1776 Washington Before Boston medal. Betts-542, Musante GW-09-P1, Baker-47, Mooney M6. Copper. Origi

1776 Wa

20000
1776 Washington Before Boston medal. Betts-542, Musante GW-09-P2, Baker-47var, Mooney M2var. Copper.

1776 Wa

10000
1776 Washington Before Boston medal. Betts-542, Musante GW-09-P2A, Baker-48, Mooney M8. Copper. Corr

1776 Wa

5000
1776 Washington Before Boston obverse cliche. As Betts-542, Musante GW-09, as Baker-47, Mooney M3. W

1776 Wa

7000
1776 (ca. 1863-85) Washington Before Boston medal. Betts-542, Julian MI-1, Musante GW-09-US1, Baker-

1776 (c

1000
1776 (ca. 1885-1904) Washington Before Boston medal. Betts-542, Julian MI-1, Musante GW-09-US2, Bake

1776 (c

1000
1777萨拉托加奖章Horatio Gates at Saratoga medal 近未流通

1777萨拉托

150000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga obverse cliche. Betts-557. White metal. Original striking. Workshop o

1777 Ho

7000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga obverse cliche. Betts-557. White metal. Original striking. Workshop o

1777 Ho

5000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga reverse cliche. Betts-557. White metal. Original striking. Workshop o

1777 Ho

9000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga medal. Betts-557. Bronze. Original striking. Paris Mint. 55.5 mm, 115

1777 Ho

7000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga medal. Betts-557, Julian MI-2. Tin. Philadelphia Mint. Original dies.

1777 Ho

6000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga medal. Betts-557, Julian MI-2. Tin. Philadelphia Mint. Original dies.

1777 Ho

5000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga medal. Betts-557, Julian MI-2. Tin. Philadelphia Mint. Original dies.

1777 Ho

3000
1777 Horatio Gates at Saratoga medal. Betts-557, Julian MI-2. Bronze. Philadelphia Mint. Original di

1777 Ho

5000

Lot:2001  1776华盛顿波士顿奖章Washington Before Boston medal 近未流通

进入专场

拍品分类 世界钱币 品相 近未流通
拍品估价 USD 150000 成交价 USD 84000
拍卖专场 SBP2019年11月巴尔地摩#3-John Adams集藏 拍卖公司 SBP
开拍日期 2019-11-15 05:00:00 结标日期 2019-11-15 06:00:00 拍卖状态 成交
拍品描述 1776 Washington Before Boston medal. Betts-542, Musante GW-09-P1, Baker-47, Mooney M5. Silver. Original striking. Paris Mint. 69.0 mm, 2301.1 grains. 4.3 - 4.6 mm thick. About Uncirculated.Plain square edge. A magnificent specimen of this most august of all American medals, the first medal ever authorized by the Continental Congress and the #2 ranked medal among the <em>100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens</em>, trailing only the Libertas Americana medal. While any specimen of the Washington Before Boston is impressive, showcasing the superb relief of Duviviers version of the famed bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon, numismatists cherish original strikings above all others. Among originals, the dramatic importance of Washingtons unobtainable gold specimen is followed closely by the nearly unobtainable silver strikings like this one.

Just five are thought to be in private hands. Only four have been publicly identified in the modern era. Just three have been sold at auction in recorded numismatic history. One of those (the LaRiviere specimen) last sold in 1999. The other two last sold in 2014 (the Dreyfuss-Wharton specimen) and May 2019 (the newly discovered Carb specimen). This example, acquired by our consignor in 1983 from "out of the woodwork," has never before been offered at public auction.<p>Its fields are deeply reflective, lightly toned in navy blue and deep gray, over chiefly brilliant light silver gray surfaces. The scattered marks and lines do little to diminish the exquisite eye appeal, and the abundant reflectivity on both sides is in spite of an ancient and thin layer of lacquer detected with scrutiny. The rims show some very tiny ticks here and there, along with a larger bruise behind the horses hindquarters on the reverse. The pair of marks in the right obverse field below ER of ADSERTORI are a bit more noticeable than others.

The die state is early, though a bit later than that seen on Washingtons own silver specimen at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The spalling pit below M of SUPREMO is more advanced here, as are the chips at ER of ADSERTORI. The die state is identical to that seen on both the Wharton specimen and the Carb specimen. LaRivieres was this state or later; the Ford piece, now in the Lasser Collection at Colonial Williamsburg, was a trifle earlier. The state of the piece in Vienna at the Kunsthistoriches Museum is similar to the Ford piece. Others have not been seen. The complete census of those documented, as published in our May 2019 sale, is as follows:

1. George Washingtons Personal Example. Presented to him in a cased set of Comitia Americana medals. Now in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

2. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

3. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

4. Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna.

5. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

6. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Sold to John J. Ford, Jr. by Jean Vinchon of Paris, May 1967. Acquired by Joseph Lasser in our (Stacks) Ford Sale, and gifted to Colonial Williamsburg.

7. The Charles Wharton Collection Specimen. Sold by Fred Baldwin of London in the late 1950s to Dr. Paul Patterson. Later in the collections of Alan V. Weinberg, David Dreyfuss, and Ambassador J. William Middendorf.

8. The Lucien LaRiviere Specimen. Said to have been revealed in a medal collection in Lima, Peru, in 1961. Acquired by Dr. George Fuld and later owned by Richard Picker, and John J. Ford, Jr.

9. The Alfred B. Carb Specimen, sold in our May 2019 sale. No prior provenance history known.<p>10. "Private Collection." One of four so described by Adams and Bentley. Unseen by us.<p>11. The present specimen. According to our consignor, this medal sold from "a junk dealer to a bullion dealer, discovered among a small set of other Comitia Americana medals: William Washington, John Eager Howard, John Paul Jones, and the related Benjamin Franklin portrait medal (Betts-620)." <p>The first offering of a silver Washington Before Boston original by our firm was in December 1938, when Stacks offered an "extremely rare original" in silver as lot 67. Since that time, we have sold every documentable specimen in private hands. In the entire 20th century, we record just five American auction offerings: the November 1914 Foster Larder sale by Wayte Raymond (lot 154), the aforementioned 1938 Stacks sale, the April 1986 Dreyfuss sale (the Wharton specimen), the 1990 December Middendorf sale (also the Wharton specimen), and the November 1999 LaRiviere sale (acquired at a London auction in October 1968). There have been three offerings in this century: the 2004 Ford II sale (now impounded at Colonial Williamsburg), our March 2014 sale (the Wharton specimen), and our May 2019 sale (the Carb specimen). None were in the W.W.C. Wilson sale or the Garrett sale, nor were any in Norweb, Steinberg, Parsons, or an infinite number of other offerings of important Washingtoniana or early American medals. This is a great rarity, an historic classic, and a unique offering. The present medal is among the most significant highlights of the Adams Collection.<p><p><strong>The Taking of Dorchester Heights</strong

The Action:

The story of the American Revolution begins in Boston. Once the first garrisons of British regulars were established in Boston in 1768 - a response to Boston patriots notorious opposition to the Sugar Act and Stamp Act - progress toward outright rebellion was quick. The Boston Massacre of March 1770 and the Boston Tea Party of December 1773 were preludes to armed conflict, which began in April 1775 with the battles of Lexington and Concord. <p>General Thomas Gage, the Commander in Chief of British forces in North America, arrived in Boston in May 1774, not quite a year before shots were fired on Lexington Green. He was appointed Royal Governor of the colony, giving the people of Massachusetts a military government. In February 1775, King George III officially declared the colony in open rebellion, giving Gage permission to crack down on the upheaval. On April 19, when Gage moved on Lexington and Concord, the American Revolution turned from a political conflict into a war. On June 12, just days before the bloody Battle of Bunker Hill, Gage declared martial law. Boston had become an occupied city.<p>When George Washington left Mount Vernon on May 4, 1775, bound for Philadelphia as a member of the second Continental Congress, he undoubtedly presumed the next leg of his Virginia to Pennsylvania trip would return him to his Potomac River plantation. Instead, when the political temperature rose in Boston and the Continental Congress took charge of the troops that had gathered in Boston, the men gathered at Philadelphias State House quickly turned to Washington as a potential commander. Passing over John Hancock, Richard Henry Lee, and others, Washington was named General and Commander in Chief of the Continental forces by Congress on June 15. His next stop would not be home. It would be Boston.

He left Philadelphia a little known Virginian on June 23 and arrived in Boston on July 2 as a celebrity. He took command across the river from Boston in Cambridge, Massachusetts and got to work building an army that would expel the British and win the war. That force would require men, materiel, and weapons: guns, to be sure, but also heavy artillery.

Fort Ticonderoga, on the west bank of Lake Champlain, was taken by American forces under Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold in May 1775. Once Washington began assembling his plans to push the British out of Boston, it became evident that the 59 British cannons captured at Ticonderoga represented the nearest American-held artillery - and those cannons were 300 miles away. <p>Fortunately, Washingtons army included an amateur engineer (and professional bookseller) from Boston named Henry Knox, who had familiarized himself with fortifications and cannon during the early days of the campaign. Knox, just 25 years old, impressed Washington enough that the General gave Knox command of an expedition to deliver the guns of Ticonderoga to Boston. Knox left on November 17, 1775, and arrived at Fort Ticonderoga on December 5. The winter weather was brutal on Washingtons troops, but welcome beneath the oxen hooves and the sleighs that Knox used to carry 60 tons of iron eastward. Knox took the guns south to Albany, then east to Boston, arriving in Cambridge on January 27, 1776.<p>The cannon were not originally intended for Dorchester Heights, a high ground that looked down on Boston from the south, but thats where they ended up - and they ended up there all in one night. Under cover of darkness, with the view somewhat blocked by hay bales and other temporary fortifications, Washingtons men humped the big guns to the top of the Heights. On the morning of March 5, the British forces awoke to an unimaginable sight: the high ground fortified, the guns of Ticonderoga looming, and their own position under grave threat. Washington had overseen the seemingly impossible, and made the dug-in occupation of the British in Boston indefensible. The British commander on the scene, General William Howe, is supposed to have said "My God, these fellows have done more work in one night than I could make my army do in three months."<p>When the British artillery erupted on the night of March 9, it was clear to all present that the noisy cannonade was a cover for evacuation. It took ten days for the entire occupation force to leave. After they left, it took Congress less than a week to vote to award their very first ever medal to the man who oversaw the bloodless triumph that saved Boston.<p>By rights, this medal could just as easily depict the stout Henry Knox, whose image is measurably less easy on the eyes than Antoine Houdons elegant bust of the godlike Washington. While Washington conceived the plan for the siege of Boston, only Knoxs dashing-through-the-snow derring-do enabled the Commander-in-Chief to push Howes army out to sea.

The Resolution:

Resolved, That the thanks of this Congress, in their own name, and in the name of the thirteen United Colonies, whom they represent, be presented to his excellency General Washington, and the officers and soldiers under his command, for their wise and spirited conduct in the siege and acquisition of Boston; and that a medal of gold be struck in commemoration of this great event, and presented to his Excellency; and that a committee of three be appointed to prepare a letter of thanks, and a proper device for the medal.</em><p><em>- Continental Congress Resolution of March 25, 1776

The Acquisition:

After Congress voted their hero a gold medal, the author of the proposal, Bostons John Adams, led the committee to prepare it. He also had the honor of telling General Washington of his new recognition, in a letter dated April 1.<p><em>I congratulate you, Sir, as well as all the Friends of Mankind, in the reduction of Boston, an event, which appeared to me of so great and decisive importance that next morning after the arrival of the news I did myself the honor to move for the thanks of Congress to your Excellency and that a medal of gold should be struck in commemoration of it. Congress have been pleased to appoint me, with two other gentlemen, to prepare a device. I should be very happy to have your Excellencys sentiments concerning a proper one. I have the honor to be, with very great respect

sir, your most obedient and affectionate servant, John Adams.</em><p>The President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, chimed in on April 2 in another missive to the General: "The Congress have ordered a Golden Medal, adapted to the Occasion, to be struck, and when finished, to be presented to you."<p>Hancocks "when finished" ultimately took over a decade, but Adams wasted no time in reaching out to Philadelphias best-respected numismatist, Pierre Eugène du Simitière, for help with the design. He had already heard back from the artistic Swiss antiquarian when he wrote home to his wife, Abigail, from Philadelphia on August 14, 1776:<p><em>I am put upon a Committee to prepare a Device for a Golden Medal to commemorate the Surrender of Boston to the American Arms, and upon another to prepare Devices for a Great Seal for the confederated States. There is a Gentleman here of French Extraction, whose Name is Du simitiere, a Painter by Profession whose Designs are very ingenious, and his Drawings well executed. He has been applied to for his Advice. I waited on him yesterday, and saw his Sketches. For the Medal he proposes Liberty with her Spear and Pileus, leaning on General Washington. The British Fleet in Boston Harbour, with all their Sterns towards the Town, the American Troops, marching in.

Du Simitière produced a nice design and was paid for it by the Continental Congress. It was never produced. As Congress moved on to prosecuting a full-fledged war against the most powerful nation on the planet, Washingtons medal was back-burnered by every committee assigned to it. Eventually, Benjamin Franklin, serving as the minister plenipotentiary to France, was asked to help in September 1779. Franklin dropped the ball, succeeding in obtaining only De Fleurys medal for Stony Point and his pet medallic project, the Libertas Americana medal. Time passed, and David Humphreys was asked to pick the medal project back up in the summer of 1784. He arrived in Paris soon thereafter, set to work, and by the spring of 1785 had successfully nailed down designs and inscriptions from the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in Paris. Washingtons medal, along with those for Horatio Gates and Nathanael Greene, was finally coming along.<p>Humphreys wrote to Washington with an update on May 10, 1785, describing the designs and inscriptions the medal would feature. "I think it has the character of simplicity & dignity which is to be aimed at in a memorial of this kind, which is designed to transmit the remembrance of a great event to posterity," Humphreys wrote, adding "you really do not know how much your name is venerated on this side the Atlantic." The next letter Humphreys sent to Washington from Paris, dated July 17, 1785, noted that "M. Houdon" was set "to depart for Mt Vernon" from Paris, with the help of Thomas Jefferson. Jean-Antoine Houdon and three assistant sculptors arrived at Mount Vernon on October 2, 1785 to produce a statue of Washington that had been commissioned by the state of Virginia. Houdon took a life mask during his two week stay, then returned to Paris to complete the project. Humphreys updated Jefferson on Washingtons medal on January 30, 1786, noting "there is no obstacle to commencing the medal for Gen. Washington, since Houdons return, etc."

While Humphreys apparently inquired with Augustin Dupre about accomplishing the Washington medal, the duty of executing the Houdon bust and other design elements fell to Benjamin Duvivier, who finally finished the dies in the spring of 1789. He was paid 3,600 livre tournois, more than twice the sum he received for the Cowpens medals for Howard and William Washington, and more than the 2,400 livre tournois Dupre was paid for each of the medals to be given to Daniel Morgan and John Paul Jones. The completed gold Washington medal was displayed at the Salon of 1789 that summer in Paris, then hand carried to the United States by Thomas Jefferson in October 1789.<p><strong>The Presentation:</strong><p>Unlike other Comitia Americana medals, the exact circumstances of Washingtons presentation of the medal are unknown. John Adams and Anne Bentley presume Jefferson delivered it to Washington when they met in New York on March 21, 1790. The medal disappears from the historical record until June 12, 1798, when a Polish soldier named Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz visited Mount Vernon and recorded his experience of being shown the gold medal by Martha Washington. In his diary, he noted: "Mrs. Washington showed me a small collection of medals struck during the Revolution. There is one of at least 100 ducats in gold, with the head closely resembling that of Gl. Washington, which was struck on the occasion of the evacuation of Boston." Niemcewicz also journaled about Washingtons other medals, including his silver set of Comitia Americana medals and the diamond Eagle of the Society of the Cincinnati. The only other time Washingtons gold medal was documented at Mount Vernon was in 1800, on Washingtons estate inventory, where it was listed as "1 large gold medal of George Washington" and valued at $150.

The Washington Before Boston Medal:</strong><p><strong>Obverse:</strong> A profile of Washington, after Houdons masterful bust, with hair tied with a ribbon and the bust neatly truncated. Duviviers signature DuVIVIER / PARIS F. appears on two lines beneath the bust truncation, while COMITIA AMERICANA appears on a straight line in the unbordered exergue. The peripheral inscription GEORGIO WASHINGTON SVPREMO DVCI EXERCITVVM ADSERTORI LIBERTATIS translates to "George Washington, supreme commander of the armies, defender of liberty."<p><strong>Reverse:</strong> Washington, on horseback at left, stands with four mounted officers overlooking Boston and its harbor from Dorchester Heights. Ships at full sail depart at right on the horizon, while troops, cannons on their carriages, stacked cannonballs, and two unmounted cannon are at Washingtons right. Washington gestures to the scene below. The legend HOSTIBUS PRIMO FUGATIS means "the first flight of the enemy," while the exergual legend BOSTONIUM RECUPERATUM XVII MARTII MDCCLXXVI means "Boston recovered, March 17, 1776."<p><p><p>From the John W. Adams Collection. Acquired from Rossa and Tanenbaum, October 1983, via John J. Ford. Jr.