Greg Reynolds published a Greysheet blog article about the George Washington Indian Peace Medals sold in the recent Heritage Partrick sale.
The article includes an interview with E-Sylum contributor Alan Weinberg. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for more.
Two American Indian Peace Medals from the 18th century were highlights of the special Partrick Platinum Night auction session on April 22. This was part of a large auction extravaganza conducted by Heritage at this firm's headquarters near the Dallas Fort Worth Airport.
The most noteworthy result in this Partrick session was the $630,000 paid for a 1793 Indian Peace Medal that depicts George Washington, the first president of the United States. He was earlier the commander-in-chief of American revolutionary forces during the battle for independence from Great Britain.
I had already decided to focus upon this Washington 1793 Indian Peace Medal before I contacted Alan Weinberg, a legendary collector of early American numismatic items. Parts of Alan's collection were auctioned by Heritage in multiple sessions during 2019 and 2020. Weinberg purchased most of his rarities long ago, during times when market levels were much lower than they have been during the last twenty years. I was surprised to learn that he was the buyer of this medal, for a record price.
Weinberg identified himself as the buyer and agreed to be interviewed. He furnished his own photos of this medal. He says he received this medal on Tuesday, April 27, soon after the Partrick session on Thursday, April 22. Alan was ecstatic.
To acquire a choice, well engraved, hallmarked by Joseph Richardson, oval George Washington Indian Peace Medal is almost literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was determined to acquire it as I'm 77 and will have no future chance, Weinberg declared.
Alan begin collecting coins in 1958.
I skipped the usual sets of coins and immediately progressed to 1793 Chain and Wreath large cents, buying a choice clean Very Fine 1793 Chain ‘with periods' cent for $675 in a 1962 Stack's auction. By 1962, I was acquiring significant choice colonial rarities from Dick Picker and Bill Anton for up to $3,750 [each]. In June 1962, the summer I graduated from high school, Dick Picker phoned to offer me the Virgil Brand Brasher doubloon for $14,000. A few weeks later he again called to offer me the Brand 1786 date under plowbeam New Jersey Copper for $8,000. Unfortunately, I passed on both ultra-rarities not having the money in hand. I should have asked my father if …, Weinberg now reveals.
Weinberg collected a variety of 18th and 19th century medals, though this is his sole acquisition of a choice Washington administration Indian Peace Medal. These are distinct as they are silver ovals and were directly engraved. Later U.S. Indian Peace Medals were round and were struck from dies rather than being directly engraved.
The article includes a discussion of the known examples and some believed to be modern reproductions. Be sure to see the complete article for more.
Two similar Washington administration Indian Peace Medals were auctioned in the Partrick auction session in January. These realized substantially less than the presently discussed $630,000 medal that sold in April. This 1793 medal is not rarer as a date than the 1792 and 1795 medals that sold in the Partrick session in January. This 1793 is, however, technically more impressive. The technical rating of a coin or medal relates to hairlines, contact marks, consequences of cleanings or dippings, abrasions from handling, additives, etc.
Reportedly, Washington administration Indian Peace Medals dated 1789, 1792, 1793 and 1795 are known. There is a 1789 medal that is pictured in works by Bauman Belden and there was a 1789 in the Ford II sale by Stack's (NY) in May 2004 that was identified as a
modern copy by the cataloguer.
I am not convinced that a genuine 1789 medal exists, though I am not now prepared to draw a conclusion. Alan Weinberg is suspicious of the 1789 George Washington Indian Peace Medals that have come to his attention, which he believes are not authentic and were likely to have been made much later than 1789.
Bauman Belden's primary work on Indian Peace Medals was published by the ANS in 1927. This monograph is available on the Newman Numismatic Portal. The stories surrounding the two 1789 medals that Belden mentioned are vague and unconvincing. The 1789 that is pictured in Bauman's work is much different from and artistically inferior to widely accepted 1792, 1793 and 1795 medals.
To read the complete article, see:
Series Analysis: Thrilling Indian Peace Medals in Partrick Collection - The Panoramic Partrick Collection, Report #2
Wayne Homren, Editor
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