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Choice and Historic Recognition by Frisia Medal, As Awarded to John Adams in 1783

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Choice and Historic Recognition by Frisia Medal, As Awarded to John Adams in 1783

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Details

1782 Recognition of the Independence of the United States by Frisia medal. Betts-602. Silver, 44 mm. Choice Mint State. Fully reflective on both sides with pleasing light champagne toning that deepens to gold at the rims. A particularly fine specimen of this medal which, like so many medals whose primary distribution was outside of the ranks of numismatists, tends to come rather beat up. This one is choice, with good rims and excellent sharpness, showing just some very faint hairlines under magnified scrutiny and some minor scattered handling marks. The mirrors and lustre are nearly flawless.

I wrote extensively about this medal and its historical context in the April 2011 issue of The Numismatist. It was struck in the Netherlands to mark the recognition of the independence of the United States by the state of Frisia (sometimes called Friesland), one of the provinces of the Netherlands. The allegory on the anepigraphic obverse tells a story: America, in her usual allegorical guise of an Indian princess, stands at the left, her foot on a scepter and broken shackles. She greets an allegorical Dutchman, wearing a sword, while behind him Britannia stands with an olive branch, almost half ignored. The British lion tamely sits at her side, while a snake moves through the grass at her feet. An angel of victory wings into the scene bearing a free hat, the Dutch version of the ubiquitous American Liberty Cap. On the reverse, a message of thanks is addressed to the legislature of Friesland for recognizing America, signed by the Civic Society for Liberty and Zeal at Leeuwarden. 

John Adams, the main mover and shaker on America's behalf in the Netherlands in 1782, received two specimens of this medal for his collection in April 1783. His thank you note is worth reprinting in full.

GENTLEMEN, -- I have received the letter which you did me the honor to write me on the 29th day of last month, and the friendly sentiments it contains towards the United States of America deserve my warmest acknowledgments. 

The resolutions of the States of Friesland, taken in the assemblies of February and April, 1782, do honor to that Province. The acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the United States of America, and the refusal of a separate peace by their High Mightinesses, the states-general, was one of those critical decisions which sometimes turn the tide of the affairs of men, and produce the unravelling of great scenes among nations. It seemed to open the eyes of the British nation, and to determine the fluctuating opinions of the whole world, and, consequently, contributed very much to accelerate the peace. 

The medals you did me the honor to present me with this letter, are struck in great perfection, and express with a beautiful simplicity the two great events they were intended to commemorate. You will please to accept of my thanks for them. The first favorable opportunity shall be taken to present one of them to congress, as you desire. 

Your republic, I am persuaded, will have no cause to repent of the part she has taken in favor of America; and may the friendship, correspondence, and alliance between the two nations be perpetual. 

Permit me to add my best wishes for the prosperity of your society, and the felicity of your persons and families. 

With great esteem and respect, &c.
JOHN ADAMS."

If that doesn't make you want to own one of these, nothing I can say will help, though I can add this is prettier than the piece in the Ford Collection (only one, not duplicates and triplicates), that sold for $2300 in 2006.


 


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 # 11015

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

Description

Details

1782 Recognition of the Independence of the United States by Frisia medal. Betts-602. Silver, 44 mm. Choice Mint State. Fully reflective on both sides with pleasing light champagne toning that deepens to gold at the rims. A particularly fine specimen of this medal which, like so many medals whose primary distribution was outside of the ranks of numismatists, tends to come rather beat up. This one is choice, with good rims and excellent sharpness, showing just some very faint hairlines under magnified scrutiny and some minor scattered handling marks. The mirrors and lustre are nearly flawless.

I wrote extensively about this medal and its historical context in the April 2011 issue of The Numismatist. It was struck in the Netherlands to mark the recognition of the independence of the United States by the state of Frisia (sometimes called Friesland), one of the provinces of the Netherlands. The allegory on the anepigraphic obverse tells a story: America, in her usual allegorical guise of an Indian princess, stands at the left, her foot on a scepter and broken shackles. She greets an allegorical Dutchman, wearing a sword, while behind him Britannia stands with an olive branch, almost half ignored. The British lion tamely sits at her side, while a snake moves through the grass at her feet. An angel of victory wings into the scene bearing a free hat, the Dutch version of the ubiquitous American Liberty Cap. On the reverse, a message of thanks is addressed to the legislature of Friesland for recognizing America, signed by the Civic Society for Liberty and Zeal at Leeuwarden. 

John Adams, the main mover and shaker on America's behalf in the Netherlands in 1782, received two specimens of this medal for his collection in April 1783. His thank you note is worth reprinting in full.

GENTLEMEN, -- I have received the letter which you did me the honor to write me on the 29th day of last month, and the friendly sentiments it contains towards the United States of America deserve my warmest acknowledgments. 

The resolutions of the States of Friesland, taken in the assemblies of February and April, 1782, do honor to that Province. The acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the United States of America, and the refusal of a separate peace by their High Mightinesses, the states-general, was one of those critical decisions which sometimes turn the tide of the affairs of men, and produce the unravelling of great scenes among nations. It seemed to open the eyes of the British nation, and to determine the fluctuating opinions of the whole world, and, consequently, contributed very much to accelerate the peace. 

The medals you did me the honor to present me with this letter, are struck in great perfection, and express with a beautiful simplicity the two great events they were intended to commemorate. You will please to accept of my thanks for them. The first favorable opportunity shall be taken to present one of them to congress, as you desire. 

Your republic, I am persuaded, will have no cause to repent of the part she has taken in favor of America; and may the friendship, correspondence, and alliance between the two nations be perpetual. 

Permit me to add my best wishes for the prosperity of your society, and the felicity of your persons and families. 

With great esteem and respect, &c.
JOHN ADAMS."

If that doesn't make you want to own one of these, nothing I can say will help, though I can add this is prettier than the piece in the Ford Collection (only one, not duplicates and triplicates), that sold for $2300 in 2006.


 


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 # 11015

Related Blog Article(s)

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

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