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The E-Sylum (1/13/2013)

Book Content

We missed getting this into the last issue, but here's some information on this week's Heritage sale of the John Adams collection of Betts medals. Thanks to Larry Dziubek for forwarding the email from Heritage. I've illustrated this with a few images from the sale catalog. -Editor

For many years after the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus, little interest developed in the New World, until Spain recognized the wealth of Mexico and Peru. Therefore, the period of discovery as commemorated on these early medals covers the period from about 1556 to 1631, and includes Betts medals numbered from Betts-1 to Betts-33.

The John Adams collection includes 40 individual examples of these medals, a remarkable accomplishment, considering that the famous John J. Ford, Jr. Collection had just 27 medals from the same period, while the LaRiviere Collection had just 14, and the Adams Collection medals are also generally of higher quality than those other offerings.

Beginning with an impressive example of Betts-1, an individual medal not included in the Ford Collection, virtually every one of the 40 medals are highlights of this offering.

However, the Adams Collection goes well beyond the discovery period and continues with an incredible offering of medals from the Period of Colonization from the settlement in Maryland to the skirmish at Vigo Bay. An array of medals are offered from the Adams Collection.

Adams Betts 35 obverse Adams Betts 35 reverse
Betts-35. 1643-1644 Cecil Calvert Maryland Map Medal

The highlight is Betts-35, the circa 1643 Maryland Map Medal featuring Cecil Calvert, considered to be the first Indian Peace Medal awarded in the New World and the only peace medal ever awarded to the Susquehannock Indians.

Adams Betts 3 obverse Adams Betts 3 reverse
Betts-3. 1559 Peace of Cambrai

Adams Betts 26 obverse Adams Betts 26 reverse
Betts-26. 1629 Heyn Victorious at Matanzas.

Adams Betts 94 obverse Adams Betts 94 reverse
Betts-94. 1702 Seizure of American Treasure at Vigo

To access the online catalog, see:

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