UNITED STATES. Medal (Silver, 47 mm, 52.47 g, 12 h), The first medal of the United States; commissioned by Benjamin Franklin, the American ambassador to France, as thanks for the help given by France during the successful struggle for the independence of Britain's Thirteen Colonies in America, struck in Paris, 1783; conceived by Benjamin Franklin, engraved by Augustin Dupré and with the reverse design refined by the painter Esprit-Antoine Gibelin. LIBERTAS • AMERICANA Bust of Liberty to left, with her hair flowing out behind her; behind her head and coming out behind her neck, pole bearing a Phrygian Cap (or Liberty Cap); on the neck truncation, DVPRE; in exergue, 4 JUIL• 1776• (the date of the Declaration of Independence). Rev. NON SINE DIIS ANIMOSUS INFANS• (= the courageous child was aided by the gods) The infant Hercules (America), strangling two snakes (the defeated British armies at Saratoga and Yorktown), while being protected by Minerva (France), in ancient dress, wearing a crested helmet and an aegis, and holding a short spear in her right hand and, in her left, a shield ornamented with three fleurs-de-lis, from a lioness (Britain) attacking to left; above the exergual line to right, DVPRE.F; in the exergue, the dates of the victories at Saratoga and Yorktown, 17/19 - OCT• - 1777•/1781•. Betts 615. Ford Collection XIV, 23 May 2006, 289. K. Jaeger & Q. David Bowers, 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens, Racine, 2007, 1 (considered to be the most important of all American medals). Loubat 14. Extremely rare, one of 23-25 known examples. Beautifully and sharply struck with proof-like surfaces, lovely iridescent toning and original mint lustre. A few very minor marks, otherwise, virtually as struck.
Hammer Price: 108000 CHF
Estimate: 100000 CHF