George Fuld submitted the following press release about a major numismatic discovery to be detailed in his upcoming book, The Pattern Coinage of Peter Getz. -Editor Although known to the Masonic fraternity for years, an artifact, the George Washington ladle, has recently been brought to the attention of numismatists.
In 1797, President George Washington presented to Congressman Francis Preston a buffalo horn ladle containing a silver specimen of the 1797 Getz Masonic medal, Baker 288. The background for this presentation is told by a fascinating story now brought to light by members of the Abingdon Lodge #48 of A.F. & A. M. of Abingdon, VA.
A friendship between two young surveyors, William Preston and George Washington lasted with correspondence that took place until Williamís death in 1783. Years later Williamís son, Francis, met his fatherís friend in Philadelphia, one being the President of the United States and the other the young Congressman from Virginia. Warm relations were established between the two men. As a token of their friendship, Washington had the horn of a buffalo produced as a trophy to Colonel Prestonís skills in hunting and presented it to Francis.
The horn was made into a ladle about thirteen inches long, and in the bowl was mounted a silver medal. This medal was the famed 1797 Getz Masonic medal, Baker 288 and a copy is shown herewith.
Many trials and tribulations occurred with the ladle and medal. It was lent by the family for the Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia in 1876. It was lost or stolen, and eventually recovered and returned in 1879 to Francisí daughter, Mrs. John B. Floyd. Upon her death in 1879, she bequeathed the ladle to the Abingdon Lodge #48 of A. F. & A. M. in Abingdon, Va. When the lodge was in the process of moving its location in the 1960ís, it was lost again. Many years passed with no information, but in 1973 Chief of Police of Abingdon, William Phillips learned of its whereabouts and recovered the ladle. When returned, the medal in the bowl and a silver cap from the handle were missing.
In 2009, the Abingdon Lodge loaned the ladle to the Museum of the Grand Lodge of Virginia in Richmond. There is much more to this story. A complete background of the medal with illustrations is a chapter in the book, The Pattern Coinage of Peter Getz by George Fuld. The new book will be unveiled at the ANA Convention in August, 2009.
This publication details 22 different silver 1792 Getz patterns, 55 different copper 1792 Getz "cents" and 20 different 1797 Getz Masonic medals. Full backgrounds are supplied on each coin and they are mostly illustrated in color. A full discussion of the unique Getz Large Eagle "pattern", Baker 23 is given as well as the complete story about the Washington ladle. The books will be sold by George F. Kolbe of Crestline, CA.
Excited to get in line to buy my copy, I contacted George. Unfortunately, it's still too early for finalized ordering details. Current plans call for a "Pre-Publication" price (yet to be determined), then a "Retail" price, at which copies will be available for twelve months following publication. George adds "It is going to be quite a book." -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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