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Christian Gobrecht's Majestic Archimedes Medal for the New England Society for Promotion of Manufactures and Mechanical Arts

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Christian Gobrecht's Majestic Archimedes Medal for the New England Society for Promotion of Manufactures and Mechanical Arts

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Details

1826 New England Society for Promotion of Manufactures and Mechanic Arts medal. Silver, 64 mm. Julian AM-55. Dies by Christian Gobrecht. About Uncirculated. An extraordinarily attractive example of this elusive medal, engraved by Gobrecht in 1826 and first issued in 1828, years before he made his debut in the full-time employ of the Philadelphia Mint. This piece's rarity resulted in a valuation in excess of a thousand dollars by the mid 1980s (the 1986 Hartzog price guide lists silver specimens at $1250, and Carl Carlson had found only 7 offerings in history up to that point). Aside from the fact that two examples were present in the multi-generational Ford holdings, its rarity has held up.

This medal, Gobrecht's first large-format medallic effort, stands as one of his greatest artistic feats. The obverse depicts Archimedes, while the reverse depicts "Steamboat, cotton-gin, and nail-making machine, in three small ovals," in the words of Henry Simpson's 1859 The Lives of Eminent Philadelphians, Now Deceased. The reverse lists a half dozen eminent scientists (Archimedes, Galileo, Newton, Franklin, Watt, and Fulton) encircled by the legend "Genius, Intelligence, and Industry Triumph."

This piece, off the market since the 1950s, retains its reflective fields and shows strong lustre on both sides, though a long ago cleaning is evident from remaining gently swirling hairlines present on both sides. The obverse has toned into dramatic shades of bright blue, violet, and peach, while the reverse remains chiefly brilliant. Little friction is present, only minor marks, rims remain unflawed. This piece is uninscribed, like others we have seen in silver (some award medals of this era were actually awarded uninscribed, relying upon the vanity of the awardee to have some kind of inscription rendered). The edge shows a black ink number, linking this to a substantial collection of American medals handled by Fred Baldwin in London in the mid-1950s, the same collection that once held the silver original Washington Before Boston medal that netted $282,000 in March 2014. While Ford's medals were lovely, they were woefully underappreciated, sold among just 83 total medals presented in a sale otherwise consisting of Rosa Americana coinage, Connecticut coppers, and sheets of Continental and Colonial currency. They were also puzzlingly described as "undated (late 1820s)," though the obverse is dated 1826 under the bust. Since Ford, I know of just one other example that has sold publicly, one that is not close to this one in terms of preservation and eye appeal. For enthusiasts of Gobrecht's work and advanced Mint medal collectors, this represents a special opportunity.

 

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade RAW
Designation N/A
Mint Location No
Strike Type No
Circulated/Uncirc No
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 12007

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

Description

Details

1826 New England Society for Promotion of Manufactures and Mechanic Arts medal. Silver, 64 mm. Julian AM-55. Dies by Christian Gobrecht. About Uncirculated. An extraordinarily attractive example of this elusive medal, engraved by Gobrecht in 1826 and first issued in 1828, years before he made his debut in the full-time employ of the Philadelphia Mint. This piece's rarity resulted in a valuation in excess of a thousand dollars by the mid 1980s (the 1986 Hartzog price guide lists silver specimens at $1250, and Carl Carlson had found only 7 offerings in history up to that point). Aside from the fact that two examples were present in the multi-generational Ford holdings, its rarity has held up.

This medal, Gobrecht's first large-format medallic effort, stands as one of his greatest artistic feats. The obverse depicts Archimedes, while the reverse depicts "Steamboat, cotton-gin, and nail-making machine, in three small ovals," in the words of Henry Simpson's 1859 The Lives of Eminent Philadelphians, Now Deceased. The reverse lists a half dozen eminent scientists (Archimedes, Galileo, Newton, Franklin, Watt, and Fulton) encircled by the legend "Genius, Intelligence, and Industry Triumph."

This piece, off the market since the 1950s, retains its reflective fields and shows strong lustre on both sides, though a long ago cleaning is evident from remaining gently swirling hairlines present on both sides. The obverse has toned into dramatic shades of bright blue, violet, and peach, while the reverse remains chiefly brilliant. Little friction is present, only minor marks, rims remain unflawed. This piece is uninscribed, like others we have seen in silver (some award medals of this era were actually awarded uninscribed, relying upon the vanity of the awardee to have some kind of inscription rendered). The edge shows a black ink number, linking this to a substantial collection of American medals handled by Fred Baldwin in London in the mid-1950s, the same collection that once held the silver original Washington Before Boston medal that netted $282,000 in March 2014. While Ford's medals were lovely, they were woefully underappreciated, sold among just 83 total medals presented in a sale otherwise consisting of Rosa Americana coinage, Connecticut coppers, and sheets of Continental and Colonial currency. They were also puzzlingly described as "undated (late 1820s)," though the obverse is dated 1826 under the bust. Since Ford, I know of just one other example that has sold publicly, one that is not close to this one in terms of preservation and eye appeal. For enthusiasts of Gobrecht's work and advanced Mint medal collectors, this represents a special opportunity.

 

Additional

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade RAW
Designation N/A
Mint Location No
Strike Type No
Circulated/Uncirc No
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 12007

Related Blog Article(s)

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

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