ANA Blog

30 May 2016

The 1957 Oklahoma Semicentennial Exposition Medal

Medals | coinsbygary

Thematic coins and medals based on western subjects were a favorite of both Frasers. James Earle Fraser was born in Winona, Minnesota on November 4, 1876. In 1880 his family moved to Mitchell in the Dakota Territory. It was here in the vast openness of the American frontier that James love of the West grew. In the case of Laura Gardin Fraser, I believe it was her love of American history, the allure and excitement of the American frontier, and her love of horses that inspired her rendition of the “Oklahoma Run” on the 1957 Oklahoma Semicentennial Medal.[1]The motivation for James and Laura’s love of the West impacted their interpretation of it. In an interview with Mrs. Fraser, Dean Krakel, the author of “End of the Trail the Odyssey of a Statue” writes in his book; “There is a mood not only to our lives but to our studio and to everything we have ever done. I saw the frontier in a different light from Jimmy. I saw it with all its glamour, excitement, and motion and so created my Oklahoma Run. Jimmy saw the spiritual mood, the tragedy and emotional undercurrents of the frontier and so created his End of the Trail.” Late in his life, James Earle Fraser received a commission from the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds to sculpt a relief panel of the 1889 Oklahoma Run. With his health failing and near death James asked Laura to finish the panel which at the time was only in the preliminary stages of design. Based on James sketches, Laura finished the 4 x 20 foot panel in 1955, two years after his death. The relief panel features more than 250 figures composed primarily of horses and riders. Unfortunately, due to several disagreements it was not delivered until after Laura’s death in 1966 and a decade after the 1957 Oklahoma semicentennial celebration. The “Run of 1889” relief panel that is a model for the obverse of the Oklahoma Semicentennial Medal currently resides at Oklahoma City’s Bicentennial Plaza.[2][3]Mrs. Fraser brilliantly captures a snapshot of all the chaos, excitement, and fast movement of the Oklahoma Run featured on the obverse of the Oklahoma Semicentennial medal. Up for grabs on April 22,1889 was 2 million acres of land and 50,000 people simultaneously vying for it. As mentioned in a previous paragraph, Mrs. Fraser captures all the glamour, excitement, and motion of the American frontier on the obverse of this medal.[4] The highest relief devices on the obverse of this medal are the largest and most detailed images. The horses have their muscles flexed in full gallop and give an impression of fast motion. As the relief lowers so does the size and detail of the images until the images forming the lowest relief are very small and numerous. This gives the medal a three dimensional look to the action portrayed on the obverse. At the highest relief is a cloud of dust which frames the devices. A few wagons, one just behind the central horse and rider and a covered wagon towards the back adds diversity to the devices.The following is a description of the reverse as given by the editor of The Numismatist, Elston G. Bradfield in the June 1958 issue of The Numismatist; “Reverse: Around, at top, OKLAHOMA SEMI-CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION, at bottom, OKLAHOMA CITY; in center, two dramatic figures facing left, one representing energy and progress and the other imagination and vision; woven into the design are symbols of each activity that is derived from the earth, the air, fire and water. Harvesting is suggested by the scythe, mining by the pick, electricity by the wheels, animal husbandry by the cow and sheep, and power by the waterfall, oil wells and atomic symbol. The figure of Vision reflects the reverence that comes to him from on High. The symbol of the arrow piercing the symbol of atomic energy was the theme of the Oklahoma Semicentennial Exposition, "Arrows to Atoms" in 50 years. To the left of the central figures is 1907 and to right, 1957. In exergue, ~ PROGRESS ~ VISION~.” Certainly, Laura Gardin Fraser employed numerous and appropriate symbols to tell the story of Oklahoma on the reverse of this medal.This medal is struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company and is 76mm in diameter. Distribution was by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce at a cost of $7.50 each.[5]1 “End of the Trail the Odyssey of a Statue” by Dean Krakel; Chapters 2 & 4.2 The Numismatist, July 2013, “Canine & Equine the Art of Laura Gardin Fraser” , pg. 36-37.3 “End of the Trail the Odyssey of a Statue” by Dean Krakel; Chapter 4.4 Wikipedia, “Land Rush of 1889”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rush_of_1889.5 The Numismatist, June 1958, page 664

28 May 2016

The Society of Medalists First Issue

Medals | coinsbygary

Before Laura Gardin Fraser married James Earle Fraser on Thanksgiving Day of 1913 she was an admiring student under his tutelage at the Art Students League in New York City. After three years as a student she joined him as an instructor at the school in 1910. It is here that she honed her skills as a sculptor, receiving several awards for her work.[1]Perhaps on account of James teaching Laura learned that to be successful as a medallic artist she needed to simplify the design, employ appropriate symbols, use care in spacing all the elements, and execute the design with style. Accordingly, I believe Mrs. Fraser meets or exceeds each of the aforementioned objectives with her 1930 Hunter’s Medal. This medal also has the distinction of being the inaugural issue of the Society of Medalists.[2] The Hunter’s Medal is struck in bronze and is 72mm in diameter. It has a mintage of 3,235 and a reported 125 re-strikes with the same pair of dies struck in silver and issued in the 1970’s.[3]The following is quoted by medalist and sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser concerning the Hunter’s Medal. “There are many persons who desire to collect medals but are unable to do so because the medal is used in most instances as a specific award. The scope of the subject matter which bears no relation to a particular person or occasion embraces many forms of expression and the sculptor has a large field of choice. In this case, I felt that a sporting subject would be a departure from what one has been accustomed to seeing in medallic art. Therefore, I chose the hunter with his dog because it presented the opportunity of telling a story embodying a human and animal element. It has been studied as to correctness of detail so that it should have an appeal to those who are interested in out-of-door life. The ruffled grouse forms the reverse. It may be considered as a national game bird and is distinct in character and very decorative. It is hoped that there is sufficient merit in the rendering of this work to appease the collector whose interest is in the art of the medal.” The Circle of Friends of the Medallion (1909-1915) laid the groundwork for the formation of the Society of Medalists under the auspices of the American Federation of the Arts in 1930. The Society of medalists provided a forum for prominent sculptors to exhibit their medallic art. The resulting medals were then made available to the collecting public. From 1930-1995 the Society of Medalists issued a total of 129 medals at a rate of two per year. In addition to the regular issue medals there were also five special issue medals. All the SOM medals were struck by the Medallic Art Company. [4][5][6]The Medallic Art Company then headquartered in New York City was founded in 1903 by two Frenchmen, Henri and Felix Weil. Today, based in Dayton, Nevada, the Medallic Art Company is America’s oldest and largest private mint. The medallic Art Company specializes in making academic awards, maces, and medallions. Among their most notable awards is the Pulitzer Prize, the Peabody Award, the Newbery medal, and the Caldecott medal. The Medallic Art Company has also struck the inaugural medals of eleven presidents.[7][8] 1 The Meadowlark Gallery; http://www.meadowlarkgallery.com/FraserLaura.htm2 The Medal Maker; http://www.medallic.com/about/medal_maker.php3 medallicartcollector.com4 Wikipedia “Society of Medalists”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Medalists5 Wikipedia “Circle of Friends of the Medallion”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Circle_of_Friends_of_the_Medallion6 PCGS “Enduring Society of Medalists First Issue Continues to Attract Collectors” by Fred Reed - September 9, 19997 Wikipedia “Medallic Art Company”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medallic_Art_Company 8 The Medallic Art Company; http://www.medallic.com/

30 Jan 2016

How To Make A Medal

Medals | Mike Burn

I'm writing this blog to let all the young collector's and those who don't know,you can design and make a medal! I was lucky enough to have this task bestrode on me. I belong to a group which was started in europe and spread to the U.S.. We were meeting one day when the topic of our 175 the anniversary in the U.S. was quickly arriving. I was volunteered to design and make a medal commeorating this event.

22 Jan 2016

King Edward VIII pattern Medals / Coins/ Tokens

Medals | Morganthebrave

King Edward VIII coinage is very rare.This king fell in love with an American women and gave up his Kingship in order to be with the women he loved. For many this was perhaps an act of betrayal to the country but, his act may be seen as an inspiration by many to be a noble and just cause in pursuit of happiness. As with all things, obtaining any known mintage coinage of Edward VIII has now became most sought after. I started becoming interested a few years back in collecting some 'pattern' coinage that would probably be described as modern medals. These medals (often referred to as fantasy coinage) was first minted by a London coin Dealer, Geoffrey Hearn. A close friend of his, Richard Lobel then purchased the dies from him and commenced making a redesigned series that included sovereigns and crowns in different metals. Several other dealers then also obtained a few of these dies (now worn down) , touched the dies up and minted additional medals / fantasy coins. Although these fantasy pattern coins are modern issues re ranging from 1954 to say 2000, they tend to hold a fair market value, especially the coins minted by Hearn and Pobjoy mint. My book on South Africa Numismatic Pocket Guide (pic attached) lists only the South Africa Edward VIII coinage but Giordano's book (pic attached) covers the majority of issues. You can also view my coin collection on Edward VIII pattern collection on the NGC website at: https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/WCM/CoinCustomSetView.aspx?s=13429In relative to numismatists, further information on these coins was part of the Patina collection action in 2001. Other than that, not much is really known on exact mintage figures etc. In terms of collecting I welcome other ANA members to list any Edward VIII memorabilia or coins, tokens etc of Edward VIII to share on the blog and provide comments for discussion.

11 Dec 2015

I Finally Found What I was Looking For

Medals | coinsbygary

A few years ago I bought a three medal set of ANA convention medals enclosed in a plexiglass holder. The 1969 medals struck in bronze and silver commemorate the 78th annual convention of the ANA held in Philadelphia, Pa.

12 Nov 2015

Mystery lighthouse die

Medals | wdhyder

I have a soft spot for mystery pieces in my token and medal collections. I recently helped catalog items for an auction including the die pictured here. I had no luck finding it myself and I bought it when it failed to draw bids in the auction. It was just too cool to pass up.I reversed the image so you see it as it would appear struck. I suspect the die is ca. 1900 or there about, so the skyline would not exactly match a modern view of the skyline.One suggestion is Venice and I do believe the medal is from the Mediterranean region. An actual medal struck from the die would be quite distinctive with its scalloped edge and descending ribbon and clam shell device.If anyone recognizes the medal, I would appreciate more information.

26 Oct 2015

Mexico medal silver size 47 given to benito juarez after franch intervention

Medals | user_1469

hello i am looking for information on this medal how many where made is there a photo of it anywhere?

09 Oct 2015

Found Presidential Medal Reinforces My Numismatic Research

Medals | DrDarryl

During the writing of my book,Authoritative Numismatic Reference:Presidential Medal of AppreciationTMAward Medals 1958 - 1963, ISBN: 1511786744, I contacted the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library & Museum for images of a bronze medal that was awarded from President Eisenhower to then Vice-President Nixon.I felt that is was appropriate to email a working draft Chapter 7 to assist the library in locating this medal. It provided the physical traits and historical information based on previously sequestered White House records.I also created a rendition of the medal based on these White House Records.

04 Sep 2015

Kingdom of Hawaii - King Kalakaua Coronation Medal

Medals | DrDarryl

This specimen is in my Hawaiiana collection.