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Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio   |   The August 2018 ANA Auction   |   22 August 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Session 2, Lot 39

Estimate: 5'000 USD   |   Starting price: 1 USD Price realized: 1'920 USD
Rare Silver Sansom Medal
Ex Norweb
"1797" (ca. 1859) Washington Sansom Medal. U.S. Mint Dies. Silver. 40.7 mm. 26.53 grams. Musante GW-59, Baker-72, Julian PR-1. Proof-64 (NGC).
Struck from a slightly later state of the dies with a crack at Washington's shoulder. Magnificent pale blue and violet toning dominates the reverse, while the obverse is a deep silver gray with more subtle tones. The surfaces display superb reflectivity and luster, with color that resembles the toning on a Gem 19th century Proof silver coin. Some minor hairlines, single spot in the left obverse field, horizontal hairlines under PRESIDENCY. This piece shows bold double striking at the peripheries and has no trace of a wire edge. A very pretty medal.

Only 57 specimens in silver were struck between the introduction of this medal to the U.S. Mint's customers in 1861 and the end of the production run in the early 20th century. For many years none were struck, and most annual mintages were of five pieces or fewer. While Ford owned a gold specimen from these dies, the only one known today, he did not own a silver example. The copy dies produced by the U.S. Mint are extremely close to the original dies produced by Reich for Joseph Sansom's "Medallic History of the American Revolution." The easiest way to distinguish the strikings are the width of the rims -- this Mint restrike has very broad rims. Additionally, on the restrikes, the period after RELINQ on the reverse is above the horizon rather than touching it. On the obverse, there is very little room between the rim and the top of Washington's head, but there is more space on Reich's original dies. Of course, the term "restrike" itself is misleading, since the dies actually copy the original dies rather than simply being later states thereof.

From the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation. Earlier from our (Stack's) sale of the Norweb Collection of Washingtonia, November 2006, lot 2071.

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