WCE 1893-Very Rare Board of Lady Managers Diploma for Award-Winning Artisan #1215
This is a very rare official diploma presented by the WCe Board of Lady Managers after the fair closed. Awards and such diplomas were given out after the closing of the exposition, once the huge task of selecting all of the medal winners AND having their St. Gaudens medals presented with the name/company/organization being added to the medal once the winners were selected.
It is interesting to note that the Columbian Expo presented awards for outstanding achievement but did not select first, second or third place winners—just “winners.”
This Board of Lady Managers notes that this award recipient, Frank Lattin, was awarded a Medal and Diploma by the Exposition; it is unclear if this is an additional diploma only awarded by the Board of Lady Managers to just some of the fair winners.
My assumption is that this IS the diploma based on the wording but it is unclear then why it would state that it was from the Commission and the Board of Lady Managers. Regardless, my recollection going back 40+ years is that I have seen an example of this diploma ONCE before.
And while it isn’t particularly important to most, a signature on the diploma stopped me for a moment until I realized it was that of Bertha Palmer. The signature looks like “Beritia” because she crossed the “h” and not the “t” in her first name!
This is quite possibly the only opportunity you will have to acquire such a diploma; clearly they aren't just floating around. As with a great many of the rarest items from the expo, they only become available when a longtime collector chooses to sell his or her collection, or a family member handles such a sale when the collector passes away.
My selling of the fabulous John Kennl Collection is a prime example of this. John's collection had well over 100 unique/one-of-a-kind items from medals to tickets and only because of his passing did theperhaps 6,000 total items see the marketplace again after being in his collection for decades. In the past two years I saw dozens of items I had never seen before and made them available to collectors who otherwise probably would never have even known they existed!
And as one might guess....this diploma is from John's collection!
I find that Bertha Palmer happened to very clearly (accidentally of course) in haste crossed the "h" instead of the "t". Someone should be very glad to receive an original signed piece from Mrs. Palmer, even more so with her name misspelled.
I apologize for the weak photo as it was large and very awkward.
I have priced the shipping on a large flat box to accommodate the large document and to keep it safe. It would be difficult to ship anything else with it to save on your shipping costs, unless a medal or other paper item could easily be put in the same box that might only be an inch thick.