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    Description

    1762 Betts-443 Capture of the Morro Castle,
    Havana Medal MS62

    Betts-443. 1762 Capture of the Morro Castle, Havana. Silver. MS62 NGC. 49.4mm, 836.3 grains. Ex: Lucian M. LaRiviere (5/2001). Beautifully toned in gold and russet with fresh luster and very few significant hairlines or marks, this example exhibits an early die state. Later pieces display heavy die cracks over Luis Vicente de Velasco's neck and collar. The Morro Castle is widely considered to be the most artistic Betts medal of the Seven Years War and it certainly is the most dramatic. It was issued by Spain to honor Luis de Velasco and Vicenzo Gonzalez, the commanders of Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro, the castle which guarded the entrance to Havana Bay in Cuba. In 1762, the British besieged Morro Castle with over 30,000 men. During the siege, Velasco and Gonzalez refused repeated opportunities to surrender, dying alongside their men in hand-to-hand combat after the British successfully undermined one of the fort's bastions and stormed into the breach. The obverse of the medal features busts of the fallen commanders, while the reverse graphically depicts the explosion which essentially ended the conflict. An NGC photo-certificate accompanies this lot.
    From The Fort Necessity Collection of Betts Medals.


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

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2013
    9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
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