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    Description

    Gold Extremely Rare Gold 1758 Louisbourg Taken Medal
    Awarded to High Ranking Officers Present
    Betts-410 With Original Hanger

    Betts-410. 1758 Louisbourg Taken. Gold, with original hanger. Choice About Uncirculated. Rich yellow gold with bright lustrous, reflective fields. An exquisite piece, showing some faint hairlines and a few minor scratches here and there, reflecting its use as a military decoration and not a cabinet medal intended for solely numismatic hands. The worst of the scratches is to the right of the cloud in the upper reverse field, and it is not especially noticeable. Some light reverse wear suggests that this medal was actually worn and displayed, as intended. Other awarded medals, including silver ones with the same original hanger, are seen in grades as low as Fine. The rims are sound and unbruised, and the raised perpendicular line that shows the joint in the two-piece collar (sometimes called a collar mark or "witness line") is visible near 2:00 on the obverse.
    A magnificent historical artifact, awarded to one of the main figures in a battle which was the first domino to fall on the path to Great Britain's total conquest of Canada. Admiral Boscawen himself presented gold medals to his captains; his specimen is now in the ANS, and the dies are said to be retained by his family. We know of just four specimens of this medal that have been seen in the present day. Eimer also cites a gold specimen in the British Museum, though it does not appear in their online database. It may be one of the below listed as 4, 5, or 6.

    1. Stack's September 2009 Americana Sale, Lot 6046; unidentified consignor; Stack's sale of the John Ford Collection, Part XIV, May 2006, Lot 33; Ford Collection; ex Virgil Brand Estate, via New Netherlands Coin Company, in 1953; said to be ex Hunter Collection (S.H. Chapman, December 1920, Lot 170), where the "Proof" gold Louisbourg Taken medal was said to have cost Hunter $400. Original recipient unknown.
    2. Morton and Eden, December 2003; descendants of Captain Matthew Buckle; awarded to Buckle, captain of the HMS Vengeance, Boscawen's flagship.
    3. American Numismatic Society; Admiral Edward Boscawen.
    4. Unknown in the present day. Named on edge to Captain Collings. Published in Spink's Numismatic Chronicle, 1893.
    5. Unknown in the present day. Awarded to Sir Alexander Schomberg. Perhaps the same as 1 or 7. Published in The Numismatist, April 1932.
    6. Unknown in the present day. Awarded to Senior Midshipman George Young. Perhaps the same as 1 or 7. Published in The Numismatist, April 1932.
    7. The present specimen.

    Perhaps the most historic and most majestically engraved of the conflict, the 1758 Louisbourg Taken medal holds a special place in this collection: rather than being just a simple commemorative medal, it also served as a military decoration, awarded to recognize service, worn, and displayed. The designs of this medal by Thomas Pingo are evocative, well-rendered, and historically accurate. The obverse legend "Partier in Bella" translates to "together in war," celebrating the unusually good cooperation between the army (symbolized by the standing grenadier) and the navy, evoked by the sailor with traditional Jack Tar hat. They gesture towards Louisbourg on a map that shows the extent of the American front, from Cuba to the Maritimes to the interior of the continent. The globe crushes a defeated France, shown in an exposed feminine form, her fleur-de-lis upside down and cast out of reach to the ground, barely hanging on to the edge of the continent. Fame blows victory on a trumpet of triumph. The reverse shows, in fairly accurate detail, the geography of Louisbourg Harbor, the position of the batteries, and the final cataclysm of the battle, the burning of the Prudent while the town remained under heavy fire over the night of July 25-26, 1758.
    Any Betts medal in gold is special. Perhaps none surpass the Louisbourg Taken in importance, majesty, and historicity. 43.8 mm, 786.9 grains.
    Ex: Peter Winkworth, via Chris Eimer (1/2004)
    From The John W. Adams Collection of French and Indian War Medals.
    Seller is donating a portion of their proceeds, and Heritage is donating the same portion of the Buyer's Premium, from the sale of this lot to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. See page 3 for details.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The John W. Adams Collection of French and Indian War Medals ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2012
    4th-8th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
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