1860s Lincoln Medalet Struck on
Circa 1860s Lincoln Medalet Struck on 1861 Half Eagle.
Similar to Baker-425 and Lincoln side of Julian-PR-30. Although in
a previous sale we cataloged this piece as circa 1909, in all
likelihood it is a 1860s production, for two excellent reasons:
First, the Lincoln medalet obverse is struck over what was
apparently a Mint State 1861 gold eagle, which would have been
easily located in the 1860s, but not so in the 1900s. Second, and
more important, the die used is quite similar, if not identical to,
the Lincoln die(s?) used to produce Julian-PR-30, the Washington
and Lincoln Mint medalet, measuring 19 mm. Robert W. Julian
comments concerning the medalet that it was struck both inside and
outside the Mint by various persons, possibly including several
different die varieties. Mint engraver Anthony C. Paquet, who
prepared the PR-30 die, left the employ of the Mint at about the
time those pieces were struck, although most of them were struck
for then-Chief Coiner John G. Butler or former Chief Coiner Lewis
Broomall. Julian: "As the records are somewhat vague for this issue
and the dies used, it is possible that several die varieties exist.
Extant records show that the Lincoln die (or dies) used was
ascribed variously to Paquet, Broomall, or Butler as the owner.
Large numbers of these medals were struck between September, 1864,
and October, 1866. The Lincoln die was also used privately outside
the mint after 1866."
Mint State 1861 Half Eagle
While this piece lacks the initial P on the neck truncation for designer Paquet, if he or others were responsible for striking outside-Mint pieces, it is not at all a stretch of the imagination that he would have removed his initial. Neither is it much of a stretch to suggest that this piece could have been an inside-Mint job, as the late 1850s and 1860s are well known for the many numismatic shenanigans created during the era. The tragedy of the Lincoln assassination in April 1865 may have spurred the usual (if repugnant) reaction among the more mercenary members of the numismatic community.
Ex: Signature Auction #376 (Heritage, 6/2005), lot 7348.
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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