The original Seal of the City of Hudson, NY dates back to 1785 when Peter Maverick, a silversmith who operated in New York City, was hired by the City to create it soon after it received its charter.
The 1935 Hudson, NY Sesquicentennial half dollar features an adaptation of the original Hudson Seal on its reverse; it does not strictly reproduce it in all details. On the coin, Neptune
is depicted riding backwards on the whale - on the original Seal he is riding the normal way but is turned toward the rear. In both, he is presented holding a trident in his right hand; on the coin the staff of the weapon disappears behind the whale, while on the Seal it passes in front of the whale. Also seen on the coin is what is generally described as a mermaid (female) vs. the triton (male) on the Seal. The figure is shown in the background on both, blowing into a conch shell. In myth, the conch shell was used to stir up or calm down the seas, as fit the situation. The wording seen on the ribbon ("ET DECUS ET PRETIUM RECTI"), translates as "both the ornament and the reward of virtue." A contemporary interpretation would be "moral behavior is honorable and its own reward."
Henry Hudson's sailing ship, the Halve Maen
(in English, Half Moon
), is depicted under full sail on the coin's obverse. It was in the Half Moon
that Hudson explored the river he named Manhattes based on the name of the Native American tribe that lived near the mouth of the river. The river had other names, before and after Hudson's exploration, but today, the river bears his name. Hudson was in search of the fabled northwest passage to Asia at the time he explored the river; his trip on the river ended near present-day Albany, NY, however, when the river's depth became too shallow to continue.
The coin's design is the work of Chester Beach. 1935 Hudson, NY Sesquicentennial Half Dollar
You can see my previous posts about the Hudson half dollar here:
- 1935 Hudson, NY 150th Anniversary
- 1935 Hudson, NY 150th Anniversary - Coins with Beards Thread
More of my stories about commemorative coins and medals can be accessed from: Read More: Commems Collection
1. Kelsey, Francis. An Outline of Greek and Roman Mythology
. Boston : Allyn and Bacon, 1889. p 23.
Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.