In recent issues we've discussed early U.S. coins encapsulated in glassware. Alan V. Weinberg asked John Sallay to send the following image of a very interesting item in his collection. Wow! -Editor
John Sallay writes:
Alan Weinberg asked me to forward my photo of his gold Washington funeral medal by Jacob Perkins which is contained in a crystal bezel. I think this piece is somewhat different from the half dime blown into the stem of the piece of Sandwich glass, but a fantastic piece nevertheless. The Sandwich Glass Museum has a few of those blown pieces, and there is a longtime friend of mine in Massachusetts who has a small collection of these incredibly rare pieces.
There are approximately twenty specimens known of this thin 25 mm x 31 mm uniface gold (24 kt pure ) Jacob Perkins 1799-1800 George Washington piece (Rulau-Fuld & Baker 169). The reverses are incuse reverse impressions of the obverse. The legends are in Latin.
These thin, fragile pieces were likely made to wear in lockets and or mounted as pins by Ladies of the period as a very few are known in pearl brooches or encased in crystal glass lockets as this one is. A few others are holed for suspension (the Matthew Stickney piece) or in a period frame - as with the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall piece auctioned a few years ago. I acquired this at a Long Beach coin show perhaps 8 years ago.
I thought it might be appropriate to show as it is a numismatic piece encased in glass, perhaps the only one in a period glass locket. It'svery difficult to photograph as the locket is three dimensional, the glass surfaces convex and the gold planchet itself a bit wavy with "watery" proof surfaces.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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