Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 5

Lot 36

1792 Lyon Convention Medal. AU-55. This important medal was struck for the artist's reunion convention in Lyon, France in 1792. On the truncation of the lady on the obverse, the name Galle is clearly engraved. Obviously, the design was taken directly from the Dupre 1783 Libertas Americana medal which was struck to commemorate the end of our Revolutionary War and our joint victory with France over England. The obverse depicts a women with bold curls sweeping down the back of her head, with a small cap extended on a long pole behind her. Since Roman times slaves often wore caps, and during those rare times when slaves won their freedom, this was symbolized by extending their slave caps on poles for all to see. The reverse of this medal notes the convention of the artists, and is dated 1792. A splendidly engraved oak wreath encircles the reverse.
As both France and America overthrew their respective kings in the late 1700s, the slave's cap extended on a pole was emblematic of each country's freedom from kingly rule. The medal states that it was struck in the first year of the French Republic.
As France was exploding into its own revolution for the third year when this was struck, precious and base metals were seldom available, so this medal was made from church bells which were melted down to make the large planchets on which to strike these. Popular with collectors as this design was probably used to model our first half cents and large cents in 1793, with the cap extended on a pole lasting a few precious years before the design was changed to the Draped Bust by Gilbert Stuart.
The color ranges from dark brown to steel brown, with unmolested surfaces and a touch of rub on the upper curls of Liberty. A superb example of this very historic medal, which is seldom offered but always appreciated by numismatists who like to connect history, art and coinage.

Realized $431

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