US Coins

Doyle auction features silver Indian peace medals

Silver Indian peace medals featuring the likenesses of presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant are featured highlights in Doyle New York's April 25 sale.

The auction will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time at Doyle's New York City galleries, 175 E. 87th St.

According to Norman R. Scrivener, Doyle philatelic and numismatic specialist, "The current lot count is at approximately 180 lots, with the split between coin and postage stamps at about 40 percent each. The medal section, which includes the two silver Indian Peace medals, represents about 15 percent dollar wise, with the Mechanical Banks being the balance of about 15 lots."

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The buyer's feeis 20 percent added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

Lincoln medal

The Lincoln Indian peace medal in the auction is a Fine to Very Fine example of the second size of the 1862-dated medal, attributed as Julian IP-39A according to numismatic researcher R.W. Julian in his reference Medals of the United States Mint: The First Century 1792-1892.

The medal, struck in 62-millimeter diameter in silver and bronze versions, has an obverse designed and engraved by engraver Salathiel Ellis and a reverse engraved by Joseph Willson. Medals of the same design in a 76-millimeter size were also struck in the same two metals.

The obverse is signed by Ellis as S.ELLIS.DEL.SC; the reverse is signed J. WILLSON.DEL. & SC. Willson was a cousin of Ellis' wife, Clarinda.

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Ellis' reverse was first used on the James Buchanan Indian peace medal of 1859, cataloged as Julian IP-34 for the 76-millimeter version and IP-35 for the 62-millimeter version. The central device is a rural scene with a Native American Indian plowing a field, with a community and its structures in the background.

Encircling the central device is a scalping scene, flanked by a quiver of arrows, a bow and tomahawk, and portrait of an Indian maiden.

The first Lincoln Indian peace medals, according to Julian, were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia in September 1862, with the last struck in April 1863 for presentation to tribal leaders to whom they were designated.

The example in the Doyle sale carries an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.

Grant issue

Also described in its auction lot description as being in Fine to VF condition, the 62-millimeter Grant Indian peace medal, Julian IP-42, carries an estimate of $6,000 to $8,000. It is struck in silver. Examples were also struck in bronze.

The obverse and reverse of the medal were designed and engraved by U.S. Mint Assistant Engraver Anthony C. Paquet.

The obverse depicts a bust right of Grant, with the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, "LET US HAVE PEACE," AND LIBERTY, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY. There is an ornamental border.

The reverse features 36 five-pointed stars, corresponding to the number of states in the Union in 1871, around the outside border, surrounding a vignette of a Bible, agricultural implements and globe, with the inscriptions ON EARTH PEACE and GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN, and the date 1871.

In its zeal to be a part of preserving medallic posterity, Grant's cabinet inserted itself into the design process, according to Julian, redesigning the reverse, which resulted in Grant's name being eliminated from the inscriptions. Paquet also did not sign the medal.

Horse race mechanical bank

Billed as in Good condition with an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000, the cast iron and sheet metal Horse Race Mechanical Bank was manufactured by J & E Stevens Co., in Cromwell, Conn. The date 1871 appears on the top of the bank.

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