RI Ship Token Wreath Below, BN MS (PCGS# 576)

The March 2012 Baltimore Auction

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Lot Description
Undated (1779-1780) Rhode Island Ship Medal. Betts-563, W-1740. Wreath Below Ship. AU-58 (PCGS). 153.0 grains. Appealing dark olive with hints of golden brassy undertones around devices. A good looking piece for the grade, with some minor marks and evidence of handling but no bad corrosion or damage. A little spot is present above the Union Jack on the obverse, only very trivial surface roughness otherwise. More problem-free than the vast majority of survivors of this issue. Indifferently produced at the time from a highly reactive metal, typical survivors are uneven and unattractive. This one is a happy exception. The designs mock the American retreat from Admiral Howe at Newport, Rhode Island on August 29, 1778. The peninsula of Newport is actually shaped something like the Manta Ray-shaped island depicted on the reverse. It is unique in the Betts series as a third-party reference to a battle of the American Revolution, struck by neither the victorious Americans (i.e. the Comitia Americanas) or victorious British (Germantown). 
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