Help Attributing William Washington Bronze Medal

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by vdbpenny1995, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. vdbpenny1995

    vdbpenny1995 Well-Known Member

    Hello all, so I recently acquired this cool William Washington at the Cowpens Medal. Im not a medal guy, but it was found along a bunch of really old stuff (1800's). After some basic research, I know that a few different varieties of this medal exist between the original, 19th c. restrikes, and the 1976 restrikes. I believe that this is an older 1800's restrike but I am not sure and cannot find any solid info as to when this was exactly made and what is the value. Past auction records are all over the place depending on what year it was made.

    Basic Info & Pictures Down Below
    • Weight: ~48.15g
    • Diameter: 45.9mm
    • Thickness: 4mm
    • Edge Marking: "(Unknown symbol) BRONZE" & "MADE IN FRANCE"
    • Has been improperly cleaned at some point
    I know that the symbol in front of the "BRONZE" stamp can help identify the age, but for the life of me I cannot tell what it is. I'll try my best to get a good photo but apologies if it doesn't show.

    So I'm hoping someone can help me correctly attribute this medal (Year made), and maybe give me some insight as to the value. I was thinking of sending it in to be graded, but if I find out its not worth a lot then obviously I wouldn't.

    Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it! IMG_3660.jpg IMG_3661.jpg IMG_3662.jpg IMG_3664.jpg IMG_3666.jpg
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  3. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER


    The "Different" (mintmark) on the edge is the Cornucopia. The Paris Mint began using it as the permanent mintmark for all medals beginning in 1880 and it is still in use today. ~ Chris
  4. vdbpenny1995

    vdbpenny1995 Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for your input. I read online that the cornucopia (without a date) was used between 1880-1898 & 1901. So would I then be correct to say that this is at latest a 1901 medal?
  5. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    I'm inclined to think that it was struck much later than 1901, and the Paris Mint is known for their restrikes. I've been collecting French medals for about 30 years, and those that I have range from 1800-1947. I have never seen one during that period that was stamped on the edge "MADE IN FRANCE". I suspect that your medal was produced sometime within the last 50 years. As a matter of fact, this medal was also produced in pewter as part of "America's First Medals". I have this set. ~ Chris
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  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Yes, that medal is a modern French restrike, and has had its surfaces severely cleaned. I am not on my desktop and won’t have access to it until tomorrow. I will post pictures of one or two much older William Washington Cow Pens medals. The finish is quite different.
  7. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here is the only William Washington medal I have. It is a plain edge, and I believe that it was made at the Paris Mint sometime in the era from 1790 to 1840. I belive that if you compare the spacing of the letters, you will some minor differences with the piece you have.

    Wm Washington O.JPG Wm Washington R.JPG

    Why did I say that you piece modern piece has been cleaned? The color and surfaces of 18th and most 19th century medals are generally brown and lusterous. Modern medals generally made with a duller, sandblast stay finish. Any bright red, shiny color is highly unusual.

    Here is a General Henry Lee medal, which is part of the Cometia America series, but made strictly in America. This piece was struck circa 1880.

    Henry Lee O.JPG Henry Lee R.JPG

    Here is modern Henry Lee medal that was made at the Philadelphia Mint in the 1970s.

    Henry Lee Mod O.jpg Henry Lee Mod R.jpg
  8. vdbpenny1995

    vdbpenny1995 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for for the reply and the photos! So if you're saying that the one I have is a modern restrike (So lets say 1970's-present), wouldn't it also have a date stamped on the edge alongside the edge stamps it has? Also, the weight and diameter for the one I have don't match the modern examples I've seen where the info was listed and match the 19th c examples (At least from what ive seen, might not have dug deep enough). Not that I don't believe you, because you're probably right, but I just want to learn as much as possible! Thanks again for your insight, I appreciate it.
  9. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    No! The Paris Mint (Monnaies de Paris) does not put a date on the edge (even when there is no date at all on the medal). ~ Chris
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