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The Scottish Colony at Darien, Panama, 1700. B.88, Med. Ill. 529

From Stack's January 2006 Auction, Session 1 on Jan 16, 2006

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Categories  •  Stack's January 2006 The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection: Part 13 The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection of Betts Medals, Part I: Medals Illustrative of Early American History The New World 1556 - 1745: Discovery, Conquest and Occupation

The Scottish Colony at Darien, Panama, 1700. B.88, Med. Ill. 529. Obverse signed M. S (Martin Smeltzing)....The Scottish Colony at Darien, Panama, 1700. B.88, Med. Ill. 529. Obverse signed M. S (Martin Smeltzing). Silver. 56.6 mm. 1,193.7 gns. Obverse: Ocean standing on fallen guns and a sword lying on a parapet, shield emblazoned with a unicorn (symbol for waves) on left arm, sword in right hand, helmeted in a nautilus shell and wearing chain armor made of scallop shells. In the background can be seen forces following a flag of St. Andrew and another of the Union as they assault and drive the Spaniards from their fortification at Toubacanti. The inscription above says ''All for the Fatherland'' while the one below records that Captain Alexander Campbell dispersed 1,600 Spaniards at Toubocanti on February 8, 1700. Reverse: The arms awarded to Campbell on his return to Scotland (being those of the company for which he fought) with supports peculiar to his own emblazon. Choice Extremely Fine and very rare. Cleaned, some edge dents. With its green shagreen case, one clasp missing, slightly out of true.

The colony at Darien, founded by the Scottish Company Trading to Africa and the Indies in 1698, was doomed almost from the beginning despite a good start and the establishment of New Edinburgh and New St. Andrews. What disease, religious intolerance, and starvation didn't accomplish the Spaniards finished. The original 1698 colonists abandoned their settlement and took to the high seas in the hopes of they knew not what. A relief expedition arrived in 1700 and included Captain Campbell and 200 men. Learning that a Spanish force of 1,600 was encamped at Toubacanti across the Isthmus and was only waiting the appearance of its supporting fleet to advance against him, Campbell led his force the very day after it disembarked and under cover of night assaulted the Spaniards. His attack successful, Campbell returned to the Scottish embarkation point only to find it under attack by the Spanish fleet that had been expected at Toubacanti. After unsuccessfully attempting to repel the attack, Campbell and a few friends found a small boat and made their escape. The colonists left behind surrendered and some eventually made their way to Jamaica but most never saw Scotland again. Campbell was awarded a grant of arms and a medal in gold. His companions and the directors of the ill-advised Scottish trading company may have received silver strikings. The miserable survivors of the expedition got nothing.

Ex Sotheby's sale of September 29, 1983, lot 188.

Lot # 791 Session 1
Hammer Price: $13,000.00

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Click to open a larger image - The Scottish Colony at Darien, Panama, 1700. B.88, Med. Ill. 529. Obverse signed M. S (Martin Smeltzing).... Click to open a larger image - The Scottish Colony at Darien, Panama, 1700. B.88, Med. Ill. 529. Obverse signed M. S (Martin Smeltzing)....

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