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Chester Arthur Indian Peace Medal, 1881. Silver. J.IP.45, Pr.56, B.60

From Stack's October 2006 New York Auction, Session 1 on Oct 17, 2006

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Categories  •  Stack's October 2006 New York The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, Part XVI: Indian Peace Medals, 1680 - 1890 United States Medals Silver Indian Peace Medals Struck by the United States Mint The Indian Peace Medals of the Chester Arthur Presidency
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Chester Arthur Indian Peace Medal, 1881. Silver. J.IP.45, Pr.56, B.60.  Choice Uncirculated.  Obverse...Chester Arthur Indian Peace Medal, 1881. Silver. J.IP.45, Pr.56, B.60. Choice Uncirculated. Obverse signed C.E.BARBER F.; reverse signed M. 75.3x59.2mm. Rims 4.8 - 4.9mm thick. 1,991.2 gns. A deeply toned example of this exceptionally rare medal, one of just 2 originals in silver known to the cataloguer. The front of this piece is remarkably deeply toned in steel gray verging on dark charcoal. The reverse is lighter in shade and has pale rose and blue iridescence. Like the second Grant medal offered earlier, this piece likely lay back down in a cabinet for many years. Neatly holed at the top; no loop. Some minor hairlines.

The cataloguer knows of only two original silver Arthur medals, Dreyfuss:5191 bought by Mr. Ford for a then record price, authenticated by ANAAB, and subsequently sold privately through Stack's in May, 1996; and this one, given to H. Moore Teller who was Chester Arthur's Secretary of the Interior from 1882 to 1885, probably the one recorded as struck in February of that year. On his death in 1914 this medal descended to Teller's son H. Bruce Teller, a county judge in Littleton, Colorado. On Bruce Teller's death his wife adopted Dorothy Miller Benkelman as her daughter. In 1970 Ms. Benkelman was hospitalized and she hired a caretaker to look after the Teller home. In 1973 Dorothy moved to Ohio and sold the contents of the house to the caretaker she had hired three years earlier.

In the house was a grand piano, furniture and paintings, books, and this medal. The caretaker sold the medal to Mr. Ford in September, 1995. The medal was sent to ANAAB that month and the announcement of its authentication was published in The Numismatist in the October, 1995 issue (page 1290). This size is known in silver originals and matte silver restrikes and yellow bronze originals and restrikes. Carlson's research yielded only one auction record for an original oval silver Arthur. The cataloguer knows of only two originals, this and the Dreyfuss:5191 piece. The Bridge Collection contained a Choice EF heavyweight silver example with an integral loop struck from a reverse that had a small S-shaped mark in the field to the right of the chimney. Described as ''Extremely rare, probably unique,'' it sold for $1,600. Dreyfuss:5192 was a 20th c. matte silver restrike.

Provenance as noted.

Lot # 176 Session 1
Hammer Price: $85,000.00

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Click to open a larger image - Chester Arthur Indian Peace Medal, 1881. Silver. J.IP.45, Pr.56, B.60.  Choice Uncirculated.  Obverse... Click to open a larger image - Chester Arthur Indian Peace Medal, 1881. Silver. J.IP.45, Pr.56, B.60.  Choice Uncirculated.  Obverse...

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