1787 Columbia and Washington Medal. Pewter, 41.0 mm. MS-61 (PCGS).436.2 grains. Coin turn. A superlative example of this rarity, last sold at auction in our (Stacks) 2004 Ford sale, where we described it as:
<em>A</em><em> remarkable example. Both the obverse and reverse show bright reflectivity with some mirror surface remaining in the fields, particularly around the peripheries. The bright and shiny surfaces of the piece remind the cataloguer of the magnificent pewter E.G. FECIT Continental Dollar offered in the first of the Ford Collection sales. The obverse and reverse are both lightly toned in pale gray with some areas of darker gray-brown on the obverse and a couple of shallow, relatively insignificant, areas of tin pest on the reverse. Extremely sharp everywhere with all the detail in the dies clear and bold even in the center of the reverse and around the periphery on that side. No obvious die breaks on either side. No signs of reverse die damage.</em>
<em>Lively and beautifully preserved, the tin pest in the clouds of the upper left obverse and left reverse notwithstanding. And despite whatever issues this may have, it is clearly the finest known in this composition.</em>
The Ford census of this medal included six listings: one medal in the Massachusetts Historical Society, two in the American Numismatic Society, this example, and two old plated catalog listings. One was in the December 1904 Murdoch sale as lot 910 and the other was in Frossards 104th sale of January 1891. Of the latter, Kevin Vinton perceptively pointed out in his 2018 Sun Rays Collection FPL that, despite only its obverse being plated, its obverse centering matches none of the medals struck from this second reverse but happens to be quite similar to the only pewter medal known from the first reverse. So even that seemingly phantom appearance may not be of this variety.
Syd enumerated only five, identifying one at the ANS as a later cast.
1.This specimen, ex. Ford.
2.Massachusetts Historical Society.
3.American Numismatic Society. ANS 1932.96.24. Ex Murdoch.
4.The Benjamin Betts - JNT Levick specimen, sold in Frossards 104th sale, January 1891. The reverse was unplated and this could be the other variety.
5.One said to be in the Q. David Bowers Collection.
This is the finest and the sole confirmed example in private hands.
.<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 ex Stacks, privately, May 1986; our (Stacks) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part V, October 2004, lot 161; Kevin Vintons fixed price list of the Sun Rays Collection, August 2018, lot 3; Anthony Terranova, August 2018.