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    Description

    College of William and Mary Botetourt Medal, Mint State
    Betts-528, Bronze
    Rare and Beautifully Preserved Example

    Betts-528. College of William and Mary. Botetourt Medal. Bronze. Mint State. 43.4 mm, 28.1 gm. Obverse signed by T. Pingo. The College of William and Mary is the second oldest college in the United States, established in 1693, although plans for the college date back to 1618. The charter for a "perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good Arts and Sciences" was signed by King William III and Queen Mary II on February 8, 1693.


    Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt and Colonial governor of Virginia established the award for outstanding students of William and Mary, but died in 1771 before the first prize was issued. However, his nephew made sure the award was established. The prizes were awarded beginning in 1772. Funding difficulties during the American Revolution ended the medals for over a century and a half, until they were resurrected in 1941. Depending upon the source consulted, the medal was either the first or the second academic award established in the colonies.


    The medal features a right-facing bust of King George III. The reverse includes a kneeling student in a gown, holding a cap in his left hand and receiving a diploma with the other hand from a seated royal male figure. A woman with a crown is standing nearby.


    A rare piece, this medal is among only about a dozen survivors known. Strong luster and attractive red color surround much of the design elements on this beautifully preserved example. A sharp strike and only a few minuscule marks are additional attributes of this piece.
    Ex: A.H. Baldwin (3/1985).
    From The John W. Adams Collection.


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

    View all of [The John W. Adams Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
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