本杰明-哈里森印度和平勋章Undated (1890) Benjamin Harrison Indian Peace Medal.
Julian IP-48, Prucha-58, Belden-63. Silver. Choice Extremely Fine.76.7 mm. 3448.1 grains. Handsome light silver gray with some deeper patina in the recesses and outlining the motifs. Traces of soft blue-green accents are noted close to the rims. Generally satiny in appearance, with just a few minor marks scattered about. This is very nice quality for an awarded Peace medal. In fact, on a technical basis, it is the best preserved of those known as it is not only among the sharper ones, it has also not been engraved. The lack of an added inscription sets this piece apart from most of the other Harrison medals known. Five of the seven medals the writer is aware of bear bold inscriptions that reveal valuable information as to the medals’ provenances. The one in the collection at Colonial Williamsburg seems to have crude scratched-in letters on the reverse but we have yet to decipher them enough to pair them to an original recipient. The engraved names on the five so treated are not consistent in application, so while it is clear that the idea for engraving ownership into the medals was all but universal, we also know that the work was done by different hands. Styles range from crude hand cutting, to individual letter punches. Whoever owned this one might just have felt the medal too precious to treat in such a manner, but this is not likely to ever be known. In any case, this medal is therefore the most pristine of the Harrisons extant. One intriguing detail that could lead to an eventual owner may be found in the upper head of Harrison. These were originally suspended on a plain broad ribbon, with a simple jump ring though the suspension piercing, as issued. For some time, this medal was suspended on something more elaborate, as a curved groove in the top of Harrison’s head is clearly from a more complex suspension hanger. The hanger apparently had some ornament that was larger than the suspension hole and the medal was free to rotate on the hanger. When it did, the groove was cut. Similarly, the same movement cut circular grooves into the medal around the left side of the hole on the reverse. Several photographs exist of men wearing these medals, so hopefully one of them will be found illustrating such an elaborate hanger, and we may thus have our answer.As noted above, the writer is aware of just seven examples of this important medal. Quite significantly, only four of these pieces are in private hands. Others are in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg, the American Numismatic Society and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (The Gateway Arch National Park) in St. Louis. With just four in collectors’ hands, it is quite remarkable that Larry Ness owned two. This was the first one he acquired, which became his duplicate when he bought the Buffalo Meat / Three Fingers medal, the most recent to be discovered, in our February 2015 sale.From the Larry Ness Collection. Earlier ex Wayte Raymond Estate, July 1958, to John J. Ford, Jr.; our (Stacks) sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part XVIII, May 2007, lot 171; our sale of August 2013, lot 1086.