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San Fran Crimean War Medal 1855. V & G?

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San_Fran_Crimea_War_Medal_2.jpgSan_Fran_Crimea_War_Medal.jpg An interesting medal. "1855 and San Francisco was celebrating the Allies defeat of the Russians at Sebastopol in the Crimean War. South Park had been chosen as the scene of the festivities " The British lion tramples the Russian flag (a pair of feet protude from under it). whilst the French eagle savages the Russian double headed eagle.
The medal has two obverse sides. I would like to identify who the initials V & G (which can be seen below the Russian flag) represent.



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  • 4 years later...



Picture from this site http://foundsf.org/i..._Bay,_1850-1857 available under http://creativecommo...s/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Non commercial share alike.


It was 1855 and San Francisco was celebrating the defeat of the Russians at Sebastopol in the Crimean War. South Park had been chosen as the scene of the festivities. This is how the day was reported in a newspaper.

"The procession formed on Second St., from Market to Mission at 10:15 o'clock, four deep accompanied by a large concourse of people headed by the French, English and Sardinian flags, followed by the French and British consuls, naval officers and invited guests, the band playing appropriate tunes. A salute was fired by the British frigate Amphitrite lying off Rincon Point. At South Park an immense tent, 230 feet in length had been erected. Within were five banquet tables on each side, covered with a profuse supply of eatables, and with a bottle of wine at each plate. A roasted ox, standing, with his horns and all had been roasted so skillfully that the hair which was left on from the knees down was still unsinged. There was a cake about 12 feet high. In all 10,000 people were present. The whole concern broke up in a general riot, started by a band of rowdies. Later a large concourse of persons marched this evening to the residence of the Russian Consul, who appeared on the balcony, and with his seven year old son as interpreter expressed his appreciation of the sympathies of the crowd"

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  • 4 months later...

In 1855 it is estimated some 10,000 French people resided in San Francisco, which only had a total of population of between 40 to 50 thousand.


California had only recently been acquired in 1848 by the United States(by treaty following its defeat of Mexico) and had a large European population. Due to the primitive forms of transport across the continent most goods & people arrived in San Francisco by ship, either from Europe or from the Eastern seaboard ports, both taking about the same time to make the voyage.

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I have been away for some time. I am busy editing the TAMS Journal and working on book projects. If the medal you pictured was your Constanius, you must have sold it as I just purchased it from John Kraljevich. The letters V&G stand for Vachon and Giron, the engravers who did the San Francisco Vigilante medals and city alderman medals among others.

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Yes it was mine, sold at a 2016 Nov.Torex auction in Toronto, along with my small US and Canadian collection. I purchased it in 2007 from a dealer, Ross D.King, at a coin show in Toronto which was hosting the 2007 Torex auction.


Glad it has found its way to a good home :bthumbsup:



I guess you have seen this from p. 563 of the December, 1916

issue of The Numismatist.


"Mr. A. Reimers exhibited a gold medal (size $20 piece, $28 gold

value,) with bail, which was struck in San Francisco, November 26th, 1855,
to commemorate the fall of Sebastopol. This medal was presented to Mrs.
George Gordon by the joint committee. George Gordon was the promotor
of South Park. Obverse, British lion, a monk, war material, Russian fiag
being pulled down from pole; inscription, "Manifestation in Honor of the
Success of the Allies in the Crimea. S. F., 26 Nov., '55." Reverse, French
Eagle downing Russian Eagle, above which are the fasces and four fiags.
Inscription same as obverse, only in French. This medal is thought to be
unique, and is in excellent state of preservation"
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Yes, I am currently president of that club. We celebrated our 199th anniversary two years ago and our hundredth anniversary of ANA membership last year. (I celebrated my 50th anniversary of ANA membership this year.)

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It has been some time since I have been active here. Too many other actvities and a mild stroke at the end of 2017 slowed me down. One of the activities I did to help regain motor control on my left side was write several articles and a monograph. One article was written with my friend, Michael Wehner. His research corrected the misidentificationj of the G in V&G. Thomas Gihon was initially identified as the G and Gihon did engrave the San Francisco alderman medal. Marc Giron is the correct identification in the V&G as noted above.

Our article on another rare San Francisco medal appeared in the December 2018 issue of The Numismatist and that article includesa picture of another example of the medal. Check out "Resurrecting a Symbol of Vigilance: The 1861 California Union Medal" for a look into early San Francisco.


The following link might work if you are not an ANA member:



If you are not a member, you should be!


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