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Historic Awarded 1853 Franklin Pierce Silver Indian Peace Medal. Silver. Julian IP-32.

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Historic Awarded 1853 Franklin Pierce Silver Indian Peace Medal. Silver. Julian IP-32.

SOLD

From Stack's January 1999 Americana sale, Lot 252 (at $10,925).

Details

1853 Franklin Pierce Indian Peace medal. Silver, 76 mm. Julian IP-32. Very Fine. Holed for suspension. One of the classic subjects of desire for an advanced American numismatist: a genuine awarded silver Indian Peace medal. The medals of the Franklin Pierce administration were distributed at an historic moment in American history, when migration by Anglo-Americans from the east led to greater demand for land (and, thus, more treaties with Native Americans) in the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest, and the Plains. Those regions saw the greatest distribution of Indian Peace medals in the mid-1850s. According to Professor Anthony Gulig of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the United States acquired 174 million acres of land between 1853 and 1856 via 52 different treaties; he further points out that every one of them was "subsequently broken by whites," a point true of nearly every treaty ever made with Native Americans. The Kansas and Nebraska Territories were created in this era (both in 1854), and the entire Willamette Valley of Oregon was ceded to the United States via the Treaty of Dayton in 1855.

 

During this era, 97 large silver Franklin Pierce medals were distributed; 120 were struck, but 23 were returned to the Mint to be melted at the end of the administration. While others undoubtedly exist, Father Paul Prucha illustrated two large Pierce medals being worn by their native recipients (or descendants thereof), both members of the Oto tribe: James Arkeketah (1895) and George Arkeketah (1898). While both may have been present at the 1854 treaty whereby the United States took their lands in eastern Nebraska and created an Oto reservation in the area, by 1891 both of these men were living on a different reservation in Oklahoma, where they sat for these portraits.

 

This medal may have had a similar journey: awarded at one place, moved around to one or two others, perhaps passed from one generation to another. The large medals were cherished by their Native recipients as marks of favor, and photographs document medals continuing to be worn two or even three generations after their original recipient. This one shows excellent wear, even and appealing, along with dozens or even hundreds of minuscule contact marks that give the fields a somewhat pebbly appearance. The rim shows a scuff at 12:00 on the reverse, just right of the hole above the word VIRTUE, and a deep but worn dig is present inside the rim below 9:00 on that side. A single thin hairline is nearly invisible in the left obverse field. With no significant damage, this stands as one of the more attractive examples of this rare medal, authentically worn but never abused. It's slightly more worn than, but compares favorably to, the example sold by Stacks Bowers in August 2013, netting $25,800. A medium Pierce medal sold in March 2013 brought even more, nicely pedigreed and now permanently off the market in a museum collection. The Kessler-Spangenberger specimen was described as "polished, nicks, scratches around figures -- in other words, a typical specimen of the actually awarded Indian pieces." That medal brought $4200 hammer in 1981. The superb Schenkel collection lacked this size (though he had a medium Pierce, which came from Dreyfuss, who also lacked this size). Ford's multi-generational pile of Indian Peace medals included three large size Pierces in Ford XVI, sold at the point in the auction when most folks had already run out of money, and two more in the 2007 Ford XVIII sale which brought $32,200 and $19,550. Carl Carlson, as noted by Hodder, uncovered just 10 auction offerings representing 8 or fewer discrete specimens. Adding in a few new discoveries, the number known is still likely under 20. Among them, this one stands out as even and attractive in appearance, undamaged and highly desirable.

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 # 12115

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

Description

Details

1853 Franklin Pierce Indian Peace medal. Silver, 76 mm. Julian IP-32. Very Fine. Holed for suspension. One of the classic subjects of desire for an advanced American numismatist: a genuine awarded silver Indian Peace medal. The medals of the Franklin Pierce administration were distributed at an historic moment in American history, when migration by Anglo-Americans from the east led to greater demand for land (and, thus, more treaties with Native Americans) in the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest, and the Plains. Those regions saw the greatest distribution of Indian Peace medals in the mid-1850s. According to Professor Anthony Gulig of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the United States acquired 174 million acres of land between 1853 and 1856 via 52 different treaties; he further points out that every one of them was "subsequently broken by whites," a point true of nearly every treaty ever made with Native Americans. The Kansas and Nebraska Territories were created in this era (both in 1854), and the entire Willamette Valley of Oregon was ceded to the United States via the Treaty of Dayton in 1855.

 

During this era, 97 large silver Franklin Pierce medals were distributed; 120 were struck, but 23 were returned to the Mint to be melted at the end of the administration. While others undoubtedly exist, Father Paul Prucha illustrated two large Pierce medals being worn by their native recipients (or descendants thereof), both members of the Oto tribe: James Arkeketah (1895) and George Arkeketah (1898). While both may have been present at the 1854 treaty whereby the United States took their lands in eastern Nebraska and created an Oto reservation in the area, by 1891 both of these men were living on a different reservation in Oklahoma, where they sat for these portraits.

 

This medal may have had a similar journey: awarded at one place, moved around to one or two others, perhaps passed from one generation to another. The large medals were cherished by their Native recipients as marks of favor, and photographs document medals continuing to be worn two or even three generations after their original recipient. This one shows excellent wear, even and appealing, along with dozens or even hundreds of minuscule contact marks that give the fields a somewhat pebbly appearance. The rim shows a scuff at 12:00 on the reverse, just right of the hole above the word VIRTUE, and a deep but worn dig is present inside the rim below 9:00 on that side. A single thin hairline is nearly invisible in the left obverse field. With no significant damage, this stands as one of the more attractive examples of this rare medal, authentically worn but never abused. It's slightly more worn than, but compares favorably to, the example sold by Stacks Bowers in August 2013, netting $25,800. A medium Pierce medal sold in March 2013 brought even more, nicely pedigreed and now permanently off the market in a museum collection. The Kessler-Spangenberger specimen was described as "polished, nicks, scratches around figures -- in other words, a typical specimen of the actually awarded Indian pieces." That medal brought $4200 hammer in 1981. The superb Schenkel collection lacked this size (though he had a medium Pierce, which came from Dreyfuss, who also lacked this size). Ford's multi-generational pile of Indian Peace medals included three large size Pierces in Ford XVI, sold at the point in the auction when most folks had already run out of money, and two more in the 2007 Ford XVIII sale which brought $32,200 and $19,550. Carl Carlson, as noted by Hodder, uncovered just 10 auction offerings representing 8 or fewer discrete specimens. Adding in a few new discoveries, the number known is still likely under 20. Among them, this one stands out as even and attractive in appearance, undamaged and highly desirable.

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 # 12115

Related Blog Article(s)

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

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John Kraljevich Americana