The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 9, March 2, 2014, Article 9


Dick Johnson submitted this information on the nice medal I illustrated last week. Bob Neale chimed in as well. Thanks! -Editor

Presidents medal obverse Presidents medal reverse

Howard Daniel's medal illustrated in last week's E-Sylum was struck at the Paris Mint. I'll wager you will receive half a dozen or more correct statements of that fact by savvy E-Sylum readers. But there is so much more of interest about this medal.

It was created by French sculptor medallist Magdeleine Henriette Mocquot (1910-?). Ironically a similar medal of the same name -- United States Proclamation of Independence Medal -- struck in the same year by the Paris Mint, 1976, was the work of Francois Anger. Madeleine Mocquet had been modelling medals for the Paris Mint since the end of World War II (three dozen of hers are listed in the Paris Mint Catalog); Anger's first Paris Mint medal was in 1971.

Magdeleine Mocquot's medal was struck in bronze and silver (Paris Mint Catalog M4460). It is marked with the cornucopia mintmark and 1976 date. The silver is edgemarked ARGENT. In addition to its 80mm size for sale to the general public, it was also offered in a larger 92mm size in the Paris Mint's Edution de francois de la Medaille with 100 in silver and 400 in bronze.

America's Bicentennial was the subject of six medals produced by the Paris Mint that centennial year. In addition they restruck the Libertas Amricana Medal from Augustin Dupre's 1782 original design with a 1976 edgemark. [In contrast that same year, the U.S. Mint struck it in pewter in miniature size.]

These medals were accepted by Paris Mint Director Pierre DeHaye who can be acclaimed as the most enthusiastic supporter of the Modern Art Medal. During his heyday at the Mint he was accepting and placing into production one new art medal a day! -- more than 250 a year! He encouraged world medallists to submit models. This progressed and attracted such famous artists -- like Dali -- to create medals which today are classed by the art world as Medallic Objects.

As for Magdeleine Mocquot's tribute medal to America's Bicentennial, it is in the collections of the American Numismatic Society (accessible by the number 1981.42.22). The other five are in their collections as well: Rene Merelle (1981.42.2); William Schiffer(1941.42.3) ; Daniel Ponce (1981.42.4); Frederique Maillart (1981.42.11) and Francois Anger's medal (1981.42.13).

Because Magdeleine Mocquot's medal bears a portrait of Benjamin Franklin it is cataloged in Phil Greenslet's 1993 Franklin book as GM-256.

But most amazing of all, because it bears a portrait of George Washington, it is listed in Russ Rulau and George Fuld's revised edition of Baker's Washington medals -- not once, but TWICE! It is listed first as B421 on page 189, and as B435 on page 193. (Same for Anger's medal,A421 and A435.)

This was the result of both author's insistence to follow Baker's original topical scheme of cataloging. A number of medal enthusiasts, myself included, pleaded with the authors to abandon Baker's topical arrangement and list all Washington medals chronologically in one long list. This would have caught and eliminated such pesky duplications..

Bob Neale writes:

I was struck by the stunning medal "Declaration of Independence," pictured as obtained on eBay, because of the depiction of Mr. Jefferson. Most numismatic images of TJ do not portray him as the lean faced, sharp featured man with flowing hair one sees on the medal. But a portrait from life by Charles Wilson Peale (1791) of TJ at age 48 as Sec of State is quite similar to that on the medal and has always struck me as probably more realistic than the much more frequently encountered depictions by Rembrandt Peale (1800) and Gilbert Stuart (1805; on the $2 bill). I once thought about writing up my wish to see TJ on a new $2 bill (for Paper Money), but using one of several other portrait possibilities; I never got around to it.

By the way, why not consider a special recognition to E-Sylum new member No.1776, perhaps a copy of the Declaration of Independence - also signed by yourself? Won't be long now if you continue your superb job of publishing perhaps the most interesting and timely literary adventure in numismatics.

I dunno - sounds like more work to me. Besides, I try not to be U.S.-centric, despite our high percentage of U.S. readers. It's not an anniversary celebrated by our British friends (I know, having spent a July 4th in London one year). The 1,000 mark was a huge milestone, but now I'm shooting for 2,000. Many thanks to everyone who's referred a friend to become a reader - we get many of our subscribers by personal referral. -Editor

Ron Ward writes:

By now you have probably received comments about the large French medal mentioned on Sunday. It is listed by Rulau and Fuld in their "Medallic Portraits of Washington" on page 189 as Baker 421, "French Bicentennial". A full description is provided, but no illustration. So your illustration will be quite useful. I purchased one in a Williamsburg bookshop about 10 years ago for my Washingtonia collection.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE MEDAL (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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