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    Rare 1852 Official Henry Clay Bronze Medal, With Previously-unseen Silk Broadside About its Presentation As Clay reached the end of his public and chronological life, friends and admirers from New York commissioned the creation of a significant, massive 90 mm medal to honor his life and achievements. It was presented to him in a ceremony in Washington on February 9, 1852, by a delegation including numerous Congressmen and Senators as well as President Fillmore himself. As he presented the medal, the Committee's chairman intoned: "Sir:-- During the half century of your public life, your admiring countrymen and friends have accumulated around you many warm testimonials and enduring memorials of your great services to your country and mankind. To add to these another, is the purpose for which we now come to you. In the name and behalf of a large number of citizens of New York, we offer you this gold medal, and beg your acceptance of it, to be preserved in your family, and by their descendants, we hope, for ages. It has been our effort to make it valuable as a work of art, (of an art but little practiced in our country,) and as a perfect resemblance of your lineaments. We think that this effort has been successful; that no medal ever struck in this country surpasses it in beauty, and that it is the best likeness of your features ever yet attempted by any art. In this, and in numerous casts from the same die, the form and expressions of you countenance will be faithfully transmitted to distant posterity. And as 'recorded honors shall thinken over' you, and 'generations yet unborn do homage to your memory,' this memorial will increase in value, and be fondly cherished, as are now the like images of Cicero and Brutus, not only by the antiquary and historian, but by all whom patriotism and eloquence can kindle to admiration." This bronze copy, in its original velvet-lined presentation box, is accompanied by an 8" x 15.5" silk broadside describing the medal and its presentation ceremony. The medal is in superb, chocolate brown uncirculated condition, and the box is excellent except that the lid is cleanly separated where it was hinged. The broadside is in virtually mint condition, having only the fine creases from where it was folded to be placed in the case with the medal, where it has remained for over 150 years. These medals themselves are quite rare. The broadside declares, "Of this medal, besides the one in gold, one hundred and fifty, and no more, are struck in bronze. The dies are to be destroyed." The bronze medal itself appears on the market occasionally, and has sold in the range of $500 to a little over $1,000. However we have never seen the silk broadside, nor had any of the knowledgeable specialists in this field with whom we consulted. Accordingly, its value is most difficult to estimate. However, prices from $1,000 to several thousand dollars are not uncommon for silk political broadsides for Clay, Harrison, etc.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2005
    22nd-23rd Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,169

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