CRYSTAL PALACE- Spectacular 1851 Crystal Palace Prooflike Gem Medal #919
This small size (about the size of a quarter) gives a great overview of the scarcest medals from the first world’s fair. The view of the Crystal Palace might be the finest we have and we have numerous gem medals in this sale. The Prooflike surfaces and the quality of the die and strike are evident on the obverse and it’s simply a beautiful medal.
Likewise the reverse shows the highly reflective surfaces (it isn’t the only medal where my camera is a dark spot in the center despite my best efforts to avoid it showing) and this made photographing many medals in this sale difficult because they are so high quality and Prooflike.—a good problem to have. You can see the uneven but high relief lettering that belie the fact that this die was engraved well before the Civil War. Amazing quality in artwork and die preparation can be found in many such early pieces, but where the piece is not a government issue, you generally find a quality level that isn’t quite as high. Interestingly, the obverse is would rate “superlative” on this count, while just the type is less than perfect on the reverse. It in no way detracts; it’s simply the workmanship from 171(!) years ago.