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Foreign Exhibition Boston 1883 Aluminum Token


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FOREIGN EXHIBITION. BOSTON, MASS. U.S.A.
OPENED SEPTEMBER 3d 1883

Rev: TREATY OF PEACE BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES.1783.
SEPt 3d SIGNED AT PARIS.FRANCE. 4 Men around a table. H.M. above exergue.

Aluminum or White Metal? 29mm. by ?. H. M.

 

EDIT 2015;

MA-BO-26 Trade Token, Boston, Massachusettes(page 675 in United States Tokens 1700-1900 by Rulau, 4th edition) The listing in Rulau does not mention the initials, HM, or a die-sinker.

I think that the H.M. is for Henry Mitchell a Boston Die-sinker & gem engraver. He made all the dies for the stamped envelopes of the United States for a great many years. The Maine State Agricultural Society medal was one of the first he cut, having been done sometime before the civil war. Henry Mitchell does use HM(Rulau). Another of his medals was for the Philadelphia 1876 Exhibition. Another the Shield of Harvard 1902. So the date(1883) fits his active period & it being a Boston medal is another pointer towards Mitchell, also I can find no other candidate for the HM in that period.

 

Comparison with a known Henry Mitchell medal.

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In 1883 one ounce (30 grams) equalled the daily wage of a average worker, aluminium was about the same value as silver.

The treaty document was signed at the Hôtel de York by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay (representing the United States) and David Hartley (a member of British Parliament representing the British Monarch, King George III).

Any additional info please post.

P.S. Only the second US token/medal I own, the other is for the Prince of Wales Visit to the USA in 1860

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A very nice medal. People are generally surprised to learn that aluminum was expensive in those days. There are pattern coins that were struck in aluminum but the Mint did not use it for coinage because of the costs.

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Exceptional piece if that is really aluminum. I don't doubt that it is aluminum from the picture, but I find that dealers sometimes call light weight white metal pieces aluminum. I think they are fooled by the light weight, but then again, I don't personally have a test to confirm that it is or is not aluminum in those cases. Usually, the heavier weight compared to the same size and known to be aluminum is a tip that I'm dealing with a white metal alloy.

 

Back to the medal, the figures are interesting. The art almost makes the figures appear to be dwarfs. A nice medal nonetheless.

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Exceptional piece if that is really aluminum.

 

I do not know for sure that it is aluminum ( I assumed it was, it came with zero info) it is extremely light 8 grams on my kitchen scales (do not tell my Wife) and the weight and colour lead me to think it was aluminum, perhaps some one will have a refference for it. It is by far the lightest token/medal that I own and I have many in WM.

 

Either way it is very interesting to US & Brits, do you know if it is a common token?

 

EDITED Even the way the drilled hole is jagged looks like aluminum. I have also edited the original post to state aluminum or white metal?

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Really quite a beautiful medal. And compliments on the photography as well - whether aluminum, white metal or silver I find that these are the toughest surfaces to do justice to. :ninja:

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I am off to a coin show at the weekend and will ask the dealers their opinions regarding what metal this is made from. A certain irony that I am hoping they plump for aluminum, which is now one of the cheapest metals around.

 

Still, quite an unusual depiction of the 4 participants.

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I asked the dealers I buy from at the show " what metal do you think this is made from" I did not say "do you think this is aluminum" as that would be a leading question.

 

7 said aluminum

1 german silver (nickle)

1 light pewter or aluminum

 

I think I am safe to go with aluminum and it is by Joseph H. Merriam as on closer inspection I could make out the 'J'.

 

They all enjoyed seeing it, and I got some interesting medals to post.

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Are you sure about Joseph H. Merriam? Forrer says that his active period ended about 1869-1870 and neither the main article or the Supplement mention this piece. That said, I don't have a more plausible alternative and Forrer is known to be incomplete on a lot of engraver's work. I would have said aluminum too. :ninja:

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Are you sure about Joseph H. Merriam? Forrer says that his active period ended about 1869-1870 and neither the main article or the Supplement mention this piece. That said, I don't have a more plausible alternative and Forrer is known to be incomplete on a lot of engraver's work. I would have said aluminum too. ;)

 

Thanks for the info Elverno.

 

I am definitely not sure ;) But there is another letter before the H.M. and in my mind it looks to be 'J'. Added to that, it being a Boston Exhibition token I guess I leapt to Merriam. I know squat about US tokens (learning from Bill and Co) but, is it possible Merriams the company survived or he had a brother or son etc.

 

I will try and get a better image of it (you know what it is like, tilting a medal to try and make out what is there).

 

The funny thing is that my only other US medal/token is by Merriam. Both bought mainly for the British connection but the treaty one also for the image itself.

 

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Issued for the visit of Albert Edward Prince of Wales to America, Oct. 1860, by Joseph H. Merriam of Boston. WM 30mm.

 

So I guess this token is a bit of a mystery. I hope someone can find a reference to it, or perhaps not, as that would make it very rare. :ninja:

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