1854 American Life Saving Award Medal Struck By U S Mint At Philadelphia
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1854 American Life Saving Award Medal Struck By U S Mint At Philadelphia:
Very Rare and beautiful, 1854, very heavy Bronzed copper, American Life Saving Medal presented by The City of Philadelphia as a Testimonial to the Captains of three ships for their bravery in the rescue of passengers and Crew from the “Steamer San Francisco” being one of only 53 examples struck by the United States Mint at Philadelphia.
This beautiful, original, pre Civil War Life Saving Medal measures approx. 3" in diameter and was designed and engraved by T. B. Welch. Offered here is one of the 53 original, Bronzed Copper Medals issued by the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia. The obverse of the Medal features a simply stunning image of the Arms of the City of Philadelphia in high relief. The reverse features 14 lines of text that reads as follows: “Testimonial To Captains Crichton, Low and Stouffer. / Of the Ships Three Bells, Kilby, and Antarctic. / From the Corporation of the City of Philadelphia / For Their Gallantry in Rescuing the Passengers From the Wreck of the Steamer San Francisco. / January 1854.”
The Medal is identified as “Lewis LS-12” and “The Medallic History of the United States of America” (by J. F. Loubat, 1878) gives a lengthy account of the sinking of the S.S. San Francisco and describes the circumstances of this Medal's issuance. The San Francisco foundered from Dec. 23, 1853, until Jan. 5, 1854, with more than 500 souls on board (including approx 125 officers and men of the 3rd Artillery, U.S. Army), of whom approx. 195 perished before the survivors were removed from the ship. A description of the wreck and the rescue is given below in the words of the Commanding officer of the U. S. Army, 3rd Artillery.
This very attractive, mid 19th century Life Saving Medal is in very good, original condition. There is absolutely no wear to the lettering on the reverse and only a bit of light wear to a few of the highest points on the obverse. There is some wear to the edge of the raised rim and a few tint "dings" on that rim. The surface patina is intact and exceptionally beautiful on the reverse but the obverse has an area of significant discoloration as can be seen in the scans below.
A rare and very beautiful 1854 Life Saving Medal produced in a limited issue of only 53 examples by the United States Mint at Philadelphia and a fantastic addition to any collection!!!