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    The Only Example in Private Hands

    Colonial British Invasions Propaganda Medal 1806 XF - Holed, Of English manufacture. Eimer-unl. 23.84g. Holed for suspension, probably as made. Obverse: LA VERDADERA FE below seated Madonna and child facing standing St George. Reverse: 10-line inscription. Reverse: 10-line inscription in Spanish exalting the respect of divine and human laws and the protection of property and prosperity by Great Britain above BUENOS AYRES EL 25 de JUNIO 1806 in three lines. This date corresponds to the day in which the English troops disembarked at the Quilmes port. Buenos Aires was taken 2 days later. The first reference of this medal traced by the cataloger appears in the Numismatic Chronicle vol. IV (p.144) mentioning the specimen of the British Museum (a pewter specimen, ref. M.5282). A plaster cast, presumably of the BM piece, currently resides in the National Maritime Museum (ref. SEC1457). References of this particular silver specimen include Enrique Pena ("Una Medalla Desconocida", 1921), Roberts ("Las Invasiones Inglesas", 1938) and, more recently, Cunietti ("Historia de las Medallas Argentinas 1747-1880", 2010) who indicates that only two pieces are known to him, the other being the British Museum example. Its British origin is proved by the common punches shared with an undated medal (Vives-198 in Vives' 1916 "Las Medallas de la Casa de Borbon" - similar to VDQ-14171). In particular, the obverse of the two pieces is almost identical albeit with minute differences in the die arrangement. That undated piece is also larger in diameter with an outside circular legend VIDA LARGO TIEMPO LA RAZA DE LOS BORBONES. Although Cunietti assigns the latter piece to 1794 following Delgado, Vives' attribution to 1808 appears much more logical since a Ferdinand VII medal with the same obverse motto is also known (see for example Aureo 3/1998, lot 1681) - this Ferdinand VII medal clearly struck in Britain after Napoleon's invasion of Spain ca.1808. Thus, the cataloger concludes that the present 1806 medal predates the undated Vives-198/VDQ-14171 piece. It was commissioned in London upon receiving the news of the successful taking of Buenos Aires obviously intending to distribute it to that city's habitants. Naturally, since the Spanish retook the city shortly after on August 14, its purported use was no longer viable, resulting in either few pieces struck and/or the melting of most - particularly the silver pieces such as the present one resulting in its extreme current rarity. The punches for its obverse die were later used to strike the aforementioned undated medal (VDQ-14171) now properly reassigned to 1808.

    Currently the only silver specimen traced by the cataloger since the BM piece is struck in pewter. A well pedigreed and intriguing medal, its omission in Eimer a testimony of its great rarity, equally interesting and reminiscent of the popular Vernon Medals, but far rarer and of great historical importance.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th-14th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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