Original mount at 12 o'clock with silver jump ring, braided leather thong of significant age with brass jump ring remains. A significant rarity among medals distributed to North American natives, a piece with a fascinating historical backstory. Treaty 1 and Treaty 2, signed between representatives of Queen Victoria and members of the Chippewa, Cree and Ojibwe tribes, affected huge tracts of land in modern-day southern Manitoba, just north of North Dakota. At the time of the treaty signings in 1871, the medals to be distributed were of the Jamieson-36 type (see Ford XVIII:16-17), a 51 mm medal that was deemed of inappropriate size and stature for such a major treaty. In order to placate the Indians, the Canadian government hired the famed Montreal silversmith Robert Hendery to produce electrotypes of the Wyon-designed 1867 Confederation medal with an additional ring around them indicating that they were a "chiefs medal." Hendery was then the leading producer of trophies in Canada and was "unrivalled as a maker of silverware," according to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Just 25 of these were produced, according to Jamieson and Victor Morin. Despite their appropriately large size, Indians soon rejected these electrotype medals for reasons made clear on this specimen: the high points, when worn, show the copper-colored evidence of the base metal beneath, and hints of greenish corrosion may be seen around the periphery. Rejecting this type, replacements were demanded, and the Treaty 3 style (Jamieson-38) were issued back-dated in 1873 and after to reference the 1871 treaties.
Ford's example of this medal, ex: Boyd, was in better condition but lacked its ring mount. It was probably an unawarded specimen, though it still showed some hints of greenish peripheral corrosion; it brought $14,375 in 2007. LaRiviere's was lovely, including the original mount, and brought $18,400 in 2001. There were specimens in the Hunter (1920) and W.W.C. Wilson (1925) collections; the former with a ring, the latter likely unawarded. There are also specimens at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary and in the Archives of Canada in Ottawa. This one holds the title of the most obviously awarded example we have encountered, which adds interest to be sure. Given that Ford owned but one specimen, the rarity of this opportunity goes without saying.