Mike Dlugosz is selling some interesting material in an upcoming Heritage sale and he submitted the following information about a couple of the
medals. Thanks. -Editor
Paine "I Die for This Book" Medallette
A very rare Anti-Thomas Paine medalet. Unsigned. Obverse: Thomas Paine hanging dead from a tree; three legends, in the speech bubble I DIE FOR
THIS DAMNED BOOK, in the canopy of the tree of liberty TOMMY'S RIGHTS OF MAN, around A TREE IS KNOWN BY ITS FRUIT.
The reverse legends read, MAY THE TREE OF LIBERTY EXIST TO BEAR TOMMY'S LAST FRIEND.
Toned and with hints of brilliance still clinging to the legends in places, NGC VF30. A touch of honest wear combined with some as-made softness
in strike contribute to the numerical grade.
Unusual piece. See the related item in this issue about an 1892 public hanging medal. -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
(1790s) Thomas Paine Hanged / Tree of Liberty Political Penny Token VF30 NGC. Dalton & Hamer Middlesex-209. White met...
1792 French Republic National Convention Medal
The “1792 Liberte Francoise bell metal medal” (Maz-318, Maz-318a) was made by French engraver, Andre Galle. The obverse features an adaptation of
Liberty inspired by the design of Augustin Dupre's Libertas Americana medal that depicts Liberty with a pileus style liberty cap.
On the reverse is an oak wreath inside of which is a dedication, from the United Artists meeting in Lyons, to the National Convention, Pure Bell
Metal, Struck in 1792.
The reverse suggests these medals were struck, though I've seen descriptions indicating they were actually cast medals - perhaps because of the
porosity frequently seen on examples and possibly operating on the assumption that bell medal was too brittle to withstand striking. But, if that
were indeed the case then I wonder why Galle didn't choose “moule”, instead of “frappe”, for the reverse legend?
In my experience, the majority of these are found XF-AU, fewer MS60-62, 63 is rare, 64's almost never, and there are zero certified 65s.
Mazard-318 & 318a were made of recycled metal harvested from bronze bells. The alloy used in bell making is less than ideal for coining.
Perhaps a consequence of metal composition and the tools/process used in manufacturing, many specimens suffer from a degree of porosity, noticeable
at a distance. The piece presently offered has superior surfaces for this issue. It is very pleasingly toned and Liberty's hair is in full bold
It is certified PCGS MS-64, tied for the finest graded by either service. Technically it is the finest certified Maz-318a (the slightly
harder-to-come-by ‘double weight test' variety). However, PCGS made an error labeling it calling it only Maz-318. The Heritage cataloger noted this
in the lot description as well. They should have graded this as an SP-64, Maz-318a.
About the artist, Andre Galle (1761-1844)
From a young age Galle worked with his father who was an engraver of corners and seals. By the time he was a teenager he demonstrated a
strong aptitude for art.
He spent years as an apprentice in a Lyons button manufactory where he honed his artistic, mechanical and business skills. Eventually, he rose to
become head of production at that company.
Galle became a master engraver in 1785 and worked for the province of Lyons under that capacity. The 1792 Liberte Francoise bell medal was his
first project as an engraver of medals.
This medal was a proposition for the recycling of metal from church bells confiscated by the new government. It was a statement from Galle not
only showing his skills but also his support for the cause of liberty in France. Simultaneously, he was relating what was happening in France with
what happened a few years earlier in America, paying homage to Dupre's and Franklin's Libertas Americana medal.
It was a smart move by Galle. He gained favor with important people in government as a result.
Baron Dominique Vivant Denon, director of the Lourve Museum and Paris Mint later selected Galle to work on the medallic history of Napoleon
Interestingly, he also invented and in 1829 patented, the first mass produced roller chain - Galle chain / gear - varieties of which we use today
in countless applications where loading, lifting and moving are necessary.
He continued to live and work in Paris until his death in 1844.
Thanks for the background. Another interesting piece. -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
France: Republic cast
"National Convention" Medal L'An 1 (1792) MS64 PCGS,...
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
HERITAGE SALE ANTI-SLAVERY MEDALS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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