US Coins

ANA museum gets donation of Washington medals

Gold, silver and bronze medals related to George Washington have been donated to the American Numismatic Association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum by Dwight Manley.

The acquisition was announced at the ANA banquet on Aug. 13 during the World’s Fair of Money.

“This collection is the ultimate grouping of numismatic Washingtonia, not only for its size, but more importantly, for its provenance — it was formed by William Spohn Baker, the first numismatic researcher to compile a systematic and comprehensive catalog of the vast series of medals related to George Washington,” said Doug Mudd, curator and director of the ANA museum.

Baker’s book Medallic Portraits of Washington, with historical and critical notes and a descriptive catalogue of the coins, medals, tokens and cards was first published in 1885 and was subsequently updated and expanded by other authors.

The donation consists of medals deaccessioned by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and other important medals that Manley separately acquired for his personal collection.

In total, more than 1,000 coins and medals will be given to the museum.

“The Baker Collection languished for more than a century in storage at the historical society,” said Manley. “When the collection came on the market, I wanted to keep as much of the collection intact as possible. Now these important numismatic treasures will be a part of the ANA’s holdings and available for public exhibits and future study.”

A highlight of the collection includes a rare 1862 brass Washington, D.C., emancipation medal depicting George Washington, engraved to Henry Clarck, who may have been a freed slave at the time.

Another highlight is a superb quality example of an 1805 silver medal commemorating the Peace of 1783.

One of only 10 known 1805 Commander-in-Chief, Armies of the United States silver medals produced as the first of an intended series of medals celebrating the history of the Revolution is also from the Baker Collection.

“We are beyond thankful to Dwight Manley for bestowing this incredible gift of history and art to the association,” said ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick. “We look forward to sharing pieces from this wonderful collection in the upcoming Money Museum exhibit in March of 2022.”

Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group, has been a benefactor to the ANA for many years. In 2003, the ANA named its library in his honor. The collection will be identified as the Baker-Manley Collection upon display.

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