The Baker-Manley collection of Washington-related medals was recently donated to the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum and many of its objects are featured in our upcoming exhibit – The Medal in America. It is the ultimate grouping of numismatic Washingtonia not only for its quality and size (over 950 pieces) but for its provenance – the core of this collection was formed by William Spohn Baker (1824-1897), the first numismatic researcher to compile a comprehensive catalog of medals related to George Washington.

Baker was not the first to write about medals related to George Washington, but in 1885 his Medallic Portraits of Washington was published, and it became the undisputed standard work on the subject and determined the way that collectors would organize and collect Washington medals for over a century.  What made his work so essential and unique was its comprehensiveness, organization and Baker’s numbering system.  Reprinted by Krause Publications in 1965, with editorial updates by George Fuld, it was revised again in 1985 to include new material, and once again in 1999 by Fuld and Russell Rulau, who kept  Baker’s original format while adding images and hundreds of new medals.  It was not until 2016 that a new catalog of Washington medals was produced – Medallic Washington, by Neil Musante – that has become the standard reference for the series.

Medallic Portraits of Washington was the product of Baker’s dedicated collecting and research over the course of decades. He amassed a large collection of prints and engravings, approximately 500 hundred books and over 1100 medals.  Baker summarized his motivation for writing book in an 1884 quote: “Washington Medals form no inconsiderable portion of that great monument which love and gratitude have so steadily builded [sic], in memory of the services and virtues of the foremost man in American history…”

Upon his death in 1897, Baker’s collection and papers were bequeathed to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, where they remained until 2019, when the Society sold the medals. This is where Dwight N. Manley becomes part of the story. Manley, an ANA life-member and benefactor (the ANA Library is named for him), purchased about 900 objects of the Baker collection to preserve it as intact as possible for future study and as a memorial to Washington and William Spohn Baker’s pioneering scholarship.  The ANA is indebted to Mr. Manley for generously donating this special collection plus additional important Washington medals to the Money Museum. Be sure to look for exhibits, presentations and articles about the Baker-Manley collection at the Museum, future ANA conventions and online!

Click on the images below for an enhanced view.

Circa 1777 Voltaire medal, Paris. Musante GW-1, Baker-78B. Copper. MS-62 BN. 40.1 mm. 22.08 gm.

Obv:  Bust facing right of “Washington”; GE. WASHINGTON ER. GENERAL OF THE CONTINL. ARMY IN AMERICA.
Rev: Captured arms piled at center with rays behind; WASHINGTON REUNIT, PAR UN RARE ASSEMBLAGE, DES TALENS DU GUERRIER & LES VERTUS DU SAGE (Washington combines, in a rare union, the talents of a warrior and the virtues of a philosopher). 

Although struck in France, this medal is considered a classic American rarity because it was created in honor of Washington.  The portrait was engraved before there were any images of Washington available in Europe, so it is a generic neoclassical image and is shown without any adornments to avoid any resemblance to a king, emphasizing Washington’s known Republican values.  This medal is ranked No. 59 in 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens.


ANA# 2021.14.1

Provenance: Ex William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, November 15, 1897.


1790 Manly medal. Original. Musante GW-10, Baker-61B. Brass, Fire Gilt. AU Details. 48.1 mm. 38.8 gm.

Obv: Bust of Washington in military uniform left; GEO. WASHINGTON BORN VIRGINIA / FEB. 11 / 1732
Rev: Inscription at center with star above; GENERAL / OF THE / AMERICAN ARMIES / 1775. / / RESIGNED, / 1783. / PRESIDENT / OF THE / UNITED STATES / 1789.

The only variant of the famous Manly medal known with a fire gilt finish. The process appears to have been done after the medal was struck, which is unusual, as other fire gilt medals were gilded before they were struck. The finish seems to have been applied soon after the medal was  made and is fairly thick as evidenced by the scratch at Manly’s signature, which does not break the gilding, though it has worn from the highest points of the design. Perhaps this piece was an experiment by the maker, or it could be a buyer’s attempt simulate a struck gold medal.

Research has revealed only a single mention of a fire gilt Manly medal beyond the appearance of this one. It was not cataloged by Baker, nor was it known to Russell Rulau and George Fuld when they created their revised Medallic Portraits of Washington, published in 1998. These omissions, particularly that of Baker himself, suggest that this medal was not part of the Baker Collection. The one mention known was in the catalog of the George Parsons Collection (Henry Chapman, June 1914, lot 559), a sale which contained at least one other item that was part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s holdings. It is suspected that this medal and the Parsons sale piece are one and the same.


ANA# 2021.14.769

Provenance: Ex George M. Parsons (likely), Henry Chapman, June 1914, lot 599; Henry Chapman; Unknown Intermediaries; Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


1792 Pattern Washington Half Dollar by Peter Getz. Musante GW-22, Baker-24B. Silver. Twinned Leaf Edge. Fine Details—Plugged. 34.6 mm, 16.11 gm.

Obv:  Bust of Washington in military uniform left; G.WASHINGTON. PRESIDENT.I. / 1792
Rev:  Heraldic eagle at center with uplifted wings and head turned left, 15 stars around, olive branch and arrows in talons; .UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Pierced for suspension at 12:00 and plugged sometime before 1884, this pattern has the rare Twinned Leaf edge design, indicating that the host coin is a Spanish 4 reales. George Fuld included 22 specimens in his roster of known Getz half dollars, published in 2009. The majority of specimens listed therein, 14 of them, have plain edges. The remaining coins bear three different edges, Lettered (1), Circles and Squares (4) and Twinned Leaves (3). The three Twinned Leaf edge specimens are as follows:

1. The Schwartz Specimen, gifted to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria, in 1920. (called AU by Fuld)

2. The Andrew Zabriskie Specimen. Later owned by Carl Wurtzbach – Virgil Brand – Wayte Raymond – F.C.C. Boyd – John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack’s, May 2004, lot 30).

3. The Present Specimen.

Today, pieces like this one are somewhat overshadowed by more famous modern rarities. However, they are an important part of the story of the founding of the first United States Mint.


ANA# 2021.14.5

Provenance: Ex Thomas Warner (likely), S.H. and H. Chapman, June 1884, lot 2133; Captain John W. Haseltine; William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, 1897; lost by theft in the 1970s; unknown parties; Jules Steinman; Steve Ivy; Returned to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, August 1987.


1792 Washington President Half Dollar pattern. Eagle and Stars Reverse. Musante GW-31, Baker-20. Silver. Edge lettered, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA +. VF Details—Plugged. 31.1 mm, 16.85 gm.

Obv:  Bust of Washington in military uniform left; WASHINGTON. PRESIDENT / 1792
Rev:  Heraldic eagle at center with spread wings and head turned left, 13 stars around, olive branch and arrows in talons, ribbon in beak with UNUM E PLURIBUS

Pierced for suspension just above Washington’s head and neatly plugged sometime prior to 1877, similar to the silver Getz half dollar above.

The first list of specimens for this half dollar variety in silver appeared in Sylvester Crosby’s 1875, The Early Coins of America. We can directly trace three of these coins today:

1. John McCoy (Woodward, May 1864) – William Sumner Appleton (1905) – Massachusetts Historical Society Collection.

2. Charles I. Bushnell (S.H. and H. Chapman, June 1882) – Lorin G. Parmelee (New York Stamp & Coin, June 1890) – S.H. and H. Chapman – Colonel Green – B.G. Johnson – Eric P. Newman – F.C.C. Boyd – John J. Ford, Jr. (Stack’s, May 2004) – Donald Partrick.

3. A.S. Jenks (Cogan, April 1877) – William Spohn Baker (d. 1897) – Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

4. Ellis and Doris Robison (Stack’s, February 1982) – John L. Roper, 2nd (Stack’s, December 1983).

5. The plate coin in the Krause reprint of Medallic Portraits – The plate coin in the Rulau-Fuld revision of Medallic Portraits – Probably George Fuld – Richard Picker – Eric P. Newman (Heritage, November 2018).

These dies are believed to have been engraved by famous engraver Jacob Perkins of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and any specimen from them in any metal is an important early American numismatic prize. The provenance of this piece goes back to the April 1877 sale by Edward Cogan, where it was offered as lot 690. That sale was unnamed, but at least two copies exist with the consignor’s identity hand-written on the cover.


ANA# 2021.14.9

Provenance: Ex A.S. Jenks of Philadelphia, Edward Cogan’s sale of April 1877, lot 690 where it was plated, and likely sold directly to William Spohn Baker for $101; William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, 1897; lost by theft in the 1970s; unknown parties; Jules Steinman; Steve Ivy; NASCA, April 1981, lot 2471; Returned to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, August 1987.


Circa 1816 Halliday medal. Musante GW-57, Baker-70. White Metal. Ornamented rims. SP-63. 54 mm, 53.91 gm.

Obv: Bust of George Washington in civilian clothes right with ornamented rims; GEORGE WASHINGTON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Rev: Draped altar with American shield at center, sword and fasces crossed on alter with laurel wreath; COMMISION RESIGNED : PRESIDENCY RELINQUISHED. / 1797

An outstanding Halliday medal, this is the much rarer white metal variant, featuring superb quality and strongly ornamented rims. Thomas Halliday’s Washington medal is known in silver, bronze and white metal, as well as in some unusual formats such as at least one in white porcelain and a uniface one in gutta-percha. The bronze and white metal examples come with either plain or ornamented rims, the latter frequently referred to as “engine turned” rims.

Research suggests that ornamented rims date from the 1830s, though there is no clear date, and unornamented pieces appear to have been issued at the same time as those with ornamented rims.
Since none of the early medals are seen with ornamented rims, it appears that Halliday’s Washington medals with this feature are likely later impressions from the 1830s.


ANA# 2021.14.771

Provenance: Ex Charles I. Bushnell, S.H. and H. Chapman, June 1882, lot 1294; William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, 1897.


Circa 1859 Sansom medal. Presidency Relinquished. U.S. Mint restrike. Early impression. Musante GW-59, Baker-72, Julian PR-1. Silver. SP-64. 40.6 mm, 34.27 gm.

Obv: Bust of George Washington in civilian clothes right; G.WASHINGTON PRES. UNIT. STA.
Rev: Draped altar with American shield at center, sword and fasces crossed on alter with laurel wreath; COMMISS. RESIGNED : PRESIDENCY RELINQ. / 1797

This is an early die state without spalling on Washington’s portrait. Struck on a slightly heavier flan than later medals. Further confirmation of the early state is in the missing spalling or rust spot on the obverse rim over NI. Musante reports that 57 are believed to have been struck between 1861 and 1904. This would certainly be among the earlier ones.


ANA# 2021.14.17

Provenance: Ex William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, 1897.


Circa 1805 strike of the Peace of 1783 medal. Musante GW-92, Baker-58, Julian CM-5. Silver. SP-62. 40.5 mm, 31.3 gm. The Last of Joseph Sansom’s Series Documenting the History of the Revolution

Obv: Overlapping busts of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington facing left with Washington in foreground
Rev: Eagle carrying lightning bolts in talons and olive branch in beak flying above globe with UNITE STATES; 1783 above eagle.
Edge: Baker number written in red ink

Designed by Joseph Reich and struck in commemoration of the treaty that ended the American Revolution, it celebrates on one side the diplomat and general most credited for the final outcome, and on the other, the victory of Peace over War. This is an early die state example and is one of the most desirable of the early American mint medals.


ANA# 2021.14.27

Provenance: Ex William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, 1897.


Circa 1851 Declaration of Independence Signing Ceremony medal by Charles Cushing Wright. Musante GW-181, Baker-53. Bronze. SP-63. 90.8 mm, 381 gm.

Obv: Bust of Washington left; GEORGE vertically to left and WASHINGTON. Vertically to right of bust. C.C.WRIIGHT.D & F. on truncation of shoulder.
Rev: The signing of the Declaration of Independence based on John Trumbull’s painting; DECLARATION / OF above scene, INDEPENDENCE / JULY 4th 1776. / C.C.WRIGHT.FECIT

The design of this impressive medal is based directly on the John Trumbull’s painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, It is said that it took engraver C.C. Wright two years to complete the dies for this medal, and that only ten examples were struck from them.

Nine struck originals are known today:

1. The Rulau-Fuld Plate; Charles Wharton Collection

2. The Norweb specimen

3. Mabel Brady Garvin; Yale; New Netherlands; George Fuld; Richard Picker; Gilbert Steinberg

4. Stanley Scott

5. Richard Picker; Lucien LaRiviere

6. Historical Society of Pennsylvania (the present piece)

7. George F. Seavey; William Sumner Appleton; Massachusetts Historical Society.

8. F.C.C Boyd; John J. Ford, Jr.

9. Thomas Warner (S.H. & H. Chapman, June 1884, lot 2142)

High-quality electrotypes were likely made very early on to fill the demand for these impressive medals. The original struck pieces are among the most highly prized Washington medals. With so few available, only the finest collections tend to have them, and even some spectacular holdings such as the Garrett Collection did not. This medal was not part of the Baker bequest.


ANA# 2021.14.785

Provenance: Ex Historical Society of Pennsylvania.


Circa 1863 Cincinnatus of America / The Union medal by George H. Lovett. Musante GW-437, Baker-277. Silver. PCGS MS-65. 31.1 mm.

Obv: Military bust of Washington left; GEORGE WASHINGTON, THE CINCNNATUS OF AMERICA / B. 1732 D. 1799
Rev: Inscription at center with 35 stars around; THE / UNION / MUST & SHALL / BE / PRESERVED

Superbly preserved and extremely rare in any metal, with silver being rarest. The Musante plate piece.


ANA# 2021.14.184

Provenance: Ex William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, 1897.


1862 Washington D.C. Emancipation Bill Passed Tag. Musante GW-566, Baker-620. Var. Brass. AU-58. 31.5 mm, pierced for suspension.

Obv: Bust of Washington right surround by 34 stars; UNION
Rev: Hand-punched inscription at center; HENRY CLARCK / EMAN  / CIPATION / BILL PASSED / APRIL 16 1862 / WASHINGTON / D. C.

Engraved to Henry Clarck. And pierced for suspension at 12:00, as issued.  The reverse inscription is hand-punched with individual letter punches.

Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but it is not widely known that Emancipation came to the city of Washington, D.C. on April 16th of the previous year. In commemoration of the event, military style identification tags were made into emancipation badges. The history is unknown since there are only a few badges known with names punched into them. It is believed that they are the names of former slaves newly freed by on April 16, 1862, in and around Washington, D.C. There is evidence to suggest this is the case, though it is not conclusive. Perhaps 12 named examples are known, with the earliest appearance at auction in May, 1873.  It was named to “P. King” and sold for $1.25. The present piece sold 11 years later, presumably directly to Baker, for the relative bargain price of 15 cents.


ANA# 2021.14.273

Provenance: Ex George Massamore, June 1884, lot 1115; William Spohn Baker Collection, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania by bequest, 1897.


1800 Washington Funeral Medal. Baker-166, Fuld 2-C1, Musante GW-70A. Gold. AU Details. 29 mm, 12.81 gm, plain edge.

Obv: Military bust of Washington left with wreath around; HE IS IN GLORY, THE WORLD IN          TEARS.
Rev: Funerary urn on base; B.F.H.1732.G.A.ARM.’75.R.’83.P.U.S.A ’89. / R.’96.G.ARM.U.S ’98.OB.D.14.1799.

George Washington’s death on December 14, 1799 came as a shock to Americans. The nation went into mourning for months with public and private funeral ceremonies held across the country. In Boston, a Masonic ceremony was held on February 11, 1800, and a funeral procession took place on Washington’s birthday, February 22.

Jacob Perkins of Newburyport, Massachusetts produced funeral medals for both services, including this one made for the civic procession. Baker-166 was struck in multiple die combinations.


ANA# 2021.14.921

Provenance: Ex Garrett Collection, Part IV (Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1981), lot 1803; Donald G. Partrick. 


Text descriptions of the objects based on Stacks auction of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania collection in November, 2019.

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