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

The March 2013 Baltimore Auction

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Lot Description
"1778-1779" (Circa 1780) Rhode Island Ship Medal. Betts-563, W-1740. Wreath Below Ship. Copper. MS-63 BN (PCGS). 203.7 grains. A very high grade example of this popular Revolutionary War propaganda piece, crudely depicting the action of the battle for Newport, Rhode Island in August 1778. Attractive and original lustrous remnants in rosy shades surround most design elements, with the underlying fields a somewhat matte medium brown. The alloys used on this piece vary widely, with some high grade pieces looking like brassy Pinchbeck composition, while this example appears more coppery. The detail is exceptional, finer than usually seen on even high grade examples, with the banners atop Howe's flagship showing all their fine detail. There is a little hairline scratch under HO of HOWE, a natural flaw above LA of YLAND, but these are both microscopic considerations. Among those deemed to be of a coppery alloy by PCGS (i.e. those called BN or RB), this ranks as one of two certified at the highest level. There are a couple of MS-64 pieces deemed "brass" and a single MS-65 of a different variety, that with no wreath below Howe's flagship (also known as the VLUGTENDE Removed variety). This is among the finest and most original specimens your cataloger can recall in the marketplace. Mr. Craige called it "Gem Unc, Perfect!"
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