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    Description

    Betts-88 1700 Darien, Scotland Medal
    Silver, Cast and Chased

    Betts-88. 1700 Scottish Colony at Darien. Silver. Cast and chased. XF. 56.3 mm, 63.3 gm. By Martin Smeltzing. Grotesque ocean god in nautilus shell helmet and scallop shell mail stands on parapet watching as Alexander Campbell's Scottish forces overrun the Spanish fort of Toubocanti and defeat 1,600 Spaniards below. Banner above bears the Latin What Not for the Fatherland. The reverse presents the Arms of the African and Indian Company of Scotland containing a Saint Andrew's Cross with ship, camels, and elephant. Supporters are an African holding an elephant tusk and American Indian holding a cornucopia. Crest is a rising sun crest on facing helmet, Latin motto Wherever the World Extends, United Strength is More Powerful. This medal is well-detailed but heavily chased, but is nonetheless a historic rarity eagerly sought in any condition.
    In 1700, Scotland and England were separate kingdoms, and this colonization attempt was one of the last ambitious projects that was wholly Scottish. The Darien, Panama, colony was an unmitigated disaster despite a hopeful beginning. The tropical climate, insects, and disease decimated the poorly prepared Scots who were denied any help by the English colonies in the West Indies. Campbell's victory was followed by defeat and flight and few surviving colonists ever made it back to Scotland. Campbell received a grant of Arms and a gold medal nonetheless.

    John W. Adams Commentary
    "These are very important medals - the only ones that refer specifically to the Scots. The defense of the Darien Colony was heroic but, when the British withheld their promised support, the cause was doomed."
    Ex: LaRiviere Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/2001), lot 1024.
    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, 2013
    9th-14th Wednesday-Monday
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