IRVINE, Calif. (October 29, 2014) — A magnificent and immensely historic medal, the newly discovered silver Benjamin Harrison Indian Peace Medal will be offered at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries New York Americana Showcase Auction, February 5-6, 2015.
The piece was recently discovered far from its original context. However, it fortunately bears the name of a Native American owner, engraved on the reverse, allowing for identification of the original recipient and the reason it was awarded. “As soon as I saw the images of the medal, I knew it was special and I was eager to research it in the hopes that a great story would unfold, and that it did,” said John Pack, executive director of consignments, who researched and catalogued the medal for sale.
The coin was one of 18 issued to members of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes who were considered helpful in the consummation of the sale of a vast portion of Indian Territory to the United States for $1.5 million in October 1890. This medal was awarded to Buffalo Meat, of the Southern Cheyenne, and later became the property of his contemporary, Three Fingers, a Chief of the same people. Three Fingers’ name is engraved on the reverse in similar style to that seen on three other Benjamin Harrison medals. “It is very rare but a great pleasure to be able to assign an original owner to one of these medals,” stated Pack.
It is believed that there were only 27 of these silver medals struck in 1890 and 1891, and they were the last ones made for official distribution amongst Native Americans. These brought closure to a tradition that began in the United States with President Washington’s administration, though his issuance of such medals was simply a continuation of the tradition established by the Spanish, French and British who issued similar medals on behalf of their kings in the colonial period. This medal is a new discovery and one of only seven known to survive today.
The medal will be available for lot viewing at upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctions, at the company’s Irvine, Calif. corporate headquarters (January 21-26, 2015), and its New York City gallery (February 1-6, 2015). For more information or to schedule a lot-viewing appointment, please call 800.458.4646 (West Coast) or 800.566.2580 (East Coast), or email [email protected].
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.
Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Professional Numismatists Guild New York Invitational, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April and August Hong Kong Auctions.