INVENTORY

Thomas Jefferson Requests The Medal of Mr. Franklin, With An Explanation

No one pays more!

For high quality Washington medals. If you have rare or top condition Washington-
iana for sale or trade, contact us!

Thomas Jefferson Requests The Medal of Mr. Franklin, With An Explanation

In stock

SKU: dupre-21

$50,000.00

Details

JEFFERSON PLANS TO PRINT AN EXPLICATION FOR THE COMITIA AMERICANA SERIES, REQUESTS A FRANKLIN MEDAL. Autograph Letter Signed, Thomas Jefferson to Augustin Dupré, February 23, 1789. One page with integral cover. 232 x 186 mm (9.375 x 7.375"). On laid paper with the watermark of Dutch papermaker J. Honig. In French, Jefferson (writing in the third person, as he often did) informs Dupré of his plan to print an explication (a descriptive explanation of devices and legends) on all the medals of the Comitia Americana series and asks Dupré to forward onto him a specimen of the medal he struck for Mr. Franklin (1784 Betts-619, with the Winged Angel reverse, or 1786 Betts-620, with a text reverse) along with an explication of the medal. Jefferson suggests he will be sending the explication "with the medals to the sovereigns of Europe." While medals are believed to have been distributed to many of Europe's crowned heads and major institutions of learning, and notes for an explication are in Jefferson's papers, no printed explication was ever executed -- like many of Jefferson's projects, there was no funding available for such an endeavor.

Dupré almost certainly would have sent Jefferson an example of the 1786-dated Betts-620 medal in return to this letter. The boxed set of Comitia Americana medals presented by Jefferson to George Washington included a specimen of the Betts-620, as did the set that ended up in Vienna (now at the Kunsthistoriches Museum), so this was undoubtedly the medal that was included in Jefferson's sets given to the crowned heads. Even today, many silver strikings of Betts-620 survive in European institutions, while Betts-619 is impossibly rare in silver, with just a single specimen recorded.


Jefferson and Adams both wrote on paper produced by the Dutch firm of J. Honig and Zoonen. The Dunlap broadsides, the first printed versions of the Declaration of Independence, were also printed on paper purchased from the firm. The watermark is easily seen at the bottom margin of this sheet.


This letter is quoted in Adams and Bentley's Comitia Americana on page 179 (note 266), citing the version published in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson. The editors of the Papers cited this letter as "MS missing" and took the text from Loubat's A Medallic History of the United States of America, 1776-1876. Loubat saw this letter about 1876 when it was owned by Narcisse Dupre; it has not been seen or published since. While any letter by Jefferson, in the hand of Jefferson, regarding the Comitia Americana series is special, this letter is made all the more special by its focus on the medal for Franklin, who would pass away just over a year after this letter was penned. 


This letter bears the usual mailing folds and still retains a red wax seal, though its impression is indistinct. The phrase "les medailles aux souverains de l'Europe" has been gently underlined in pencil, and a few stray characters in pencil have been marked atop the letter (probably by Dupré). Some light wrinkles are present, an old stain opposite the wax seal is noted, but the visual impact is excellent. Overall, very fine or better.

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 # dupre-21

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

Description

Details

JEFFERSON PLANS TO PRINT AN EXPLICATION FOR THE COMITIA AMERICANA SERIES, REQUESTS A FRANKLIN MEDAL. Autograph Letter Signed, Thomas Jefferson to Augustin Dupré, February 23, 1789. One page with integral cover. 232 x 186 mm (9.375 x 7.375"). On laid paper with the watermark of Dutch papermaker J. Honig. In French, Jefferson (writing in the third person, as he often did) informs Dupré of his plan to print an explication (a descriptive explanation of devices and legends) on all the medals of the Comitia Americana series and asks Dupré to forward onto him a specimen of the medal he struck for Mr. Franklin (1784 Betts-619, with the Winged Angel reverse, or 1786 Betts-620, with a text reverse) along with an explication of the medal. Jefferson suggests he will be sending the explication "with the medals to the sovereigns of Europe." While medals are believed to have been distributed to many of Europe's crowned heads and major institutions of learning, and notes for an explication are in Jefferson's papers, no printed explication was ever executed -- like many of Jefferson's projects, there was no funding available for such an endeavor.

Dupré almost certainly would have sent Jefferson an example of the 1786-dated Betts-620 medal in return to this letter. The boxed set of Comitia Americana medals presented by Jefferson to George Washington included a specimen of the Betts-620, as did the set that ended up in Vienna (now at the Kunsthistoriches Museum), so this was undoubtedly the medal that was included in Jefferson's sets given to the crowned heads. Even today, many silver strikings of Betts-620 survive in European institutions, while Betts-619 is impossibly rare in silver, with just a single specimen recorded.


Jefferson and Adams both wrote on paper produced by the Dutch firm of J. Honig and Zoonen. The Dunlap broadsides, the first printed versions of the Declaration of Independence, were also printed on paper purchased from the firm. The watermark is easily seen at the bottom margin of this sheet.


This letter is quoted in Adams and Bentley's Comitia Americana on page 179 (note 266), citing the version published in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson. The editors of the Papers cited this letter as "MS missing" and took the text from Loubat's A Medallic History of the United States of America, 1776-1876. Loubat saw this letter about 1876 when it was owned by Narcisse Dupre; it has not been seen or published since. While any letter by Jefferson, in the hand of Jefferson, regarding the Comitia Americana series is special, this letter is made all the more special by its focus on the medal for Franklin, who would pass away just over a year after this letter was penned. 


This letter bears the usual mailing folds and still retains a red wax seal, though its impression is indistinct. The phrase "les medailles aux souverains de l'Europe" has been gently underlined in pencil, and a few stray characters in pencil have been marked atop the letter (probably by Dupré). Some light wrinkles are present, an old stain opposite the wax seal is noted, but the visual impact is excellent. Overall, very fine or better.

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 # dupre-21

Related Blog Article(s)

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

Post your comment

John Kraljevich Americana