'Pinchbeck' medals featured in November-December MCA Advisory

Article examines Adm. Vernon medals made of pinchbeck
Published : 02/25/12
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Adm. Vernon medals struck with “pinchbeck metal,” an Archimedes medal by Christian Gobrecht and Battle of Copenhagen naval badges are featured topics in the November-December issue of MCA Advisory, the journal of the Medal Collectors of America.

Christopher Pinchbeck, an 18th century London clockmaker, devised a metallic composition goldlike in appearance but actually composed of an alloy of copper and zinc. The alloy was used to strike Adm. Vernon medals of the era, according to author John W. Adams. The medals commemorate a series of naval victories by Adm. Edward Vernon of the Royal Navy over the Spanish in the New World.

Christian Gobrecht’s Archimedes medal, executed by Gobrecht for the New England Society for Promotion of Manufactures and Mechanic Arts in 1828, features a mysterious mechanical object on its reverse. Author Leonard Augsburger states that it appears to be a nail-making machine.

Sim Comfort, writing on the 1801-dated naval badges struck in honor of England’s Adm. Lord Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen, states the belief that “cast” Copenhagen badges are fakes, and were manufactured “nearly a hundred years after the event they originally celebrated.”

MCA Advisory is published bimonthly and is mailed to dues-paying members of the Medal Collectors of America. For more information on the group and a membership application, visit the MCA website at www.medalcollectors.org. ■

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