We recently discussed a Nebraska state anniversary medal. Jan Monroe passed along this chapter on the subject from his upcoming book on state anniversary numismatics. Thanks! Jan notes that "This information was also developed by John Veach of Lincoln, Nebraska. He assisted me with my research."
The designer, David W. Seyler described the symbolism of the design as follows:
"The obverse side symbolizes Nebraska from east to west. The pioneer tree planter planting a
cottonwood tree honors Arbor Day, which originated in Nebraska. On the branch of the tree is a
Meadowlark, the state bird. Beneath the tree is native prairie grass, typical of the Nebraska
plains. In the center right is the cabin at the Homestead National Monument, the first homestead
cabin in the west. Towering above the cabin is the American Elm.On the left of the medal by the
right foot of the tree planter is the Goldenrod, the state flower. Above the state flower on an
open range is a herd of cattle. Here, too, the Platte River winds into the distant sandhills. On the
horizon, beyond the sandhills is Chimney Rock, a famous western Nebraska landmark and now
also a National Monument. The two monuments connect west with east. The arrowheads
circling the medal honor the Indians part in our state's history.The reverse side features the state
capitol building, standing alone before an endless sea of grass, prairie, sandhills, and bluffs
stretching westward. In the sky are windswept clouds typical of the plains country. In the
foreground is a quotation from Walt Whitman's
Leaves of Grass selected as being most apropos
of Nebraska's potential.The border radiates out like the points of a compass toward the many
futures of the state inscribed on the outermost border. The ever-present life-giving Nebraska sun
is featured on both sides of the medal. On the obverse it touches the golden throat of the
Meadowlark, a symbol of beauty and song. On the reverse, it extends down into the chambers of
Obv. In the lower left of center is a pioneer with a shovel digging around a tree. A cabin is shown to
the right rear with large trees surrounding it and with rays of sunshine from a large sun in the upper
left quadrant. At the top around are the words HONOR TO OUR HERITAGE. Below around are the
words DEDICATION TO OUR FUTURE. To the left around is the date 1867 and to right around is the
date 1967. A border of arrowheads separates the center of the medal from the words.
Rev. In the
center is a low frontal view of the state capitol building. The sun illuminates the building from the
upper left with clouds behind. Below in exergue are the words IN THIS BROAD EARTH OF OURS
/...ENCLOSED AND SAFE WITHIN / ITS CENTRAL HEART NESTLES / THE SEED PERFECTION. Around the
center are the following words AGRICULTURE / SCIENCE / LABOR / RECREATION / INDUSTRY / THE
ARTS / EDUCATION / COMMERCE.
Nebraska Statehood Centennial Medal, 1967 (Medallic Art Company)
two-piece proof set, limited to five hundred sets, was issued for the price of $37.50. The medals are
in a white acrylic holder like the state of Nebraska. Only 100 sets were available for out of state
*Edge marked .999+ PURE SILVER and serially numbered.**Edge marked MEDALLIC ART CO. NY.
BRONZE***A total of 37 platinum medals were offered but only ten were struck. Of the ten, just
eight were sold and the remaining two were returned to the Medallic Art Company for melting. Edge
marked MEDALLIC ART CO, NY. PLATINUM. The Platinum medals were individually serially numbered.
One of the Platinum medals is in the Nebraska Historical Society collection.
Prices listed were for mail order. The medals could be purchased for slightly less at local banks.
Re-dedication Plaque, 1967
A special plaque was also made by the Medallic Art Company for the re-dedication of the
State Capitol Building in Lincoln. This plaque used the same design as the official medals
above. The bronze reproductions are 12 inches in diameter. The plaque has an information
plate engraved at the bottom that reads as follows:
NEBRASKA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING
THE NEBRASKA CENTENNIAL COMMISSION
JUNE 14, 1967
REPLICAS OF THE SCULPTOR'S ORIGINAL MODELS FOR
THE OFFICIAL CENTENNIAL MEDAL
PROFESSOR DAVID W. SEYLER, SCULPTOR
"The book is a catalog of state anniversary exonumia for all 50 states and the US territories. The tentative title is Official and Semi-Official State Anniversary Exonumia. The scope includes US Government medals. It doesn't include city or county anniversaries. The anniversaries include discovery, exploration, first settlement, becoming a territory and statehood."
We'll look forward to the book!
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: JUNE 12, 2022
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JUNE 19, 2022 : 1967 Nebraska Centennial Medal Sculptor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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