Baker & Moody Hatters, 186 Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois. Brass. MS-65 I Daniel Ball & Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. Brass. EF-40 I Fobes & Barlow, Water Street, New Haven, Connecticut. Copper. MS-63 RB I Foster & Parry, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Copper. EF-40 I A. Hopkins, 146 U.S. Block, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Copper. Dark, partially silvered I Pearson & Dana, 184 Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois. Copper. EF-40 I S.T. Suit, Jefferson County, Kentucky. Copper. MS-63 RB I A.B. Van Cott, Racine, Wisconsin. Brass. EF-40, a few stray marks I A.B. Van Cott, Racim [sic], Wisconsin. Copper. EF-40. An interesting group, mostly Scovill, mid-19th century, with several exceptionally attractive pieces included. (Total: 9 pieces)

 

World Numismatics

The following selection is diverse and includes interesting large-format medals, selected patterns, high-grade specimens of circulation issues, and, in conclusion, an illustrious offering of Russian medals.

 

Rare Erotic Spintria of Ancient Rome

When in Rome…

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2200     Ancient Rome. Anonymous issue from the time of Tiberius (22-37 A.D.). Copper erotic spintria. Type unlisted. 149.3 grains; 23.3 mm; Die Alignment: 180°. VG. The surfaces are somewhat pitted and exhibit areas of dark brown and green patination. Higher points are lighter. The obverse features an erotic scene of a female on hands and knees, a male behind, holding her waist. Both figures appear to be on some type of platform, this being very unclear. The reverse type with AVIII at the center surrounded by a linear circle. The outer wreath which is usually present, is no longer discernible. Neither the obverse or reverse is illustrated in T.V. Buttrey's article, "The Spintriae as an Historical Source," printed in The Numismatic Chronicle, 1973.

A number of different varieties are known to exist, and at least 13 different erotic obverses appear in the literature. The reverses are found with varying Roman numerals, and at least one is known with the letters AVG. It is interesting to note that the positions do not seem to have any connection to the numerals on the reverses, as they are found in various combinations. It is also likely that the ancient use for these tokens had no connection to the designs used. This is evidenced in the fact that there exist contemporaneous non-erotic types with obverses featuring imperial portraits. Examples of both groups have been identified as sharing reverse types from the same dies, and the tokens are generally of similar fabric. This suggests that these issues are not only contemporary, but probably produced in the same workshop or mint. The specific purpose for which these were struck is not known today.

From Spink & Son, Ltd., June 2, 1973.

 

2201     Austria. 1873 25th Anniversary of Coronation of Franz Joseph I of Austria, 2 December 1873. Dies by Jauner. Bronze. Round. 1,876.5 grains; 71.5 mm. Choice Proof.

Obverse with Arms of Austria at center, legends around, reverse with five figures, probably representing Athena (owl at her side); Ceres (winged, as an angel, with cornucopia and other grains in her hands); Victory (crowning the seated Franz Joseph); Mars (in full armor); and Justice (scales in hand), all around a seated figure of Franz Joseph, IMPERATORI / GRATA VINDOBONA [Vienna] in exergue. Lovely.

From RARCOA's sale of the Harry X Boosel "1873" Collection, April 1972, Lot 955.

 

2202     France. 1873 Athena medal. Bronze. 458.7 grains; 42.5 mm. Proof-60.

Obverse with head of Athena to right. Reverse with inscription in four lines: A RENIER CHALON 6 JUILLET 1873; plus inscription around wreath: LA COLONIE DES NUMISMATES BELGES A PARIS.

From RARCOA's sale of the Harry X Boosel "1873" Collection, April 1972, Lot 929.

 

Exquisite Hand-Wrought Tankard

From Germany

Circa 1685


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2203     Germany. Hand-wrought silver tankard. Circa 1685, by silversmith Hans Georg Beltz, Berlin. 79.6 troy ounces; Height: 275 mm. A beautiful 17th-century example of the European silversmith's art. The piece appears to be solid coin silver, inset with 61 coins, mostly German secular thalers of the numismatically popular "Wild Man" type from Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Brunswick-Luneburg. Between the coins, the field has something of a matte texture, and ornate repousse flowers and foliage rise though the fields. These are also chased to increase the quality of their detail.

The base is a spreading domed style with nine thalers inset. These range in date from 1606 to 1644. The bottom portion flares out, and is smooth and gilt. The diameter across the base is approximately 197 mm. The top edge of the base, where it connects to the barrel is also smooth and gilt.

The barrel is approximately 160 mm. tall and 150 mm. in diameter. This part of the piece has 21 thalers inset, all from Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Brunswick-Luneburg and dating from 1604 to 1654. The top rim of the barrel flares out slightly, has a narrow lip, and is smooth and gilt.

The lid is domed with a broad, gilt lip around. Six Wild Man thalers are inset around the dome with the aforementioned floral design between. At the center is inset an apparent medallic issue of Friedrich Wilhelm (1640-1688), dated 1673. The reverse side of this medal bears the mark G.L., which corresponds to a die cutter named Gottfried Leygebe, who was in service at the Berlin / Kolln Mint from 1667 to 1683. Armorials and inscriptions are also found on the dome. Between the cover and its hinge stands an ornate ball finial with three silver minors of Albrecht III of Brandenberg-Ansbach (1634-1667).

The S-scroll handle is attached at top and bottom. On three sides of the handle are inset a total of 20 coins, some full-size minors being the same type as those on the finial, others have been cut down to fit the narrower lower portion of the handle.

The inside of the tankard is mostly gilt, save for the reverse side of the medal in the dome. At the center of the bottom of the barrel, there is inset a large silver medal of Friedrich Wilhelm.

The marks of the silversmith are found opposite the handle, on the lip of the lid, and on the lower rim of the base. This piece is clearly the fine work of an accomplished silversmith, a display item that will at once delight the numismatist and, equally, would be at home in a fine museum. From a numismatic viewpoint it will be especially appreciated as the thalers shown are early and very important. Indeed, we can easily envision that this will be a centerpiece or a talking point for any enthusiast in the field of European or German coinage.

 

2204     Germany (and Holland). 1641 Wedding medal. Gilt silver. AU. A lovely European medal commemorating the marriage of William II of Orange to Princess Mary of England on May 12, 1641.

The obverse depicts the couple in fine 17th-century dress, with hands clasped. Cherubs emerge from clouds above to crown the betrothed with wreaths of myrtle. In the background appears the Vijverberg Palace in the Hague, and the surrounding countryside. At either side of the couple are Latin inscriptions which are the wedding vows of the couple. The inscription in the exergue translates, "William and Mary betrothed in London, May 12, 1641." The reverse features the couple, William as Pallas, helmeted and armored, and Mary as Pax accompanied by the genius of the Low Countries holding a bundle of seven arrows (the seven Provinces, Holland, Zealand, Utrecht, Guelders, Frisia, Groningen and Overyssel) and by Abundantia who holds a horn of plenty. A Latin inscription above translates, "The Prince as Pallas tramples bellona under his feet, and Peace flourishes, and bountiful Ceres in her divine favor confers abundance." (Description taken from one provided to Harry Bass by Mark M. Salton, January 1987.)

Made by Johann Blum, a medalist working in Bremen circa 1631-1660. He was in the employ of the Houses of Saxony, Brunswick, and Orange, and is respected as one of the masters of baroque medallic art.

 


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2205     Great Britain. 1797 pattern "cartwheel" penny. Soho Mint. Peck-7. Copper. Plain edge. 427.9 grains; 36.0 mm. Gem Proof. A lovely pattern of outstanding quality and appeal.

Obverse with bust of George III to right, GEORGIUS III•D:G•REX• around on broad rim, reverse with seated Britannia at center, BRITANNIA above on broad rim, branch at 3:00 and 9:00, wreath with SOHO in it below. A lovely design.

From Paramount's sale of February 1974, Lot 442.

 

2206     Great Britain. 1746 LIMA sixpence. KM-582.3. EF-45. Rich slate gray toning on the obverse, silver gray on the reverse. A popular issue.

The word LIMA appears below the bust of George II on circulating (but not specimen Proof) 1746-dated silver coinage of Great Britain. LIMA was added to the dies to show that the source of the silver used to coin the pieces was from a Spanish treasure fleet captured off the coast of Peru by England's Admiral George Anson (1697-1762) while on his historic circumnavigation of the globe (1740-44). There was no love lost between Great Britain and Spain during the 18th century, and doubtless England's King George II enjoyed the opportunity to remind the English of his admiral's victory off the coast of South America, similar to what was done with the 1702-3 VIGO imprint under the reign of Queen Anne.

 

2207     Great Britain. 1746 LIMA half crown. KM-584.3. AU-50. Deep golden gray toning on both sides. Problem-free, just slightly worn. An altogether pleasing example of this popular LIMA issue.

Purchased from Seaby, Ltd., London, August 9, 1971.

 

2208     Great Britain. MDCCLXXXIII (1783) Joseph Priestly medal by John Gregory Hancock. 286.0 grains; 35.8 mm. Silver. Plain edge. EF-45.

Obverse struck in very high relief. Deep golden gray with a touch of blue iridescence on both sides. A few tiny rim marks noted. Obverse with bust of Priestly to right, dividing JOSEPHUS and PRIESTLY, I.G. HANCOCK F. below, reverse with laboratory bench and pot bellied stove, date in Roman numerals below.

Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) was a famed English clergyman and chemist, perhaps most famous for his discovery of "dephlogisticated air," now commonly called oxygen. In 1791, while a minister in Birmingham, England, his house and personal effects were burned by a mob because of his outspoken sympathies for French citizens during their revolution. He emigrated to the United States, settling in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, where he passed the remainder of his days. (In the 1950s an informative historical sign on the main route through the town included a précis of his life; we have not traveled through since about June 1960.)

John Gregory Hancock was a man of many talents and interests. Among other pursuits, he was a rare coin dealer, die sinker, and umbrella manufacturer, at one time situated at 19 Leather Lane in the High Holborn district of London. On this side of the Atlantic he is best remembered for his excellent work on certain Washington tokens of the early 1790s.

From New Netherlands Coin Co.'s sale of April 1972, Lot 555.

 

2209     Great Britain. MDCCCLIV (1854) Crystal Palace medal by Pinches, London. HK-8. White metal. Proof-63. Pale silver gray.

A rare and beautiful medal seemingly struck to commemorate the opening for the season of the Crystal Palace in London in 1854, with a beautifully detailed full length portrait of Athena opening the portals of the palace, one door marked INDUSTRY, the other marked SCIENCE, a key in her right hand, a caduceus in her left, a lamb at her right foot, her helmet and owl at her left, machinery in the background, PINCHES in small letters in the exergue, reverse with rendition of the Crystal Palace, CRYSTAL PALACE arcs above, OPENED MDCCCLIV curves below, PINCHES in tiny letters below left of building, LONDON below right.

The Pinches firm was a prominent maker of medals for years thereafter. In the early 1960s New York dealer and entrepreneur tapped the firm to make certain restrikes and fancy pieces (none relating to the Crystal Palace, however) from old dies. Later, Pinches was acquired by the Franklin Mint.

Apparently, the compilers of the Hibler-Kappen reference thought that this was the New York Crystal Palace (which opened in 1853). The London Crystal Palace (as here depicted) opened on May 1, 1851. As to the MDCCCLIV (1854) date on the medal, we have no clue (but have not researched it). Obvious possibilities are an obvious misdating by Pinches, or the opening for the 1854 season.

 

2210     Holland. 1873 Rembrandt medal. Bronze. Plain edge. 109.1 mm. Bronze Proof.

Bust of Rembrandt facing left on the obverse, life dates surrounding. Reverse depicts a painting done by Rembrandt and by 1873 in the Amsterdam Museum. Dies M.C. De Vries Jr. A beautiful and impressive medal that in itself is a work of art.

 

2211     Mexico. Republic. 1861-CH two reales. Mexico City Mint. KM-374.10. MS-63 PL. Brilliant in the fields with some satiny gray toning on the design elements. Sharply struck in all areas. A superb representative specimen of the grade and type, made all the more appealing by the heavy contrast presented by its deep mirror fields and frosted devices.

 

2212     Mexico. Republic. 1875-FR eight reales. Guanajuato Mint. KM-377.8. MS-64. Sharply struck and highly lustrous with a touch of smoky topaz toning on both sides. The variety with dot in circle at the eagle's belly. Quality of this kind is seldom found, as the Cap and Rays eight-reales series saw heavy circulation in many corners of the world.

 

2213     Mexico. Republic. 1893-FG eight reales. Hermosillo Mint. KM-377.9. MS-63 PL. Highly reflective fields and frosted devices richly toned in iridescent blue and rose. A superb example (within the context of the assigned grade, of course) of Cap and Rays coinage.

 

2214     Switzerland. 1889 medal. Hane Waldmann, burgermeister of Zürich. Dies by W.M. Silver gilt on bronze. 2,759.5 grains; 69.8 mm. AU to Mint.

A very handsome medal featuring the bust of Waldmann on the obverse, German titulature around, reverse with full length standing knight, surrounded by heraldic panoply of shields and various weapons, holding a banner inscribed GRANDSON MURTEN / NANCY, these being the names of towns. Attractive designs and extraordinary engraving details are the highlights of this item, a medal that can be studied under low magnification for 10 minutes, with many fascinating details yet to be observed.

Purchased from Hank Rodgers, April 10, 1972.

 

2215     Odd and curious money. Ring money, very similar to that used by the Hmong tribe of northern Thailand. Silver. 5,607.3 grains; about 7" across. Circular, but open at the back for placement around the neck. The ends are hammered thin and turned sharply back upon themselves, giving the appearance of a bird's beak. The ends are handsomely engraved. Deep gray patina on all surfaces. An intriguing item.

This curious piece closely matches other examples of Hmong ring money as illustrated in Odd & Curious Money, Second Edition, 1991, by Charles J. Opitz.