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    Description

    1778 Rhode Island VLUGTENDE Ship Medal, VF
    Betts-561, Breen-1138, W-1725, R.8, Brass
    Possibly the Sole Surviving Example

    Betts-561. 1778 Rhode Island Ship Medal. VLUGTENDE. Brass. VF. Breen-1138, W-1725, R.8. 32.1 mm, 9.8 gm. Unsigned. An example of the exceedingly rare first variety of these medals, this piece retains the word VLUGTENDE below the ship. It is unconfirmed whether another example of this variety exists. W.E. Woodward, as part of his December 10, 1866 sale, sold an example belonging to AV Jenks and George T. Paine. It is unknown whether this is that piece.


    The true origin and intention of the medals remains a mystery. It is believed they were struck in England within a year or two of the battle depicted and were intended as a message to the Dutch given the language used. However, some believe the medals were a Dutch product in support of the British.


    The obverse depicts the American troops fleeing Conanicut Island as part of the Battle of Rhode Island. Among the battle's participants was the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, a segregated regiment consisting of locally recruited African-Americans. The reverse represents Admiral Howe's flagship. The legend translates as, "The Americans had to run away in 1778, now there goes Adm. Howe the same way in 1779." The surfaces of this piece reveal intermingled shades of golden-brown, olive-brown, and chocolate-brown, with a few hints of red-brown also present.
    Ex: Col. James W. Ellsworth Collection; Garrett Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1980), lot 1325; Roper Collection (Stack's, 12/1983), lot 170.
    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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