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Commems Collection Medals: 1927 New York State Government Sesquicentennial

 
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 Posted 02/13/2022  08:19 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The 150th Anniversary of the Founding of the State Government of New York was celebrated in 1927 with a bronze commemorative medal designed and sculpted by Charles Keck. Keck was a busy artist at the time, having been commissioned to develop the design and models for the 1927 Battle of Bennington-Vermont Independence commemorative half dollar and the official commemorative medal for the same event - both were sponsored by the Vermont Sesqui-Centennial Commission. The Bennington-Vermont half dollar is noteworthy for its high-relief and medal-like design aesthetics.

Keck was also the designer/sculptor behind the gold $1.00 coin of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition five-coin program and the 1936 Lynchburg, VA Sesquicentennial half dollar. He was a prolific artist with many commemorative/historical art medals among the works in his portfolio.

The obverse of the New York State Government medal features a three-quarter, left-facing portrait of New York's first Governor - George Clinton. The central element of the medal's reverse is the Old Ulster County Courthouse in Kingston, NY (a replacement was constructed in 1789). The Courthouse was an early meeting location for New York's Government after it was forced to flee New York by the advancing British Army. Below the Courthouse is seen the commemorative date(s) "July 30 / 1777 - 1927" on two lines - George Clinton took the oath of office as Governor of New York on July 30, 1777.

The bronze medal measures 2-1/2 inches in diameter; it was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York. Contemporary accounts of the medal indicate that it was distributed to VIPs at the commemorative ceremony in Kingston vs. being sold to collectors/the general public. Examples of the medal were also to be sent to schools, museums and historical societies.

A single example in gold was struck; it was presented to then NY Governor Alfred Emanuel Smith during the official commemorative ceremony. If you're in the market for a large gold medal, this particular piece is currently being offered on eBay for $18,500. It's been listed for about 18 months at this point, so it might be priced a bit higher than most are willing to go!

An interesting note about the medal: Look at the inscriptions of the reverse closely. See anything off? At the 1 o'clock position, the word "Centennial" is spelled with just one "N" - "CENTENIAL". Keck had to be creative with his kerning of the fonts to fit all the desired words on the medal (note the multiple overlapping letters), so I'm not absolutely sure it was a mistake. It might have been done intentionally to save space. Many folks that I've shown the medal to didn't even notice the misspelling until it was pointed out to them! Maybe Keck hoped for such an oversight?


1927 Founding of New York State Government Medal



To check out another 1927 commemorative medal created by Charles Keck, check out:

- 1927 Battle of Bennington-Vermont Independence Sesquicentennial


For other or my posts about commemorative coins and medals, check out: Commems Collection.



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
02/13/2022 08:23 am
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 Posted 02/13/2022  12:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good read as always.
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 Posted 02/13/2022  2:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add macmercury to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting, especially how the reverse text lettering.

I was wondering when did we abbreviate states, so New York can be fitted as NY, like Kingston NY, even though the text are kern to overlap, it doesn't over power the focus of the central design. I wish the designers today can utilize text into art form like we had yesteryear as in this example.

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 Posted 02/13/2022  3:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I was wondering when did we abbreviate states, so New York can be fitted as NY, like Kingston NY

The US Post Office published its first list of state and territory abbreviations in 1831; New York was abbreviated as "N.Y." on the list. The periods were officially dropped in state abbreviations by the Post Office in 1963 as a space savings measure to benefit mailing labels, but were omitted in some instances prior to the official drop - this medal is an example of such an instance.




Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
02/13/2022 3:36 pm
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 Posted 02/13/2022  4:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add macmercury to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks commems, you're the living history encyclopedia @CCF!

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