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    Description

    1781 Victory at Cowpens Medal
    Obverse and Reverse Trial Strikes
    Betts-593, Julian MI-7

    Obverse and Reverse Trial Strikes for 1781 Victory at Cowpens Medal. White Metal. Betts-593, Julian MI-7. Engraved by Augustin Dupré, the General Daniel Morgan Victory at Cowpens medal is considered to be one of the most skilled works of the period. Dupré (1748-1833) is best known as the engraver of the Libertas Americana medal. The Victory at Cowpens medal commemorates General Daniel Morgan's defeat of the British, led by Colonel Banastre, at the Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina. Morgan was awarded a gold medal, produced in Paris, in late 1789 or early 1790.

    Although generally offered separately, this lot contains both an obverse and reverse trial strike from Dupré's own hand, presenting a unique opportunity for the collector. The descriptions of each as follows:

    Obverse Trial Strike for 1781 Victory at Cowpens Medal, Betts-593. White metal, 53 mm, 10.5 gm. Uniface. Obverse die trial strike for the Victory at Cowpens medal. An Indian queen with quiver of arrows on her back crowns an officer with a laurel wreath. His hand rests on a sword, with a miscellany of military equipment and a forested scene in the background. At the top rim is DANIELI MORGAN DUCE EXERCITUS, with COMITIA AMERICANA in exergue, or "The American Congress to Daniel Morgan, general of the Army." These pieces are similar to splashers in that they have newspaper backing, but the rims are upset. This obverse planchet is quite a bit thinner and lighter overall than the accompanying reverse, but it is appealing and shows little impairment beyond a couple of nicks on the rim and a thin crack along a portion of the lower rim.

    Reverse Trial Strike for 1781 Victory at Cowpens Medal, Betts-593. White metal, 53 mm, 30.9 gm. Uniface. Reverse trial strike for the Victory at Cowpens medal, a Congressional medal awarded Brigadier General Daniel Morgan (1736-1802): An officer on horseback leads his troops, charging against the fleeing enemy. The foreground shows a hand-to-hand battle between an unhorsed dragoon and a foot soldier, while fierce combat rages in the background. The inscription above is VICTORIA LIBERTATIS VINDEX, or "Victory, the protector of Liberty." In exergue is FUGATIS, CAPTIS AUT CAESIS / AD COWPENS HOSTIBUS / XVII. JAN. MDCCLXXXI--"The foe put to flight, taken, or slain, at Cowpens, January 17, 1781." Below is DUPRÉ INV. ET F., "Dupré invented and made it." There is little actual wear on this piece, but the thin, irregular planchet shows some nicks at the rim.

    It is important to note that Dupré personally struck these two essays during the design process. This is comparable to Paul Revere engraving a copper plate, inking it, printing it, and pulling his épreuve d'essai, or trial proof, from the press.
    Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lots 6315 and 6316 respectively, each realizing $6,612.50.


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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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