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Stack’s Bowers Galleries to Showcase Indian Peace Medals and an Ebay Washington Rarity Find

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Friday, June 28, 2013 / Categories: Crossing the Block
Scheduled to cross the auction block as part of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money, August 9-18, 2013, is a superb collection of Indian Peace medals and an important Washington funeral medal variety—the tip of the iceberg of medals in the sale. “The upcoming sale has numismatic diversity, showcases numerous private holdings, and features extraordinary rarities to affordable collector coins,” stated chairman emeritus Q. David Bowers. “If you are going to attend only one convention, one auction in 2013 this is the sale for you! World coins, paper money, and federal coins are the main focus, but other series will be in sharp focus as well, such the exonumia items mentioned here.”

Indian Peace medals are one of the “rarest of the rare” series in American numismatics. Such pieces were made at the Mint and were intended for distribution to Native Americans by representatives of the president of the United States, the portrait of whom is on the obverse of each. Others were made in limited numbers for numismatists, as otherwise they would be uncollectible. The collection being showcased in the Stack’s Bowers sale begins with the administration of John Adams, continues to include a famously rare silver Jefferson peace medal, and comprises many others, down to Grover Cleveland. “These combine rarity, beauty, and history par excellence,” Bowers continued.

One of only three known of a rare copper Washington funeral medal variety, Baker-166B, EF, holed for suspension (as usual), will be exciting to a wide audience. After the death of George Washington on December 14, 1799, news spread, and when it reached Newburyport, Massachusetts, engraver Jacob Perkins created several varieties of 29 mm metals to honor his memory. “HE IS IN GLORY, THE WORLD IN TEARS” surrounds Washington’s portrait on the obverse, while the reverse shows a funeral urn and gives dates important in his biography. Such medals were fastened to cords or ribbons and worn in funeral parades in January and February 1800. Found on eBay by the present owner, he bought it for $1,725.99, a fraction of what he was willing to pay. The coup was publicized in newspapers in Maine, his home state, and in Coin World. It should make news again when it crosses the block in August.

All lot descriptions and images for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money can be viewed online on our website StacksBowers.com beginning in July. Printed catalogs are available upon request by calling 800.458.4646. Online bidding and pre-auction bids will be accepted online at StacksBowers.com; by email at auction@stacksbowers.com; by phone at 800.458.4646; by fax at 949.253.4091; and by mail addressed to Stack’s Bowers Galleries, Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money, 1063 McGaw, Irvine, CA 92614. Interested bidders are also encouraged to view lots onsite in Chicago in August and bid in-person at the live auction or online via StacksBowers.com. A complete auction and lot-viewing schedule will be available on StacksBowers.com in July or by calling 800.458.4646.