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Handsome and Scarce McClellan Identification Disk, Ex. Ford

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Handsome and Scarce McClellan Identification Disk, Ex. Ford

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From the John J. Ford Jr. Collection; earlier, from F.C.C. Boyd.

Details

(ca. 1864) George B. McClellan Union Identification Disk / Medal. Silvered white metal, 44 mm. DeWitt 1864-88. MS-64 (NGC). Medals depicting George B. McClellan - general, presidential candidate, governor - are undercollected and undercatalogued. Most of the ones of Civil War vintage are thrown into the political category and are assumed to have derived from McClellan's doomed 1864 presidential campaign against Lincoln. Many, perhaps including this one, have more to do with McClellan's position at the front of the Union Army than his political ambitions, even though it was added by Edmund B. Sullivan to the Dewitt corpus of presidential medals in the 1981 second edition. This medal is notably included in Maier and Stahl's 2008 Identification Discs of Union Soldiers in the Civil War, a catalogue of dog tags worn by Union soldiers. Among types that range from familiar to unique and hand-crafted is this medal, catalogued as McClellan 1Ma and described as "extremely rare." Ford owned two examples of this medal, one in bronze and one in silvered white metal (this specimen). Another was sold at auction a few years ago (the Maier-Stahl plate piece) and one is in the ANS, both white metal; I recall seeing only one other in bronze. The sculptural, high-relief portrait is signed WB at truncation, leading some to suggest that this was struck at the U.S. Mint and engraved by William Barber, whose career at Philadelphia started in 1865. While possible, I think the medal was a private production coined in 1862 or 1863. This obverse was used on a similar medal with a wreath on the reverse, surrounded by the same Amore Patriae Belligerum legend as this variety; an example of that variety was included in the 1882 Bushnell sale. This piece is deeply lustrous, with beautifully variegated tones across both sides, lively dark gray on the obverse, more colorful silver gray on the reverse. The untoned areas around the legend (so-called "pull-away" toning) are typical of a piece struck with high pressure on an already-toned planchet. This 2" portrait medal / identification disk would be an attractive addition to any Civil War-related collection

Additional Information

Grading Service NGC
Grade MS64
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Not Specified
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 2604767008

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

Description

Details

(ca. 1864) George B. McClellan Union Identification Disk / Medal. Silvered white metal, 44 mm. DeWitt 1864-88. MS-64 (NGC). Medals depicting George B. McClellan - general, presidential candidate, governor - are undercollected and undercatalogued. Most of the ones of Civil War vintage are thrown into the political category and are assumed to have derived from McClellan's doomed 1864 presidential campaign against Lincoln. Many, perhaps including this one, have more to do with McClellan's position at the front of the Union Army than his political ambitions, even though it was added by Edmund B. Sullivan to the Dewitt corpus of presidential medals in the 1981 second edition. This medal is notably included in Maier and Stahl's 2008 Identification Discs of Union Soldiers in the Civil War, a catalogue of dog tags worn by Union soldiers. Among types that range from familiar to unique and hand-crafted is this medal, catalogued as McClellan 1Ma and described as "extremely rare." Ford owned two examples of this medal, one in bronze and one in silvered white metal (this specimen). Another was sold at auction a few years ago (the Maier-Stahl plate piece) and one is in the ANS, both white metal; I recall seeing only one other in bronze. The sculptural, high-relief portrait is signed WB at truncation, leading some to suggest that this was struck at the U.S. Mint and engraved by William Barber, whose career at Philadelphia started in 1865. While possible, I think the medal was a private production coined in 1862 or 1863. This obverse was used on a similar medal with a wreath on the reverse, surrounded by the same Amore Patriae Belligerum legend as this variety; an example of that variety was included in the 1882 Bushnell sale. This piece is deeply lustrous, with beautifully variegated tones across both sides, lively dark gray on the obverse, more colorful silver gray on the reverse. The untoned areas around the legend (so-called "pull-away" toning) are typical of a piece struck with high pressure on an already-toned planchet. This 2" portrait medal / identification disk would be an attractive addition to any Civil War-related collection

Additional

Additional Information

Grading Service NGC
Grade MS64
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Not Specified
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 2604767008

Related Blog Article(s)

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

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