RI Ship Token Wreath Below, Brass MS (PCGS# 587)

The June 2010 Baltimore Auction

  • Auctioneer:
    Bowers & Merena
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Lot Description
"1779" (Circa 1780) Rhode Island Ship Medal. W-1740, Breen-1141. URS-9. Wreath Below Ship. Brass. MS-62 BN (NGC). This type is known to have been struck in both copper and brass, although the NGC insert does not denote the metallic composition of the present piece. We believe this medal was struck in brass, however, as the surfaces exhibit underlying sandy-gold color. Slightly mottled toning is also noted, the colors a blend of light-orange and gray-brown shades. There is no wear to report, nor do we see distracting abrasions or other blemishes. A boldly struck, conditionally rare survivor of this elusive and enigmatic issue.<br />     While debate is still ongoing regarding the origin of the Rhode Island Ship Medals, it seems likely that these pieces were struck in the Netherlands during the time that the country was debating whether or not to enter Great Britain's War for Empire that raged during much of the 1770s and 1780s. Examples were unknown to American collectors until a piece was sold through W. Elliot Woodward's sale of the Seavey Collection in 1864.
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