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What is a "lead cliche`"?


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Is a lead cliche` a struck piece or a cast copy? I recently sold one on ebay which was of a Peter I type in the series of the medals struck to commemorate the victory of the Muscovites over the neighboring city/state. I originally thought it was a high lead content pewter medal, but then later saw mentions of lead examples of Napoleon medals called lead cliche`s. Can someone help me out with the terminology? Thanks,

Ed

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From Ben Weiss Collection:

CLICHES

Numismatic clichés are uniface impressions made from engraved dies. One sort is made by the engraver when he is carving a die. Since he is working on a negative image, he may want to see how the positive image will look. To do this he makes a puddle of molten tin or lead on his workbench and presses the unfinished die into it. In order to properly proportion human bodies, the die engravers customarily engraved nude figures into the die, then dug deeper to dress them.

 

The French kings did not allow the private striking of medals, so medal engravers who wanted to sell copies of their work began producing another sort of cliché. Using a machine called a clichoir they forced a soft medal (usually lead) into their completed dies, creating uniface medallions. These clichés were usually colored to imitate bronze.

 

The famous engraver Andrieu had a shop in Paris where clichés from his dies were sold. The individual impressions which were sold were mounted in more or less elaborate frames, but there were also sets made up of several clichés, mounted in cases, most of which have the outward appearance of being books. (Taken from: www.fortiter.napoleonicmedals.org).

 

Particularly interesting examples of clichés, some 140 mm in diameter, can be found under Napoleonic Medals on this web site.

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Thanks for the information and the link. The piece I sold was not a uniface strike, so I correctly listed and sold it as a medal, by a lucky accident. I intend to upload images of some of the medals and tokens I recently sold on ebay after acquiring them in a binder of mostly cheap transportation and trade tokens. As soon as I finish the backlog of work I have, I'll add those images to my Omnicoin collection for uploading to the gallery here.

 

Thanks again

Ed

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