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    1792 George Washington Oval Peace Medal
    Gilcrease Museum Plate Medal
    From the Boyd and Ford Collections

    1792 George Washington President Oval Engraved Indian Peace Medal, Silver, Unsigned, Baker 174V, Belden 4-C, Prucha 34, Gilcrease 6.10, Genuine NGC. Small size, 80.5 x 133 mm. An impressive small size medal with intact rim and loop. The Fuld Census published in Peace Medals: Negotiating Power in Early America (Gilcrease Museum, 2011) records eight examples of the 1792 small size oval medals. This exact medal is plated on page 56 of the Gilcrease Museum book. Well-executed with fine engraving, it is a lovely medium silver-gray medal. The round loop is parallel to the face of the medal, and is a different style from those employed by Joseph Richardson or Joseph Loring. However, the engraving style appears to be closer to Richardson's than to Loring's. Hints of gold and delicate iridescent toning are displayed on both sides with a splash of deep steel near the bottom of the obverse.

    The Ford cataloger stated that just two examples of the small size 1792 medals are known, the other in the ANS Collection. The late George Fuld prepared a detailed census of all George Washington oval engraved Peace medals. He enumerated eight examples of this 1792 small size medal:

    1. American Numismatic Society, Ex: Howland Wood and Elliott Smith (1921).
    2. Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua, New York.
    3. F.C.C. Boyd; John J. Ford, Jr. The present lot.
    4. National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Ex: Marshall P. Blankarn.
    5. New York State resident (per Belden).
    6. Charles H. Fisher (3/1936), lot 757, Ex: Chief Keses.
    7. Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    8. Thomas L. Elder (9/1936), lot 1567, Ex: Family of Governor William Clark.

    Fuld's list includes four examples in museums and four others in private hands. The Ford Collection cataloger believed that this piece is the same as the one that Belden stated was owned by the New York resident. The supposition is reasonable and reduces the number in private hands by one example. Furthermore, Fuld reported that the example Elder sold in 1936 from the family of Governor William Clark appeared as lot 1567 in his September catalog, but that lot is a 1722 Rosa Americana penny. That would reduce the number to six.

    Proposed "Regulations for the Government of the Indian Department" were prepared in 1829 including rules to govern the use of medals: "The largest medals will be given to the principal village chiefs, those of the second size will be given to principal war chiefs, and those of the third size to the less distinguished chiefs and warriors." In an article in The Numismatist of March 1996, George Fuld wrote: "Although these procedures were never formally approved, the protocol suggested had been followed as far back as 1789." The 1792 to 1795 engraved oval Peace medals that were distributed on by or on behalf of President George Washington were prized by the recipients. Some were passed down from one generation to the next, and most of those are held in museum collections. Others may have been buried with the recipients when they passed away. The fate of many others remains unknown. However, what is known is the extreme rarity of these medals in private hands.
    Ex: F.C.C. Boyd; John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack's, 5/2004), lot 190; Donald G. Partrick.

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

    View all of [The Donald G. Partrick Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    21st Thursday 4:50 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    20th-24th Wednesday-Sunday
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    Dallas, TX 75261

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