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Alexander Hamilton medal by Moritz Furst, ca. 1811

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Alexander Hamilton medal by Moritz Furst, ca. 1811

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Details

1795 (i.e. ca. 1811) Alexander Hamilton / Bank of the United States medal. Bronze, 47 mm. Julian MT-24. About Uncirculated. An underrated rarity in the Mint medal series and the earliest medallic portrait of Alexander Hamilton. Struck from dies by Moritz Furst at the Philadelphia Mint, this is among the earliest portrait medals struck at the US Mint, predating all the War of 1812 medals by Furst. The obverse legend identifies Hamilton as both a general and the Secretary of the Treasury; the reverse date was the year he left the Treasury Department. The building on the reverse, typically not identified in medal literature, is the First Bank of the United States on Third Street in Philadelphia, around the corner from Independence Hall. The building, even today, looks essentially identical to its depiction here. The bank's charter expired in 1811, the occasion likely celebrated by this medal. 

Quite scarce today, this medal is almost never seen in high grade, which indicates a largely non-numismatic distribution (not to mention the fact that most or all of the specimens struck were probably made before the late 1850s explosion in medal collecting). I would guess the real population of this medal, in all grades, is less than two dozen, and even that estimate may be far too high. This example shows nice mirrored fields with light to medium brown surfaces. The peripheral devices show light rotation in the double striking, similar to its medallic contemporaries like Madison Indian Peace medals or original Preble and War of 1812 medals. Some light friction is seen on high points, and the high wire rim around the obverse shows a couple very minor nicks. On the reverse, some natural roughness in the planchet manifests as dark granularity at the left edge of the exergue line and above the center of the word PUBLIC. A thin vertical scratch is noted at the right side of the exergue, and a few other light signs of handling are seen here and there on the reverse.

The damnably cheap four specimens in the 2004 Ford V sale notwithstanding, it's been a very long time since a decent example of this medal has appeared on the market. None of those have resurfaced in the decade since that sale, which speaks to the desirability of this historic rarity.

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade RAW
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Not Specified
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 21009

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

Description

Details

1795 (i.e. ca. 1811) Alexander Hamilton / Bank of the United States medal. Bronze, 47 mm. Julian MT-24. About Uncirculated. An underrated rarity in the Mint medal series and the earliest medallic portrait of Alexander Hamilton. Struck from dies by Moritz Furst at the Philadelphia Mint, this is among the earliest portrait medals struck at the US Mint, predating all the War of 1812 medals by Furst. The obverse legend identifies Hamilton as both a general and the Secretary of the Treasury; the reverse date was the year he left the Treasury Department. The building on the reverse, typically not identified in medal literature, is the First Bank of the United States on Third Street in Philadelphia, around the corner from Independence Hall. The building, even today, looks essentially identical to its depiction here. The bank's charter expired in 1811, the occasion likely celebrated by this medal. 

Quite scarce today, this medal is almost never seen in high grade, which indicates a largely non-numismatic distribution (not to mention the fact that most or all of the specimens struck were probably made before the late 1850s explosion in medal collecting). I would guess the real population of this medal, in all grades, is less than two dozen, and even that estimate may be far too high. This example shows nice mirrored fields with light to medium brown surfaces. The peripheral devices show light rotation in the double striking, similar to its medallic contemporaries like Madison Indian Peace medals or original Preble and War of 1812 medals. Some light friction is seen on high points, and the high wire rim around the obverse shows a couple very minor nicks. On the reverse, some natural roughness in the planchet manifests as dark granularity at the left edge of the exergue line and above the center of the word PUBLIC. A thin vertical scratch is noted at the right side of the exergue, and a few other light signs of handling are seen here and there on the reverse.

The damnably cheap four specimens in the 2004 Ford V sale notwithstanding, it's been a very long time since a decent example of this medal has appeared on the market. None of those have resurfaced in the decade since that sale, which speaks to the desirability of this historic rarity.

Additional

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade RAW
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Not Specified
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 21009

Related Blog Article(s)

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

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