U.S. Mint Lifesaving Medal for Rescue of Crew & Passengers of Steamer San Francisco 1853, Lot #141
This very large (80mm in diameter, 8+ oz and 7mm thick) medal was designed by the famous U.S. Mint engraver Anthony Paquet and restruck some years later in bronze by the Mint. U.S. lifesaving medals are a category unto themselves, and an area almost impossible if one wants originalunique medals specifically awarded to individual. Many were gold and most never found their way into the collectibles market. Officially restruck U.S. Mint medals have made the interesting medals affordable (as is indicative here) at a tiny fraction of what an original awarded one would cost. We do not have statistical data on sale prices of original strikes presented to individuals, but research at Heritage Auctions would be an excellent place to begin such research. Even original bronze or silver (as opposed to gold) medals are quite expensive and come to the market very rarerly. This piece should be of particular interest to collectors of Congressional medals (or specifically lifesaving medals) struck by the US Mint, those designed by Paquet (whose mid-19th work is highly sought after), and those who collect medals in general for their beauty. The shipping cost includes postal insurance. NOTE: We will include a 17-page document consisting of modern photocopies of 1854 newspaper articles and interviews about the wreck of the San Francisco and rescue of hundreds; hundreds of crew and pasengers also perished.