1801 Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace Medal. Silver Shells. Second Size. Original. Julian IP-3, Prucha-39. Fine. 76.2 mm. 981.0 grains. A really handsome specimen of this rarely offered issue. The surfaces are fairly light silver gray with soft champagne toning throughout. Close to the rims, a mix of deeper golden brown and light steel is seen, while thin outlines of the same accentuate the design features of the central motifs. Lightly hairlined over both sides, as is typical. The suspension hanger is long lost, with small edge anomalies at the connection point that suggest it may have been lost more than once. Still, the medal exhibits virtually none of the damage one often sees on these medals. The thin shells are often dented, pierced, or even partially separated, but none of these features are seen here. The medal is fairly well worn, but the appearance is simply invitingly smooth.Though fairly well used, as intended, someone cared not only for the long-term survival of the specimen after the loss of the suspension hanger, but seems to have cared enough about the medal and its design to gently adorn the coat of Jefferson with fine dotted lines over the shoulder, down the chest, and along the side of the upper arm. Though these additions could have been added by anyone, they are clearly very old, and they do not seem fitting with any European attire, seemingly removing from consideration that they were intended to strengthen the design of a worn medal. They have the appearance of an <em>adornment</em> rather than a strengthening of detail, and this is an important distinction considering that the latter is generally frowned upon in areas of numismatics beyond the realm of the Peace medals. Michael Hodder commented in our last offering of this medal, in 2007, that the applied design was "reminiscent of Cree design" while we have seen a fine photograph of Yankton Sioux, Little Thunder, wearing very similar decorations on his clothing. It is not possible to ascertain with any degree of certainty whose hand laid down this stippled engraving, but it is clear that the design speaks to Native American elements of design. Notably, even these additions did not dent the obverse shell, speaking again to a degree of thoughtfulness in their application.The original Jefferson medals have long been prized for their rarity, and this is at least partly due to their tripartite construction. They are built objects, created from two separately struck shells for the obverse and reverse, which were then joined around some soft core and banded with silver to hold them tight. As such, they were not really of sufficient construction quality to endure the hard use their recipients would subject them to, wearing them proudly presumably through all their daily activities. Some of these activities were necessarily violent - chief among them hunting for food. They are also particularly historic, as they are documented to have been carried across North America and distributed by legendary explorers Lewis and Clark. As such they are markers of the beginnings of a new phase of Western Expansion, one that would carry white Americans to the Pacific coast.The second size Jefferson medals are comfortably the rarest of the three sizes issued. The writer has confirmed the survival of just 12 original medals, though no image has been found for one of these. Two others have been reported, but are less certain and the writer suspects that one of them is a later restrike. Neither of these is privately owned, however, so they have little bearing on the marketplace. Of the dozen known, just six are in private hands. It has been 14 years since we last offered one of these at auction, and this one has been off the market since our May 2007 Ford sale, where it realized $69,000. Needless to say, chances to acquire a second-size Jefferson are very few and far between. Ex Eureka Coin Shop, before December 1976; John J. Ford, Jr.; our (Stacks) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part XVIII, May 2007, lot 60. Lot tag included.