Allan, Marnie, & Lief Davisson's current E-Auction includes an interesting silver Washington Funeral medal. Here's a write-up from their November 27, 2019 email.
He Is In Glory, The World In Tears
George Washington Silver Funeral Medal
George Washington died on December 14th, 1799. He was 67 years old. Our current auction, which happens to close 3 days before the 220th anniversary of his death, includes a fascinating piece of Americana: one of his funeral medals.
Washington was much beloved, and these medals were worn in homage to him in civic processions shortly after his death. Musante (author of Medallic Washington, the two volume standard reference on Washington medals published in 2016) notes that "two of the largest and most widely reported processions were held in Boston," one on Thursday, January 9, 1800, by the citizenry, and the second on February 11, Washington's birthday, conducted by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (Washington's birthday was technically moved to the 22nd following Britain's adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, but the original Julian calendar date was the 11th). Virtually all examples were holed to allow them to be worn. This piece, as do others in the series, shows wear, suggesting that the owners kept them and wore them or carried them in their pockets long after the funeral.
We assembled E-Auction 33 before we know how extensive the sale in Baltimore of Washington medals from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania would be. That auction included seven different Boston funeral medals. Two were the very rare skull and crossbones type. Both realized well into the $30,000 range. The sale offered five of the urn reverse type, two in silver and three in white metal. The silver pieces sold for $20,400 and $9,600. The three white metal pieces sold for prices in the low to mid $4000 range.
Musante lists a total of 12 obverse-reverse die combinations of this medal. The seven in the Baltimore sale were all different. The lot in our sale differs from those in that sale and is the only die combination that is found only in silver. The most distinctive characteristic of the lot we have is on the reverse where the date actually runs into the base of the urn.
If you would like more information on this historic piece, please get in touch.
To read the complete lot description, see:
E-Auction 33 Lot 202 UNITED STATES. George Washington.
To browse Davissons' E-Auciton 33, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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