1758 Louisbourg Taken Medal. Betts-410. Gold, 43.8 mm. MS-63 (PCGS). 826.9 grains. Last offered in our (Stacks) September 2009 Americana sale, where we described this rarity as follows: <p><p>Plain edge, uninscribed. No mount or evidence thereof. An extraordinary 18th century medal, elegant in design and superb in preservation, a highlight among highlights. Rich ideal yellow gold surfaces show full reflectivity both sides, contrasting with the high relief devices. While this medal shows great detail in its other compositions (silver and bronze), this medal is struck with nearly sculptural relief, from the central devices to the high wire rims that frame them. Some delicate and insignificant hairlines are seen, a single small spot atop the grenadiers bayonet serves to identify this specimen among those few known. Struck from a crisp early die state, with no sign of the hairline crack that develops from the rim at 4:00 on the reverse on the silver pieces and advances further on the copper ones. <p><p>This is perhaps the most historically significant of the French and Indian War medals struck in England. While the SPAC medals are beautiful, they are, in essence, commemorative medals. The presence of named versions of this medal, and the fact that even silver and copper strikes are found with hangers or holes, suggests a different categorization for Betts-410: while commemorative in nature, this also served as a military decoration, one that was clearly worn with honor by many veterans of this tide-turning action. The designs of this medal by Thomas Pingo are evocative, well-rendered, and historically accurate. The obverse legend "Partier in Bella" translates to "together in war," celebrating the unusually good cooperation between the army (symbolized by the standing grenadier) and the navy, evoked by the sailor with traditional Jack Tar hat. They gesture towards Louisbourg on a map that shows the extent of the American front, from Cuba to the Maritimes to the interior of the continent. The globe crushes a defeated France, shown in an exposed feminine form, her fleur-de-lis upside down and cast out of reach to the ground, barely hanging on to the edge of the continent. Fame blows victory on a trumpet of triumph. The reverse shows, in fairly accurate detail, the geography of Louisbourg Harbor, the position of the batteries, and the final cataclysm of the battle, the burning of the Prudent while the town remained under heavy fire over the night of July 25-26, 1758. <p>There are a few of these known. Admiral Boscawen, the highest ranking naval officer present, was awarded a gold medal that is today at the ANS. Captain Matthew Buckles medal sold in England in 2003. A 1932 article in <em>The Numismatist</em> noted four total specimens known, including those presented to Sir Alexander Schomberg and Sir George Young; neither has been seen lately. The Ford cataloguer noted one named to a Captain Collings. It appears that this piece and the one sold by Morton and Eden in 2003 are the only gold examples to appear at public auction in memory. We may assume that the vast majority of the rest - perhaps even all of them - are tucked away in museum collections. <p><p>Betts medals in gold are special. One struck in such fine style to mark the battle that opened New France to conquest is even more so. In the nadir of the Depression, this was appraised at $200 when such a sum could purchase a nearly Uncirculated 1794 dollar (or a 1690 Massachusetts note). This medal is accompanied by its Virgil Brand envelope, showing a price of $240 and stamped with the $200 appraisal of B.G. Johnson dated November 17, 1932. The next owner will append their name to a truly proud provenance.<p><p>Since this piece sold in 2009 (bringing $74,750), only one other gold Louisbourg Taken medal has sold anywhere in the world, a mounted example in the January 2014 John W. Adams sale that brought $92,000. We count just three of these known in private hands. This medal deserves to be the august centerpiece of a world class cabinet.<p> PCGS# 921147. <strong>To view supplemental information and all items from the Sydney F. Martin Collection, click<a href="https://stacksbowers.com/sydney-f-martin-collection/"target=’_blank’> here.</a></strong> From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier said to be the specimen offered in Henry Chapmans 1920 offering of the W.H. Hunter, Esq. Collection; Virgil Brand Collection; to John J. Ford, Jr. via New Netherlands Coin Company in 1953; our (Stacks) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part XIV, May 2006, lot 33; our (Stacks) Philadelphia Americana sale, September 2009, lot 6046.