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Joseph Sansom's Benjamin Franklin / American Beaver Medal by Reich

Joseph Sansom's Benjamin Franklin / American Beaver Medal by Reich

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1776 (after 1807) Benjamin Franklin / American Beaver Sansom medal. Betts-546, Julian CM-8, Greenslet GM-80. Bronze, 40 mm. Choice About Uncirculated. Dies by John Reich. One of the most popular medals in the early American medal canon, listed in both Betts and Julian and avidly sought by specialists in both series. This medal was first struck at the US Mint in 1807 as part of Philadelphia merchant Joseph Sansom's planned "Medallic History of the American Revolution" series. Only four were ever struck: the very rare Washington C.C.A.U.S. medal, the Washington Presidency Reliquished medal, the 1783 Treaty of Paris medal with jugate busts of Washington and Franklin on the obverse and an eagle above a map of the United States on the reverse, and this medal, depicting Franklin and the American beaver felling the British oak in 1776. A muling of the jugate bust obverse with this reverse makes for a total of five collectible pieces. Betts listed this in his corpus because of the 1776 date. It's unclear just how long these were struck at the Philadelphia Mint; if I had to guess, the last ones were probably struck in the 1850s. While the Presidency Relinquished medal is quite common, this one is not. I checked back in my records and I haven't handled one since 2008. I sold that one for $5700; Ford's brought $9200 and wasn't much (any?) better than this one.

This piece is golden and chestnut brown with some very faint mottling in the bronzing. One reason I think most of these were struck earlier rather than later is that they either lack bronzing altogether or show somewhat flawed bronzing; by the late 1850s, the mint had done enough bronzing work to pretty much nail it every time. This piece shows just a whisper of friction and the most minuscule single nick in the raised wire rim on the reverse below the final date digit. The quality is very nice for one of these, and it is measurably better than the last one to sell at auction (for $3760).

Thomas Jefferson added one of these to his collection in November 1807. While Jefferson's C.C.A.U.S. medal is still at Monticello, the current whereabouts of his American Beaver medal are unknown.

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade N/A
Designation N/A
Mint Location Philadelphia
Strike Type Business
Circulated/Uncirc Uncirculated
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 11009

Listed below are blog articles related to this product listing, if applicable:

Description

Details

1776 (after 1807) Benjamin Franklin / American Beaver Sansom medal. Betts-546, Julian CM-8, Greenslet GM-80. Bronze, 40 mm. Choice About Uncirculated. Dies by John Reich. One of the most popular medals in the early American medal canon, listed in both Betts and Julian and avidly sought by specialists in both series. This medal was first struck at the US Mint in 1807 as part of Philadelphia merchant Joseph Sansom's planned "Medallic History of the American Revolution" series. Only four were ever struck: the very rare Washington C.C.A.U.S. medal, the Washington Presidency Reliquished medal, the 1783 Treaty of Paris medal with jugate busts of Washington and Franklin on the obverse and an eagle above a map of the United States on the reverse, and this medal, depicting Franklin and the American beaver felling the British oak in 1776. A muling of the jugate bust obverse with this reverse makes for a total of five collectible pieces. Betts listed this in his corpus because of the 1776 date. It's unclear just how long these were struck at the Philadelphia Mint; if I had to guess, the last ones were probably struck in the 1850s. While the Presidency Relinquished medal is quite common, this one is not. I checked back in my records and I haven't handled one since 2008. I sold that one for $5700; Ford's brought $9200 and wasn't much (any?) better than this one.

This piece is golden and chestnut brown with some very faint mottling in the bronzing. One reason I think most of these were struck earlier rather than later is that they either lack bronzing altogether or show somewhat flawed bronzing; by the late 1850s, the mint had done enough bronzing work to pretty much nail it every time. This piece shows just a whisper of friction and the most minuscule single nick in the raised wire rim on the reverse below the final date digit. The quality is very nice for one of these, and it is measurably better than the last one to sell at auction (for $3760).

Thomas Jefferson added one of these to his collection in November 1807. While Jefferson's C.C.A.U.S. medal is still at Monticello, the current whereabouts of his American Beaver medal are unknown.

Additional

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade N/A
Designation N/A
Mint Location Philadelphia
Strike Type Business
Circulated/Uncirc Uncirculated
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 11009

Related Blog Article(s)

Listed below are blog articles related to this product listing, if applicable:

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