Tom Kays submitted the following query about the elusive 1665 Henry Fairfax medal. Can anyone help?
The story of Eric Newman’s “grouse hunt” to flush out broken bank notes of New Jersey with John J. Audubon’s first published drawing as mentioned in 1824 in his personnel journal, but lost to history until Eric went looking, inspires us to hunt new “numismatic grouse.”
The collection of the late C. Wyllys Betts documented by William Marvin and Lyman Low in 1894 describes early medals with connection to America. Perhaps less famous in a numismatic sense than the American proprietors Lord Baltimore or Cecil Calvert, Betts #43 describes a medal circa 1665 honoring Henry Fairfax, the fourth Lord Fairfax, who emigrated to America. Fairfax County, Virginia, later formed in 1749, from old Henry’s land grant passing down his lineage.
On the obverse are the legend “HENRY FAYRFAX” with shield and arms of Fairfax and a crescent indicating a second son. The reverse shows a lion’s head erased on a wreath; scroll border, size 24.
An electrotype is in the British Museum with the original not known to Betts, Marvin or Low. Do E-Sylum readers know if any originals survive having turned up since Betts “American Colonial History Illustrated by Contemporary Medals” was published?
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
ERIC NEWMAN DISCOVERS AUDUBON'S FIRST ENGRAVED ILLUSTRATION
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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