Regarding our earlier discussion on clichés, Dick Hanscom pointed out this item, which is lot 1312 in the upcoming December 9th Stack's Coin Galleries sale. The text and image are from the online lot description. This example does not meet Dick Johnson's definition - the item is in both relief and incuse.
1772 Resolution and Adventure obverse and reverse cliches. Tin. Betts-552, var. Nearly As Made.
Both are nearly paper thin, thin enough that the designs are seen incuse on the backs of each. On a typical cliche (or epreuve, also known as a splasher or proof), the back of the cliche would be flat, pushed flush against a tabletop, often against a piece of scrap paper (presumably so the bubbling tin would not scald the furniture!). These cliches must have resulted from the dies being pushed into a more malleable surface, perhaps molding clay, to allow for the contours of the die to be seen even on the back.
These are among the earliest witnesses to the production dies for the famed Resolution and Adventure medals carried by Captain Cook into the Pacific. The obverse is signed under the bust truncation WESTWOOD F.; it would be modified to B:F when the normal production run began. The reverse is in its finished state, but lacks the significant die crack in the exergue common to all normal strikings, suggesting the crack appeared in hardening. These would have been produced by the engraver personally, likely as samples to show Joseph Banks, the noted scientist who oversaw the medal's production.
To read the complete lot description, see:
1772 Resolution and Adventure obverse and reverse cliches.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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