Miscellaneous Historic Figures


Elisha Kent Kane Medal

Dr. Elisha Kent Kane was born on February 20, 1820 in Philadelphia.
Graduating at the age of 22 from the University of Pennsylvania
he joined the Navy as assistant surgeon and when in 1850 he learned
of the pending voyage to the Arctic, to determine the fate of the
Franklin Expedition, immediately signed on as surgeon. No trace of
of the previous expedition was found and the two Navy ships spent
the winter of 1850 trapped in the ice. They returned in the summer
of 1851 without the loss of a single life and Dr. Kane was credited with
their survival. He set out again in May of 1853 as Commander of a
single ship with a crew of 17. The expedition did provide much new
information  about the region but the ship eventually had to be
abandoned after being trapped in the ice. The crew traveled 1,300
miles in 81 days by small boat and hand drawn sleds to the Danish
Settlement of Upernavik, this time suffering the loss of 3 men.

In his book on Augustus B. Sage, Q. David Bowers presents
evidence that either Sage worked with George H. to produce this
medal or intended to distribute these, and that it was struck in 1859
because of the date in Roman numerals on the reverse. But was this
reverse produced to use with this medal? George H. also used this
Masonic die with his Non Nobis Solum Medals (Baker 289) and the
Latin phrase on the reverse - Not for ourselves, but for the whole world
were we born - is a phrase I would expect to be used to refer to 
Washington rather than Kane. 

Marvin 291, bronze, 50mm

Marvin 291, silver plated, 50mm

Brass, (not mentioned in Marvin), 51.24mm

A brass version of this medal was listed in an 1894 Chapman Auction
catalog of Isaac Woods' collection. There is an example in the collection
of the ANS that is described as two combined silver electrotype shells,
with a weight of 500.8 grains.

 The Milford-Haven catalog of naval medals list two mulings of the
 obverse of this medal with other George H. dies; No. 617 reverse is the
Three Muses die, No. 617a utilizes The Great Medal of Honor die (both
pictured below) and both appear to be struck in aluminum.

The image below is from the Tulane University Digital Library

The reverse of this medal is from an Arctic Exploration medal by Tiffany & Co.
This medal is listed as being 59.7mm, the Kane medal being 50mm. But
notice what appears to be extra wide rims on the obverse. The listing does not
indicate what metal it is struck in.

Henry Clay Memorial Medal

Satterlee 126, white metal, 42mm
The obverse die is the work of Francis N. Mitchell and with the
original reverse is listed as HC 1844-4 in Sullivan's "American
Political Badges and Medalets". The note with this entry reads
"It (the obverse) was used later with a reverse cut by
George H. Lovett commemorating Clay's death".

Silver, 43.4mm
Possibly unique

Schiller Birth Anniversary Medal

During a three day festival in New York City in November of
 1859 celebrating the 100the anniversary of Schiller's birth
the first sculpture to be installed in Central Park was a bronze bust
of Schiller, a gift from the German American community in the City.
I have not been able to find any evidence that this medal was
commissioned for the event; probably another example of
George's entrepreneurship.

Schiller bust in Central Park
Storer 1347, copper, 42mm

Storer 1347, white metal, 42mm

Although primarily known as a dramatist, poet, and historian
Schiller did study medicine and in 1780 was appointed a
medical officer to a regiment in Stuttgart. Because of this
short medical career this medal is listed as No. 1347 in
Dr. Horatio Storer's "The Medals, Jetons, and Tokens
Illustrative of Sanitation" published in The Sanitarian,
July 1890.

Elizabeth Arnold Jewett Memorial Medal

Bronze, 40mm
          Who was Elizabeth and why did George H. create a medal to
     commemorate her death? I could find little on Elizabeth but
     did find an interesting bit of information about her husband,
     Ezekiel Jewett.  His entry in The Twentieth Century Biographical
     Of Notable Americans states that "He gathered one of finest collections of coins and medals in the United States, 1859-64".
     He was also in Albany, NY in 1866 when George H. struck
     the medal for the Bicentennial celebration and received a
     Ph.D. from Hamilton College which George had struck medals
     for. If Ezekiel did not know him personally he must have
     surely known of his work. Did George H. engrave and strike
     these pieces to honor the passing of a friend's spouse or did
     Ezekiel commission these? 
For more on Ezekiel see the Rindge Historical Society Website

Major John Andre Medal

Silver, 34.3mm

Bronze, 34.3mm

White metal, 34.3mm

Lead impression, approx. 45mm
This medal is not signed by George H. but the following entry from an 1879 edition of the Bulletin of the American Numismatic and Archeological Societies confirms this was the work of George H. Lovett
"Mr. G. H. Lovett, whose removal across Broadway was advertised in the last number of the Journal, has struck several new medals lately. One of Washington, for the Historical and Forestry Society of Rockland County, with reverse, Washington's Headquarters, Tappan, 1780. Another, with obverse, bust of Andre, and legend, Maj. John Andre, October I, 1780; reverse, "Old Dutch Church, Tappan," &c, and also a medalet on the Dedication of St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, May 25, 1879."

Letter from Mr. Henry Whittemore
I have not been able to confirm that these medals were struck for the Centennial Celebration but the white metal version came into my collection in February of 2012 with a Washington Headquarters at Tappan medal (Baker 180A) and a letter from the Secretary of the Rockland Co. Historical Society (the issuer of the Tappan medal) who also was the Secretary of the Andre Memorial Centennial. These medals had been presented to Mary L. Bowman as a thank you for letters she had donated. Because of the association of these two medals with the letter I am going to assume this was the occasion for their striking.

General Lafayette Medalet

Silver, 31.4mm

Copper, 31.4mm

Brass, 31.4mm

White metal, 31mm
The obverse die on this piece was also used on I.F. Wood's New
York Medal Club Series No. 1 medal (Baker 200)