While my computer was out of commission a great new book arrived at my doorstep. E-Sylum readers should be familiar with the topic, since it was the subject of a few questions and discussions in previous issues. Harry Waterson has pulled together a lot of great information in The Medal-Of-The-Month Club - Created by Felicity Buranelli.
THE MEDAL-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB
Created by Felicity Buranelli
Compiled by Harry Waterson
This is a Catalogue Raisonné of the medals and emblems commissioned by Felicity Buranelli from 1939 to 1972. During that time she issued 10 medals and 2 emblems under the umbrella title THE MEDAL-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB. This catalogue tells the story of Miss Buranelli and the stories of the medals she issued.
Miss Buranelli did not have exclusive use of her title. At one time the Lincoln Mint had
THE MEDAL OF THE MONTH SOCIETY which actually issued a medal a month. There was also a medal dealer in Sioux Falls, SD who had a MEDAL OF THE MONTH CLUB. He sold commemoratives, medals and tokens of his choice under the Medal-Of-The-Month name. There were others who also used the term so confusion abounds.
This particular club was the creation of Felicity Buranelli (1893-1979). She began work on it in the 1930s and it was to occupy her for the rest of her life. Her intention was to create a series of medals that would inspire the youth of America. She wanted medals that would depict the lives of great men and women who have made and are still making the history of America and preserving Democracy.
Her first series of medals commemorated the lives of the pioneers of aviation. She intended to then go on to additional series honoring heroes from other fields of endeavor in America. She never got past aviation. She began to issue her Aviation Series in 1941 with a run of four medals. The attempt at a monthly issue quickly faltered and she continued to issue medals on a very intermittent basis until 1962 when she released her eighth medal honoring John Glenn and then she disbanded her club. Later she issued two more medals that served as memorials; one in honor of her brother who was an innovative aircraft designer and one for a Jesuit priest who had had a large impact on her life. The entire ten-medal run spanned 31 years from 1941 to 1972.
Buranelli described her aviation heroes as all having exhibited Courage, Vision and untiring Work. These
three words were her inspirational mantra for the youth of America. She used COURAGE, VISION and WORK
as the legend on the emblems she had designed for the boys and girls of her club to wear. These two
emblems are also included in this Catalogue Raisonné.
The Medal-Of-The-Month Club was Felicity Buranelli. She chose the subjects. She picked
the artists and gave them their direction. She wrote the copy for the reverse of the medals. She supervised the production of the medals and she was in charge of advertising and promotion. She held all the copyrights but one. She raised the money and she was her only distributor. She was very proud of the fact that she did this all herself and had not allowed crass commercialism to enter into any phase of her program. The process was very slow and painstaking but the medals she produced were remarkable. Not so her success as a business woman and entrepreneur. She was still selling these medals out of her Manhattan apartment as late as 1976.
This soft-cover monograph is 82 pages long. It is in 8 1/2x11-inch format with 22 pages of color. The catalogue will answer the question; what took her so long?
Harry's monograph was made possible through a grant from the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS), and is available for sale at $30 though Dick Johnson's firm Signature Art Medals (see ad below).
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster