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Archive for May, 2011

Eric P Newman Medal

Medal Awarded to Eric P. Newman on his 100th Birthday

Yesterday I bestowed a gold medal to a life-long numismatic friend. It was a dual pleasure. I received as much pleasure in presenting this medal as my friend displayed in receiving it.

The gold medal was presented to Eric P. Newman, Saint Louis businessman, lawyer and philanthropist, but not for any of those fields. It was awarded to him for the thirteen numismatic books he had written. The medal was sponsored by the Rittenhouse Society, a group of numismatists who encourage numismatic literature.

Best of all it was presented to him on the occasion of his one hundredth birthday!

The medal bore his portrait on the obverse. At the sides were symbols of a quill and a lamp of knowledge. The quill was symbolic of writing, the lamp of knowledge for the knowledge he had captured in his books and was passing on to future generations. Lettering on a flowing ribbon contained the inscription of his name and the fact his centennial year occurred in 2011.

For the reverse – and here I had input from his family who had suggested the theme – were displayed two shelves of books, thirteen of which bore the names of the books he had written. On the top shelf was also a tiny statue of David Rittenhouse, first director of the United States Mint. The sponsoring group, the Rittenhouse Society, was named after Director Rittenhouse.

Below was an open book in an area numismatists call the exergue – that’s the space formed by the curve of the medal and straight line above. The open book bore an image again of David Rittenhouse taken from a very famous painting by Charles Wilson Peale. Rittenhouse was a scientist in his day, he is shown with a telescope, just one of his scientific interests. (Obviously it is not a TV camera as it might first appear to a 21st century observer, that would be a gross incongruity.)

Issuing a medal for a member’s one hundredth year was suggested by one Rittenhouse member, Joel Orosz. The organization does not have officers, formal structure, or even a treasury. Another member spoke up, Q. David Bowers, who suggested I oversee such a medallic project. If we had titles, that would mean I was named Rittenhouse Medal Chairman. But we do not have committees, nor chairman. We bask in the casualness of the society’s lack of structure.

With a lack of a treasury, we had to access ourselves a fee for the production of the intended medal. Another member, John Adams, agreed to solicit and receive donated checks. Within days of his email message more than half of the members had pledged the suggested amount. It was enough to obtain the best medallic artist in the country and obtain the best-made dies for striking the medal.

Here is where my past medallic experience came into play. I knew of a seasoned medallic artist who could design and model the exquisite medal I envisaged. He had to be a good portrait artist who could model oversize so his plaster pattern could be reduced to include a great deal of minute detail.

In addition to an accurate portrait, the minute detail greatly adds to the charm of a medal. A medal designer has to be a master of symbolism, know what symbols are appropriate and how to weave these into the design, yet not to overwhelm the portrait as the featured device.

I commissioned Luigi Badia, a sculptor of more than a hundred medals among his portfolio of reliefs, statues and full size figures. Born in Italy, he came to America with his family as a 10-year old.  (I once stated there must be something in the drinking water in Italy to spawn so many talented medallic artists.)  He is largely self-taught, but has mastered his chosen art to become a full professional member of the National Sculpture Society.

This was Fall 2010. At the time I planned for the medal to be needed for the following year’s Rittenhouse Society meeting at the annual convention of the American Numismatic Association in August in Chicago. We had planned to bestow the medal to Eric Newman at that time. Artist Badia had ample time to work this model at his leisure, among his other assignments and commissions.

But then we learned Eric was not planning to attend the Chicago convention. So I decided to make the presentation on, or near, his May 25th birthday. That decision required to advance the time required for the completion of the model. Consummate professional that he was, sculptor Badia was able to do this.

It was the reverse design, however, that just wasn’t right. Badia had made three reverse design drawings of the book theme. I wanted a little more interest in the design. Here is where I enlisted the aid of another medallic artist, Joel Iskowitz, to add more interest to the reverse. He suggested the Rittenhouse statue and rearranged the ribbon containing the lettering.

With full knowledge of artist’s egos, I showed Joel’s proposed sketch to Luigi. “Would this work for the reverse?” I asked Luigi. I needn’t have worried. He immediately saw the improvement over his own design and readily accepted the sketch to model.

With the deadline fast approaching, Luigi finished both models to my approval. He shipped the plaster models to Medallic Art in Dayton, Nevada. We got the best artist, who created magnificent models. It was natural we wanted the best medallic producer. They cut the dies and struck the medal in time for yesterday’s formal presentation.

The Newman family had gathered in New York City for a Memorial Day weekend celebration of Eric’s 100th birthday. Asked what he wanted for this special birthday, Eric responded “barbecue ribs and all my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren around me.”

The presentation of the gold medal was made to Eric Newman in his New York City hotel suite. Present was his wife Evelyn, daughter Linda, son Andrew, and grandchildren. (Smaller members of the Newman clan were in another room.)

Rittenhouse Society members Scott Rubin and John Kraljdevich joined me in making the presentation among the intimate family members gathered. Photographs were taken, I said a few words, how I had met Eric in 1955 and we had long conversations about numismatic books at the time. Eric said a few words and more photographs were taken.

I got the feeling I was part of numismatic history. The pride in the part I had played in giving pleasure to this 100-year old friend rose within me. I could see the pride, the pleasure, Eric had when he first viewed his portrait on his medal.

“That looks like me!” he said.

Medallic art has the unique trait of giving extreme pleasure to a recipient of a medal. No matter if it bears the portrait of the recipient or not, it is recognition of the achievements in one’s lifetime. This is increased many fold when it is, indeed, the recipient’s own portrait.

It is well known, medallic art has great longevity. I mentioned this fact in my remarks. I stated this medal will last for centuries, it lets the world know we recognized the person portrayed on this medal as the great numismatist he is. That his peers recognized this, that this imperishable miniature work of art documents that fact.

Eric displayed his pleasure in receiving the medal. I shared that same human feeling in being able to bestow that medal to him.

A previous event.  I recall a similar event many years ago when the former president of Medallic Art Company was given a medal.  William Trees Louth was the member of the New York City Rotary Club. Even as a manufacturer of medals he was bestowed a medal by this organization, I don’t remember what for, but in his acceptance remarks he said:

“I don’t know how this got all the way through the plant without me knowing about it.  But his makes me feel so good I am going back to the office and raise all the prices on all the award medals we make!”

Bestowing a medal bestows great pleasure along with it.

But award medals are not the only pleasure offered by medals. There is pleasure in commemorative medals as well. Mankind likes to remember notable events of the past, particularly events that changed the course of mankind’s existence. Work that event into an artistic scene, show that on a medal, fashion that in an artistic way as a miniature work of art, you have an object that deserves veneration. And preservation!

Issue that as a fine art medal on a significant anniversary – that is reason enough to create such an object – and you have the formulae for a successful medal. Thus we recognize medallic art is so closely related to anniversary celebrations.

We need only remember the great event of the American Bicentennial of 1976 which spawned the massive issuance of medallic memorials. Medals were issued by everyone, the nation, by states, cities, communities, organizations of every kind. We celebrated with permanent metal art objects. It is a way of communicating to future citizens we honored this event, and memorialized it in a very permanent way.

Owing such a commemorative medal is a tacit endorsement of the event or celebration and a personal joy to recall that by the medal in the owner’s hand. The artistic design further heightens the symbolic significance to the medal’s owner and to all who view it. While a significant historical artifact, it exudes pleasure to the owner.

This pleasure is compounded – as could be expected – to the owner of a medal collection. If he owns one medal that gives him pleasure, think what a well-formed collection would be. If the medals are well designed, well struck, of an artistic nature, and of similar theme that has some great meaning to a collector, you can understand his great pride.

Collectors often choose themes of personal interest, personal meaning. It could be of their profession, or ethnic or national heritage – no matter what his collecting specialty, he alone has chosen his subject.

It is my pleasure to view these collections. I recognize the effort and the commitment that went in to forming medal collections. Pull out a tray and show me your medal collection.

I am blessed.  I am associated with a field that generates so much pleasure. At every level.

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This post will cover the language used in the field of decorations and military medals. Of course, the creators and makers of these pieces use their own specialized language, but we should also include the lingo used by the curators and collectors as well. Included here are the terms used to cover insignia, orders, decorations and the medals used in the field.

Numismatics is a term for medals of all kinds, but it also includes coins, tokens, paper money and objects used for money (as wooden nickels, plus the odd and curious forms of money). The person who studies or collects these objects is a numismatist.

Exonumist is a term for the person who studies or collects just medals and tokens, and the field he studies is exonumia (meaning outside of coins). Likewise the term for the field of just orders, decorations and medals (the kind that are worn), is phaleristics. The person who studies or collects these objects is called a phalerist.

 There is somewhat of a class distinction among collectors of each of these groups. Because of the royal distinctions of some orders – often the most distinct, elaborate, jewel encrusted medallic items worn by members of a highly select group – these are the most important, the top of the pyramid.

Orders of chivalry go back in history to knights in armor protecting fair maidens. An “order” is both the name of the group as well as the medallic item to be worn (and these include collars worn over the head with an elaborate pendant medal to rest on the chest).

These orders were often made by royal jewelers and had separate classes, sometimes as many as twelve classes from the king down to the lowest knight, each class made of more important size, composition or jewels than those of lower class.  [We have none of these in America, we are more democratic.]

Below orders are the decorations – medallic items awarded for gallantry or meritorious service . These can be elaborate, but not as important as orders, and are always distinguished by shape, never round. Because: the medals of a class below decorations are usually round. An example would be campaign medals – those medals hung from a ribbon drape awarded to all who participated in a military or naval campaign.

Since all the medals described above are intended to be worn, there are prescribed rules for the proper wearing of these medallic items on uniforms, formal and civilian attire. Phalerists have come up with a term for all medals that are not worn – table medals – medals that just lie on the … you get the idea.

Phalerists are considered by some to be somewhat elitist. They would not consider collecting – heaven forbid! – table medals or tokens. Tokens have an expressed value, a denomination or “good for” some service or merchandise. These differ from medals – usually of more elaborate design and commemorative in nature – and from coins, which obviously have a denomination guaranteed by a government, obviously more important.

Coins and medals have more integrity than tokens. The latter can be quite simplistic, sometimes as little as the merchant’s name and value. Thus tokens do not rise to the level of coins or medals. Thus ends the class distinction discussion.

There are terms that are common to all fields of medals (and all of numismatics). Thank goodness!  Everyone uses these same terms for the same meaning in all of these related fields. Here is a brief list of these:

Obverse.  The side of a numismatic item bearing the principal design or device; the side opposite the reverse.

Reverse.  The back or opposite side to the obverse.

Device.  The principal design element on a coin or medal (not including the lettering); often a portrait or other pictorial design.

Die.  A metal punch containing a design to be impressed into a blank by pressure supplied by a press. Obviously two dies are used in striking a medallic item.

Edge.  The outer circumference or plane of a numismatic or medallic item formed by the thickness of the piece.

Field or  Background. The surface area of a numismatic item not occupied by device, symbols or lettering.

Finish and Finishing.  Any process that is performed to a medallic item (coins have no applied finish) after it is struck or cast for coloration or protection; including antiquing, patinating, enameling, plating, lacquering, and such.

Lettering.  The wording on coins and medals; there are of two kinds, those that follow the perimeter of the item – the legend – usually in an arc (called bowed), and all other lettering, the inscription.

Loop.  Any ring-shaped mounting for suspending a medallic item from a ribbon, cord, chain or other suspension system.

Motto.  A slogan appearing as a legend or inscription on a numismatic item.

Planchet or Blank.  A round metal disk (or other shape) made for striking into a coin or medal; an unstruck blank or flan.

Press.  The machine for impacting a planchet with dies to form a numismatic item.

Rays.  Lines on numismatic or medallic items indicating beams of light, as sun rays or radiant light.

Rim.  The outermost raised element of a border extending to the edge of the medal.

Symbols and Symbolism.  Pictorial elements on coins and medals representing any idea, subject or theme – tangible or intangible – in an artistic way.

Now for the terms that are used for decorations and military medals.  Since all these medals are worn, the suspension techniques are most important. Here is the special terminology for suspension.

Loops.  A medal to be suspended usually has a loop, these can be soldered onto a medal, or the loop can be engraved into the die and formed at the time the medal is struck. This is called an integral loop. To attach this to something else a jump ring is employed, such a ring does not have its ends welded, but are lapped to permit it to be spread apart, inserted through the eye of he loop, and closed connecting two items.

Loops can be formed in many styles to connect it to a medal. These are named by the shape of the lug which holds the loop:  BALL LOOP, BARREL LOOP, CYLINDIRICAL LOOP, KNOB LOOP, WIRE LOOP, and such.

Collars.  For an elaborate item such as a collar loops are placed on every element, every link. A chain is often used to connect the elements. The links are repeated until the collar is formed long enough to go over and around the recipient’s head with a pendant medal to rest on the chest.

Each of the links in the collar are diestruck but with loops and jump rings to connect to the next link. The links were often of differing sizes and shapes which when seen together emphasized the theme of the pendant. When these are designed, the loops had to face a way in which the adjacent loop or ring would connect by jump ring. Thus an odd number of loops and jump rings had to connect two elements on the same plane.

Elaborate medals.  The British developed elaborate systems for mounting medals. On such system included a number of clasps and bars from which the medal is suspended by a claw and pin which swivels to view both sides of the medal, obviously called swivel mount.

Single medal.  However, for single medals these are hung from a ribbon drape, the cloth ribbon would have a ring at the bottom. This would connect to the medal with an integral loop with a jump ring. Every medallic item to be worn requires some form of attaching to a garment, some from of  pinback header – by PIN OR CATCH or STEM AND CLASP on the back of the ribbon drape.

Broach mounting.  For mounting a number of medals a broach is employed for the medals to be displayed side-by-side. The broach, usually a metal backing or rectangular frame with a horizontal pin and catch, has ribbons placed over the metal backing and sewn in place, or locked into position with the metal frame. When so mounted this is called a group. There is a precise order of precedence. Some nations, including the United States, requires most medals displayed on the left breast – where medals of the highest rank appear from left to right – with other medals worn on the right side.

Ribbons serve a multiple purpose in military use. They add color – and are color coded for identifying each purpose, medal or campaign – and serve as the vehicle for mounting to a garment. The narrow cloth strips are used for most all classes of military medals, from medals of valor to campaign medals. Outside the military field, they are widely used for Olympic, sports and educational awards.

Short lengths of ribbon are made into ribbon bars. These are displayed without the pendant medals in a group and displayed in a row or series of rows on a uniform tunic. Like broach mounting, these must be arranged in order of precedence.

Ribbons are made of cotton or silk, and more recently of rayon; they can be flat or braided. The finish of the cloth can be of several kinds – gros grain (most durable), satin finish, moire and velvet. Ribbons are decorated with bullion embroidery, metal thread, often made into tassels.

Ribbon terms.  The largest of such cloth ribbons is the sash, which hangs over one shoulder across the body to the opposite side at the waist. This is substantial enough to support a heavy pendant medal.

The neck ribbon supports a medal hung around the neck. This is used for one of America’s highest awards, then Congressional Medal of Honor. Another style is the bow ribbon, typically for medals awarded to women.

But the most popular style, of course, is the ribbon drape that supports a single medal and is attached to a stem and clasp by which it can be fastened to a garment. There are several ways of folding the ribbon drape and the ends are sewn together after a ring is placed in the fold.

A rosette is ribbon made into a small circular band. It is sometimes applied to a ribbon drape as for a second award of the same medal or for other purposes.

Ribbons do tend to soil and fray with extensive wear. They have the advantage that they can be replaced with fresh ribbon, obtained from ribbon banks operated by collectors organizations. Original ribbon and replacement ribbon are terms used by collectors to differentiate these when it can be so determined.

Collectors also identify the colors in a ribbon when describing or cataloging by listing the colors from left to right, separated by hyphens. An example would be red-white-blue-white-red. Such a ribbon would have a single blue stripe down the center with the border color red on both sides.

Other terms.  

Emblem.  A small subsidiary metal device to be attached to a ribbon indicating the recipient won the award a second or subsidiary time. The American Oak Leaf Cluster is such an emblem.

Insignia.  While this describes any item to be worn, in the military field it includes all orders, badges, collars, medals, stars, and such, kind of an overall term.

Resources.

The source for the best terms in the field are, obviously, from the Institute of Heraldry.  They are very knowledgeable, and the specification sheets for individual medals are precise and identify the proper term for every part.

The best printed glossary in the field was compiled by Alexander John Laslo (1940-2004) who was editor of the official publication of the Orders, Medals Society of America. Under his editorial guidance the journal transformed from black-and-white to full color.

Laslo (Alexander J.)  A Glossary of Terms Used in Phaleristics – The Science, Study, and Collecting of Insignia of Orders, Decorations and Medals. Albuquerque NM: Dorado Publishing (1995) 58 pages, illustrated.

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Accompanying every new medal should be some addition data about that medal. The full story cannot be conveyed on the medal itself. So custom has developed that a printed sheet of information should be available with every new medal issue.

Most such data sheets are called leaflets. Printed on a single sheet of paper, it is usually folded (often many times) down to the size of the medal itself and tucked into the box containing the medal. It is called a pamphlet when it has a longer text, has several pages, and stapled to form a typical pamphlet.

Leaflets are different form sales literature. This is any form of advertisement enticing the sale of the medal, often in letter or separate sheets. A leaflet is intended for the person who has made the purchase and wants more information about the medal. However, all these printed forms offer data on the new medal, are highly desired by collectors and mandatory for the art medal historian or cataloger.

While sales literature tells what the sponsor or issuer wants the medal to be, a leaflet is somewhat more accurate in what it actually is. Both are useful because they are written by the issuer and are created near the time the medal is issued. This in contrast to a discussion by later writers.

James Mudie Book

James Mudie Book

The first “leaflet” was not a leaflet at all.  It was a book. When James Mudie issued his series of 40 National Medals of Great Britain (1814-20), he wrote and published in 1820 a cloth-bound book entitled: An Historical and Critical Account of a Grand Series of National Medals Published under the Direction of James Mudie, Esq. This was the first and most elaborate medal “leaflet.”

Mudie set the example for subsequent medal publishers, particularly for those medals to be sold to the public. He also established the precedent of a leaflet for any item issued in series, as most every series publisher through the 20th century has done.

One of the most unusual “leaflets” was made in 1852. Henry Clay was honored with a gold medal for his effort in effecting the Compromise of 1850 (for new states entering the Union and whether they should be free or slave states).  Clay was bestowed the gold medal by the citizens of New York and 150 copies of the medal were struck in bronze and sold to the public at $30.

Inside the lid of the medal case was a leaflet printed on silk. It contained a new account from the Washington National Intelligencer (February 10, 1852) describing the presentation ceremony, Clay’s reply, and a discussion of the medal, including the identity of the medal’s engraver, Charles Cushing Wright – all printed on the silk handkerchief.

At Medallic Art Company, leaflets were created within the firm for the two largest series the company produced, the Society of Medalists and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. Responsibility for Society leaflets was assumed by Francis Trees, widow of the owner, Clyde C. Trees. In addition to a brief biography of the medal’s sculptor, she would ask the artist for a statement about his design and the theme of the medal.

Each leaflet, obviously with a picture of both sides of the medal, and its numerical number in the series, contained a stock statement about the company. But it was that sculptor’s statement that was most interesting. Often we learned, however, that the artist, who was most proficient in creating an excellent bas-relief, was often not all the proficient in his little essay about it. Infrequently the artist would venture into a discussion of his philosophy of life rather than the facts of his medal subject.

Responsibility for the Hall of Fame leaflets fell to the firm’s art director, Julius Lauth. This was composed of a biography of the person shown on the medal as the person honored by inclusion in the Hall of Fame, plus a biography of the medal’s sculptor, and again a stock statement on Medallic Art Co as the medallist for the series. Most of these became routine and were assembled by Julius’ secretary, Harriet Hewgley.

Preparation of the leaflet is the responsibility of the client for all private medals struck by the firm. It was their decision to have such a leaflet, and, of course, to have it printed. It was Medallic Art’s responsibility to tuck it in the box with the medal in the packaging department.

The author was assigned the chore of preparing a number of these leaflets. For the Ford Presidential Inaugural Medal I added an innovation, an official numismatic description of the medal. This I thought would be most useful for every numismatic writer and cataloger to have this in print ahead of anyone who had to write about it.

In addition to that numismatic description, the leaflet contained the usual basic information: information about the artist, the design, the occasion, history of the series, details about all the varieties – sizes and compositions – in addition to several paragraphs about Medallic Art Company and the previous official medals made for U.S. president’s inaugurations.

For the first two-part medal issued by the company, Frank Eliscu’s Pegasus,  the author wrote the leaflet and it was folded in such a way  it opened up to show the two interface surfaces, like the medal itself, opened to show the interface surfaces. I was so proud of this leaflet, I signed it, the only such one so signed.

Leaflets are sometimes issued with commemorative coins, but more often with new medals. They are never as permanent as the numismatic item itself. They are often separated from the item and lost. To overcome this shortcoming, some publishers, some publishers have even used an adhesive label and applied this to the back of some uniface medallic items (as did the issuer of the Theodore Roosevelt Plaque, 1920, by James Earle Fraser). Unfortunately these are just as impermanent.

Leaflets should never be discarded. They contain the most basic, useful and accurate information about the medal as possible, the most useful documentation.  Most important of all, leaflets are the most excellent source of information for cataloging the medal. For collectors leaflets add to the lore of the medal, adding to the enjoyment of owning the item.

Press releases are the other vehicle of information created at the time of issue by the sponsor or publisher of the medal. This should be just as accurate as a leaflet, but of more general interest for the public. The press release should be written of all pertinent facts, accompanied by a photograph of both sides of the medal, with a second possible photograph of the artist.

If the medal is awarded, a photo of the presentation ceremonies should accompany the release as well.

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American Numismatic Association Lamp Medal

American Numismatic Association Lamp Medal

FOR one hundred years – a centennial of supreme importance – the Medallic Art Company has had a relationship with the American Numismatic Association. It stands to reason that the premiere firm for manufacturing medals should be closely allied with the premiere collector’s organization of numismatic items.

Company officers have supported the ANA since Edward J. Deitsch first joined in April 1910, earning full membership status in July that year. Edward Deitsch, along with his brother Charles, were New York City businessmen with their own lines of leather goods and jewelry trade items, who had hired Henri Weil to produce silver trimmings for their line of leather purses for the New York carriage trade.

By fate they had imported to America the first die-engraving pantograph, the Janvier, to aid Henri Weil in the creation of those silver decorations. Within a few years, it also put them into the medal business.

Thus, first Edward Deitsch saw the merit of a membership in ANA, then Henri Weil did likewise, once he obtained full control of Medallic Art Company.

Henri applied in February of 1912, receiving full membership in April that year.

At that time three major numismatic organizations were in New York City. In addition to ANA, other numismatic were the American Numismatic Society – more for scholars than collectors – and also the New York Numismatic Club, which was a monthly dinner and gathering of social collectors.

Henri Weil would become a member of all three.

The list below is an attempt to record the MACO – ANA relationship in the people and the medals produced by one for the other. We have learned that the president of Medallic Art Company has been an ANA member almost continuously.

Once William Trees Louth became president of the company, he set a course to actively solicit the national organization’s medal business. In so doing, he achieved remarkable success, and for the period of 1960 to 1986 dominated the production of medals for this organization.

More than that, Bill Louth was highly innovative in creating medals for the ANA. For their 75th anniversary convention he suggested adding a real diamond to their convention badge – a suggestion the general chairman readily accepted. That was in 1966.

In 1969, he suggested a Lady’s Badge in a smaller size and lighter weight. Also, by reducing the convention medal for the Lady’s Badge, he then had two sizes of dies. Why not, he suggested, create a set of the four medals, one bronze and one silver, for each of the two sizes. This became a ready-made collector set that proved to be very popular with the membership, even during the years when the convention badge was made by other firms.

Here, then, is the first half of the list, at least through the administration of Bill Louth. The list for the full administrations of Don Schwartz and Bob Hoff are yet to come.

MACO – ANA Relationship Timeline

1910 (April)  Edward J. Deitsch (first owner of Medallic Art Company) applies for membership in ANA, sponsored by Frank C. Higgins and Edgar H. Adams; accepted and assigned membership number 1364 in July 1910 issue of The Numismatist.

1912 (February)  Henri Weil, founder, Medallic Art Company, applies for membership in ANA, sponsored by Waldo C. Moore and Edgar H. Adams; accepted and assigned membership number 1556 in April issue of The Numismatist.

1924 Medallic Art produces the Moritz Wormser Medal bearing the portrait of the organization’s president, modeled by Jonathan M. Swanson (1888-1963); catalog number 1924-030.

1927 Medallic Art produces the Guttag Brothers National Coin Week Medal, catalog number 1927-036-01; it bears the inscription: COIN WEEK ORIGINATED 1923.

1928 Medallic Art president Clyde Curlee Trees becomes a member, of ANA, membership number 3354.

1948 Dick Johnson (later to become the firm’s first director of research in 1966, and later corporation historian in 2010) joins the ANA with original membership number 17047.

1959 Medallic Art produces American Numismatic Association’s Heath Literary Award Medal, named after the ANA’s founder, George F. Heath; modeled by sculptor Rene Chambellan (1893-1955); catalog number 1959-042.

1960 Medallic Art produces the ANA’s Seal Medal in three sizes; from model by Joseph DiLorenzo (1920-2001); catalog number 1960-027.

1960 On the death of Clyde C. Trees, his nephew, William Trees Louth, becomes president of Medallic Art Co; he also joins ANA receiving membership number 840561.

American Numismatic Association Medal Selection

American Numismatic Association Medal Selection 1960 to 1970

1960 This begins the longest run of ANA convention medals made by one firm – Medallic Art Company – with models by top American sculptors in high quality and innovative medals. This year’s convention medal, 1960 Boston 69th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed by Boston numismatist James Ford Clapp Jr., was modeled by Joseph DiLorenzo; catalog number 1960.077.

1961 Medallic Art produced the 1961 Atlanta 70th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed by Edwin Harrison, modeled by Curt Beck (1901-1985); catalog number 1961-043.

1961 The Atlanta Coin Club like the convention medal so well, they had one side added to their own for a separate variety, catalog number 1961-043-002.

1962 Medallic Art produced the 1962 Detroit 71st Anniversary Convention Medal, designed and modeled by Detroit sculptor Marshall Fredericks (1908-1998); catalog number 1962-024

1962 Medallic Art in conjunction with a prominent client, Presidential Art Medals sponsor the first of an annual gala gathering at the ANA convention, giving a party favor to each guest who attends, this year a specially-struck Greek Coin Medal, catalog number 1962-119. 

1963 Medallic Art produced the 1963 Denver 72nd Anniversary Convention Medal, designed by Charles Nelson, modeled by Joseph DiLorenzo; catalog number 1963-088.

1963 This year’s ANA convention’s party medal was a 2-inch medal, catalog number 1963-122.

1964 Despite the fact convention chairman Robert McNamara owned his own mint (Heraldic Art) he turned to Medallic Art to produce the 1964 Cleveland 73rd Anniversary Convention Medal, designed by Robert McNamara (1919-1995); modeled by Cleveland sculptor Walter A. Sinz (1881-1966); catalog number 1964-050.

1964 Again, this year’s ANA convention’s party medal was a special large size 2-inch medal, catalog number 1964-135.

1965 Medallic Art produced the 1965 Houston 74th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed by Diane Holmes and Doris Martin, modeled by Edward R. Grove (1912-2002); catalog number 1965-108.

1965 Medallic Art suggests an innovation in making a separate medal for exhibitors, the first ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, modeled from the convention medal itself; catalog number 1965-109.

1965 This year’s ANA convention’s party medal was a special large size 2-inch medal, modeled by Ralph Menconi (1915-1972); catalog number 1964-135.

1966 Another new innovation, introduced this year, the American Numismatic Association Past President Medal, with a new obverse modeled by Joseph DiLorenzo; catalog number 1965-145.

1966 The greatest innovation of all for numismatic convention medals – for the diamond anniversary convention – in cooperation with M. Vernon Sheldon, Bill Louth suggests adding a real diamond to the convention medal! Medallic Art produces the 1966 Chicago 75th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed by M. Vernon Sheldon, modeled by Herbert Krammerer (1915-1985); catalog number 1966-101.

1966 Medallic Art produces the ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, 1966; modeled from the convention medal itself also with a real diamond embedded in the obverse; catalog number 1966-102.

1966 This year’s ANA convention’s party medal was a special large size 2 1/4-inch medal, modeled by Ralph Menconi; catalog number 1966-138.

1967 The organization builds its first national headquarters and Medallic Art produces the American Numismatic Association Building Dedication Medal with a stunning medal designed and modeled by Ralph Menconi; catalog number 1967-002.

1967 Medallic Art produced the 1965 Miami Beach 76th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed in shape of a Spanish cob coin, modeled by Margaret Grigor (1912-1981); catalog number 1967-045.

1967 This year’s ANA convention’s party medal was a special large size 1 13/16-inch medal, modeled by Ralph Menconi; catalog number 1967-119.

1968 Medallic Art produced the 1968 San Diego 77th Anniversary Convention Medal, City in Motion theme designed and modeled by John Worthington; catalog number 1968-039.

1968 Medallic Art produces the ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, 1968; modeled from the convention medal itself; catalog number 1968-111.

1969 Medallic Art produced the 1969 Philadelphia 78th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed and modeled by Frank Gasparro (1909-2001); catalog number 1969-040.

1969 Bill Louth’s second-greatest contribution is the invention this year of the “Lady’s Badge,” first introduced this year. By reducing the official convention badge to half size from 1½-inch to ¾-inch it becomes suitable for wear by ladies. Also this same ¾-inch medal is struck without loops in both bronze and silver along with the normal size 1½-inch bronze and silver for a special 4-medal ANA Convention set. These all have the same catalog number 1969-040.

1969 Medallic Art produces the ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, 1969; modeled from the convention medal itself; catalog number 1969-041.

1970 Medallic Art produced the 1970 Saint Louis 79th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed and modeled by Don Dow (1923-1992); catalog number 1970-057.

1970 Medallic Art produces the ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, 1970; modeled from the convention medal itself; catalog number 1970-070.

1971 Medallic Art produced the 1971 Washington DC 80th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed and modeled by Lewis King (1919-1991); catalog number 1971-059.

1971 Medallic Art produces the ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, 1971; modeled from the convention medal itself; catalog number 1971-077.

1974 Next innovation:  a special medal for the general chairman of the national convention, the Good Fellow Medal; model by Lewis King; catalog number 1974-113. 

1975 Medallic Art produced the 1975 Los Angeles 84th Anniversary Convention Medal, designed and modeled by Barbara Hyde (1914-1988); catalog number 1975-038.

1975 Medallic Art produces the ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, 1975; modeled from the convention medal itself; catalog number 1975-125.

1979 Medallic Art produced the 1979 Saint Louis 88th Anniversary Convention Medal, model furnished by customer; catalog number 1979-088.

1979 Medallic Art produces the ANA Merit of Exhibit Medal, 1979; modeled from the convention medal itself; catalog number 1979-092.

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