Description

    "...to the shores of Tripoli."

    U. S. Mint Medal Awarded to Barbary Wars Veteran. This group of items relates to an American who served with distinction in the second Barbary War and the War of 1812. The centerpiece is a Commodore Edward Preble mint medal in gilt bronze. Thomas Robinson (1768-1847) served in both the fledgling United States Navy and the merchant marines. He was a lieutenant in the Mediterranean Squadron commanding a mortar boat when Commodore Edward Preble commenced his bombardment of Tripoli on June 21, 1804. His ship was so shattered by enemy fire that it barely stayed afloat. He also served in the War of 1812 aboard the "President" during its three-hour engagement with the British frigate "Endymion". With nearly all the officers killed or disabled, he was summoned by Stephen Decatur and ordered to "Take the trumpet", assuming command of the ship during the last half of the battle. Preble's victory in the battle for Tripoli inspired the stirring verse in the Marine Corps anthem: "...from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli." It also earned him a gold medal, authorized by a resolution of Congress in 1805. The portrait was based on one especially commissioned by Preble from the top artist of the time, Rembrandt Peale. The reverse design was based on sketches provided by Preble himself. As was the custom, additional medals were struck in other metals and presented to officers and crew from Preble's ship, the "Constitution", and other participants in the historic battle. Presentation medals of this type are rarely offered with written documentation reflecting their date of issue. All too often, collectors are left to "fend for themselves" in determining age and provenance. In this case, we can pinpoint exactly the date the medal was presented; namely, March 1, 1808. This lot has three components: Robinson's naval commission signed by President Thomas Jefferson, Robinson's copy of the Preble medal (Julian NA-3) and the letter from the Navy Department, signed by Robert Smith and dated March 1, 1808, presenting the medal to Robinson. The 13" x 15" naval commission is printed on vellum which has buckled over time. Much of the inked inscriptions have faded and are no longer readable. The signature of "Th. Jefferson" is weak, though quite clear. It was engraved by Akin & Harrison and is countersigned by clerk Joseph Anderson. The 64 mm. medal by engraver John Reich is housed under glass in a two-sided, circular wood frame with attachment loop at top. The frame has a crack, as shown, and there is a crack in the glass on the back side. The medal itself is in beautiful, bright uncirculated condition and has remained unmolested since its enclosure in the very early 19th century. Not only is this an original striking... it is an example given to one of the heroes of a seminal naval battle in U.S. history!

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Miscellaneous Collectibles, Large (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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