“1776” (1781) Libertas Americana Medal. Betts-615. Bronze. Plain Edge. MS-62 BN PCGS.

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“1776” (1781) Libertas Americana Medal. Betts-615. Bronze. Plain Edge.  MS-62 BN PCGS.
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“1776” (1781) Libertas Americana Medal. Betts-615. Bronze. Plain Edge. MS-62 BN PCGS.

46 mm. The glossy deep golden-brown surfaces offer a faint orange-tan glow in the deeply recessed areas of French artist Augustin Dupre’s remarkable tribute to the young new ally across the sea, the United States of America. Though a few light ticks account for the grade, there is still plenty of eye appeal and physical integrity to commend this piece. Arguably America’s most famous – and most beautiful to many – medal, the Libertas Americana medal is steeped in history and tradition. Our own Benjamin Franklin not only commissioned the pieces through Dupre, France’s greatest die worker of the era, he personally distributed many of them, especially the bronze strikes. The iconography is superb with its depiction of France as Minerva shielding a young America as the infant Hercules, strangling two serpents representing America’s greatest military triumphs of the war, Saratoga and Yorktown. The British lion appears with its usually proud and erect tail now between its legs. No doubt miles of print have appeared over the years singing the virtues and tales of the Libertas Americana medals, in bronze as here, and in the much rarer silver style. Those miles of print seemingly always wind up with the same conclusion, however: this is the most prominent and important of all early American medals sought by collectors today. Early American medals cabinets are often judged by the inclusion – or lack – of a Libertas Americana. We wish you luck when this rare prize appears for your bidding consideration.

Grading Company: PCGS MS62BN