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    Libertas Americana Silver Medal, AU53
    Betts-615, Rare and Desirable

    (1781) MEDAL Libertas Americana Silver AU53 NGC. Betts-615, Loubat-14. As stated by C. Wyllys Betts in American Colonial History Illustrated by Contemporary Medals, published in 1894, "The Libertas Americana, the dies of which were cut by Dupré, is universally considered by far the most beautiful of the Peace Medals. Its spirited head of Liberty was imitated on some of the earliest coins of the new nation. The Phrygian cap now takes the place of the free hat of the Netherlands." Betts is referring to the Peace medals associated with the Treaty of Paris. Among the representations on the Frisia Recognition medal, identified as Betts-602, is an angel presenting "the free hat of the Netherlands to America." An AU example in silver appears in the Betts Medals portion of this auction.

    Benjamin Franklin ordered the Libertas Americana medal. In a letter from Franklin dated March 4, 1782 to Robert Livingston, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, referring to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, he stated,

    '"This puts me in mind of a medal I have had a mind to strike since the late great event you gave me an account of, representing the United States by the figure of an infant Hercules in his cradle, strangling the two serpents; and France by that of Minerva, sitting by as his nurse, with her spear and helmet, and her robe specked with a few 'fleurs-de-lis.' The extinguishing of two entire armies in one war is what has rarely happened, and it gives a presage of the future force of our growing empire ... ."

    Augustin Dupré (1748-1833) of Paris, a leading French medallist and an engraver of French coins, engraved the medal. Dupré's work included a number of medals related to America, including Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Green, and Daniel Morgan pieces. The original Libertas Americana medals were struck in Paris.

    Page 90 of the 2014 Guide Book lists the number of survivors in silver as "24+ known." A wonderful piece, this silver example graded AU53 displays slate-gray color overall. Closer examination reveals attractive toning. Among the colors present are gold, electric-blue, deep violet, orange, and mint-green. The high points exhibit wear, as expected at this grade level. This is a pleasing example of this rare and desirable medal representing American Independence.
    Ex: Bill Weber Collection (Superior, 6/2002), lot 2228; Early American History Auctions (10/2003), lot 1061.
    From The Marlor Collection.

    View all of [The Marlor Collection ]

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,163

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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