Description

    Pair of 1864 Abraham Lincoln 'Medalets'

    Two 1864 Abraham Lincoln/Lincoln and Union Medalets, Silver-Plated Copper and Brass. Includes: 1864 Abraham Lincoln/Lincoln and Union, Sullivan-DeWitt-AL-1864-44, Fuld-128/289fp, R.7, silver-plated copper. Obv. bust of Lincoln facing right, surrounded by a peripheral ring of 35 stars. Rev. defiant eagle with shield on breast, somewhat in the Seated Liberty style, with peripheral legend LINCOLN AND UNION, unbowed wreath below. Choice XF or a bit better, with considerable luster remaining. A second piece, also Sullivan-DeWitt-AL-1864-44, Fuld-128/289b, R.3, brass, Choice VF with no distractions and good surfaces.
    George and Melvin Fuld's Patriotic Civil War Tokens, fifth edition (2005) makes it a point to call this issue and numerous other medalets (i.e. small medals) rather than tokens--the difference is whether the pieces were intended as circulation strikes ("in lieu of the hoarded government coinage") or noncirculating commemorations, usually of personages such as Lincoln (and the Washington medalet, Fuld-115/530), but also including organizations (the Union League medalets, the Wealth of the South series), fraternal brotherhoods (Odd Fellows, Masons), events (Great Central Fair, Philadelphia), and the Union Military Volunteers, die 147.
    The Fulds' distinction is an important but vague one, and like the determination of proof versus prooflike early coins, it often calls for a subjective determination of the intent of the coiner. As the Fulds say, "Medalets are the most neglected species of Civil War exonumia. Since they resemble the counterpart tokens and store cards both physically and in general appearance, their true nature as medalets has been obscured by the passage of time."


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

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2008
    17th-18th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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