Joe Levine's Presidential Coin and Antique Company catalogs are a marvelous source for medal collectors. Joe writes: "Here is a link to our 79th Auction sale to be held in Baltimore. The physical catalog should be mailed in about two weeks." With permission I'm excerpting a few interesting items from the catalog; Joe kindly provided images.
The catalog contains 224 pages featuring a whopping 1697 lots plus a fixed price section of official Barack Obama inaugural medals. One of the featured consignments is a selection of medals from the estate of William Merritt Chase, one of the most highly respected American artists of the late nineteenth century.
Other sections of the catalog cover a number of items we've discussed in The E-Sylum, including American Numismatic Society Medals and Medallic Ash Trays. -Editor
Lot 23 ALGERNON SYDNEY SULLIVAN BOOK AND MEDAL, 1911. 60 x 80mm. Bronze. J. E. Roine, Sc. Unc. Obverse with Sullivan’s portrait to the left. Inscribed above: IN HONOR OF/ ALGERNON SYDNEY SULLIVAN/ 1826 1887. In the exergue: HE REACHED OUT BOTH HANDS IN CONSTANT/ HELPFULNESS TO HIS FELLOW MEN. The reverse bears a depiction of Sullivan, as an older man, reaching out to aid a youth and with his flaming torch, lighting the torch of the youth. The inscription in the exergue is a quotation from Lowell: AS ONE LAMP LIGHTS ANOTHER, NOR GROWS LESS/ SO NOBLENESS ENKINDLITH NOBLENESS.
The medal has been solidly inserted in the middle of a hardbound book recounting the life of Mr. Sullivan who was a prominent lawyer and numismatist in New York City. The book informs us that the medal “... is awarded each year to the five persons who stand highest in their examinations for admission to the Bar of the State of New York.” and is presented by the American Numismatic Society. A key piece for the collector of book encased medals. (
Lot 44 AMERICAN RED CROSS, 1919. Baxter 327; Marqusee 176. 70.4mm. Bronze. Daniel Chester French, Sc. Unnumbered (MACO). A nice Uncirculated example of this popular medal. Obverse bust left of a World War I soldier in uniform and helmet. The reverse bears a scene of a nurse attending a prone patient within a depressed inner cross. THE AMERICAN RED CROSS around the upper border. Issued by the ANS. Along with the British and French War Commission medal, Barbara Baxter considers this medal as one of French’s two most outstanding pieces.
Another interesting section of the Presidential 79th sale described above covers medals of artist Janet Scudder. -Editor Born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1869, Netta Dweezie Frazee Scudder was the daughter of a candy maker who encouraged his daughter’s artistic interests. He enrolled her in the Saturday drawing classes of William Ames at the Rose Polytechnic Institute, one of only two women admitted to the all-male school.
Scudder left Terre Haute in 1887 and enrolled at the Cincinnati Art Academy, receiving instruction under sculptor Louis Rebisso. It was here she also changed her name to Janet after a registrar informed her that Netta was not a real name.
Moving to Chicago three years later her talent earned her a place in the studio of Lorado Taft who utilized her on the sculptural decorations for the World’s Columbian Exposition. She became part of a group of women sculptors working under Taft that are now immortalized as the “White Rabbits.” She also received the commission to create statues to adorn the Illinois and Indiana state buildings for which she received a bronze medal.
Lot 68 PORTRAIT OF LOUISE HARSHORNE MOORE, 1903. 113.2 68.8mm. Cast Bronze Thin Galvano. XF/AU. The portrait of Louise Hartshorne Moore is probably the most significant relief by Scudder in this grouping. The original marble bas-relief was exhibited at the Eighteenth Annual Exhibition of the Architectural League of New York in 1903 and illustrated in the catalogue.
Some contemporary sources state that this was one of two large medallions purchased by the French Government for the Musée de Luxembourg. Reductions were cast in bronze, silver and gold.
“Once, after one of his long twilight visits, I saw him [MacMonnies] bundling up several silver portrait medallions I had done in New York and brought to Paris with me. When asked what he was going to do with them he gave some evasive answer and left without satisfying my curiosity.
A week later he said casually: By the way those medallions of yours! I showed them to the curator of the Luxembourg Museum. He liked them so much he wants them for the museum. Would you mind giving them to the French Government?” Would I mind having my work in the Musée du Luxembourg the greatest honor any living artist can have! He might just as well have asked me if I wanted to go to heaven when I died. Nothing could possibly have given me so much inspiring encouragement.
To access the online catalog, see: Auction Seventy-Nine Featuring an Important Selection of American Medallic Art (www.maineantiquedigest.com/catalogs/presidentialcoinauction79.pdf)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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