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The E-Sylum (6/2/2013)

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Washington portrait coins

Kay Olson Freeman writes:

Something odd is on exhibit at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown, NJ. "Washington Coins" - oil portraits of Martha and George Washington on two silver dollars painted ca. 1795 by John Trumbull (1756-1843). Certainly, Trumbull is well-known artist. Would he paint on silver dollars? I cannot find anything about this online. I do not know if this is misunderstanding on part of Museum. Anyone ever hear of these two oil portraits painted on silver dollars?

I found this story in the New Jersey Independent Press. -Editor

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is currently exhibiting some of its most popular pieces as well as many seldom-seen treasures which have been in storage.

This June 2 is Martha Washington’s birthday (1731). A rare miniature portrait of our nation’s first First Lady is on display in honor of her 282nd birthday. The unique miniature is next to another depicting her husband, George Washington. Both were painted on silver dollars by John Trumbull circa 1795. In addition to these portraits, other artifacts from Presidents and First Ladies are featured in the exhibit.

I've near heard of the existence of such miniatures before. Are any of our readers familiar with these? The exhibit is open through the end of June; hopefully one of our readers from the area can check it out and report back, or perhaps get more information from a curator. The above image is from the newspaper site and I think it was taken from Facebook, so it's not the highest resolution. What coins are these painted on? U.S. silver dollars? Spanish dollars? I'd love to see the other side of these. -Editor

To read the complete article, see: Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in Morristown to close 'Treasures from the Vault' exhibit, June 30 (

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