"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen", this quote from the eulogy of George Washington given by Henry Lee III sums up the regards for our first president nicely. Following Washington's death on 12/14/1799, the fledgling nation of the United States of America went into an extended period of mourning. The most revered figure of his day, this founding father was a masterful military tactician, who defeated the British to cement our independence and save a lot of his contemporaries from the hangman's noose. Fittingly, Washington's demise was honored across the land, including two funeral processions in Boston. Presented is an original funeral medal from one of these Boston marches, held in February of 1800.
Struck sometime between late December, 1799 to January, 1800 by Jacob Perkins, this extremely rare medal is an 1800 B-166C Washington Funeral Medal white metal variety with Urn reverse, that was produced in a reported quantity of no more than 300 pieces. This important early Federal Period medal has long been secluded in a New England farmhouse where it has been passed down for generations. New to the market, this attractive specimen has been encapsulated for this current H&S auction by NCG, with a designation of "VF Details, edge damage". Nearly all genuine specimens were "holed" at top as is this example, to enable wearing around the neck or on the lapel. Showing nice luster and strong detail for the grade, this stunning keepsake bears an image of Washington on the obverse, circled by the legend "He Is In Glory, The World In Tears", while the reverse is designed with an image of an urn crafted by Paul Revere, accompanied by birth, death and office dates.
The exact survival number of this rarely offered medal is undetermined; however, PCGS has certified just 16 and NGC a mere 4. Uncirculated specimens are numbered at less than 10 and are seldom offered. Previous auction sales have realized premium prices at all grade levels, making the starting point for this numismatic treasure seem a pittance. It is unlikely another one of these medals will ever be offered so reasonably, so if you have always wanted one now's the time to make your move.