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George Soley Medals

ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 24, 2020 5:11AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I'm a big fan of George Bache Soley given that he worked at the Mint, had a side business with William and Charles Barber, and owned the first US Mint steam coining press after it was decomissioned.

Here are two new pick ups from Soley. The first is a store card is from the Pennsylvania Cabinet. I have never seen this piece before and haven’t been able to find any other specimens. The second is an uncommonly nice specimen of his 1882 William Penn Lord's Prayer medallette.


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Comments

  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 18,638 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice. Soley did the reductions of Barber's models, and struck the medals. Mint correspondence indicates that he built his own portable reducing machine.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 23, 2019 2:09AM

    @RogerB said:
    Nice. Soley did the reductions of Barber's models, and struck the medals. Mint correspondence indicates that he built his own portable reducing machine.

    Good info! Looks like Charles Barber would have done the models on both of the above given that the Penn piece is dated 1882, the Grant piece is typically seen with the Grant Born / Died 1885 medal and William Barber passed away in 1879.

  • RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,881 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 23, 2019 6:40AM

    We have no meaningful information about which designs or pieces of designs were made by William or son Charles. Both contributed to some well known medals such as that for Smithsonian Director Joseph Henry.

    It was common practice both commercially and institutionally, to reuse older portraits and designs with updated elements or dates. George Morgan produces several medal in England that were not dated and struck until well after he emigrated to America.

    (William Barber died Sept 1, 1879. He had been swimming in the ocean at Atlantic City, NJ., swallowed a lot of water, caught pneumonia and died within 3 days.)

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RogerB said:
    We have no meaningful information about which designs or pieces of designs were made by William or son Charles. Both contributed to some well known medals such as that for Smithsonian Director Joseph Henry.

    It was common practice both commercially and institutionally, to reuse older portraits and designs with updated elements or dates. George Morgan produces several medal in England that were not dated and struck until well after he emigrated to America.

    (William Barber died Sept 1, 1879. He had been swimming in the ocean at Atlantic City, NJ., swallowed a lot of water, caught pneumonia and died within 3 days.)

    Ah, a bit unfortunate but good to know. Even though there may have been no use for the Grant or Penn obverse models before 1879 and 1885, they could have been created earlier.

  • RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Grant might have been made just after he was elected President, while W Barber and Longacre were working on portraits. William Penn, frankly, looks a bit bedraggled and he might have been a very quick-and-dirty job for a token.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do we know if George’s wife, Madeleine M. Soley, retained and donated any of the Barber medals like she donated the coining press to the Franklin Institute?

    They didn’t have any surviving children to pass things on to as their only child, Madeleine A. Soley, passed away at just 4-5 years of age.

  • rickoricko Posts: 77,732 ✭✭✭✭✭

    While I am not a collector of these old tokens/medals, they are interesting. I am surprised that so many survive since they were not highly valued unless of precious metals, presented to dignitaries or of extremely low numbers... Cheers, RickO

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 14, 2020 10:51PM

    1889 Brooklyn Bridge medalet by George Bache Soley. Musante GW-1086, Douglas-9A.

    This is another Soley medal that I picked up. These medals are common but they are usually dull and holed so I was happy to pick up this flashy specimen. It's nice that his name is on the reverse.

  • GoldenEggGoldenEgg Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭✭

    That piece is much better than most of that type for sure. Kind of makes you wish he had signed more of his pieces.... even those tiny 13mm ones!

  • Here's a couple of Medals from my collection. These two are the big ones, the Grant Death Medal and So Called Dollar HK-71, the SCD is fairly rare, has a few dings but still nice.! :)

  • I have a couple of Tokens that I need ID help on as I don't know if Soley made these or not. I think he made them both but I could be wrong on both counts. Anyone know?

  • CoinosaurusCoinosaurus Posts: 9,325 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Soley owned the first steam press of the U.S. Mint (after it was decommissioned) and is best known for the Lord's Prayer medalets that were sold to U.S. Mint visitors. However, these might actually have been manufactured by Scovill. I don't believe a definitive list of Soley creations exists.

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    Yes, there's not a list for Soley at all, that's why I'm looking for help. I have created an album of Soley Tokens over on Cointalk website if you're ever in the area! Anyone is invited to check out my collection! Also, here's another pic of a Medal that I need ID help with! Hopefully someone who knows about all the die sinkers in Philly in the late 1800's stops by and can comment on this medal and the two above. The one below measures 23.7mm on my caliper, made of copper. I think it was made by Lingg & Bro Jewelers but my thinking isn't worth much sometimes!! :D

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2020 10:14PM

    @Coinosaurus said:
    Soley owned the first steam press of the U.S. Mint (after it was decommissioned) and is best known for the Lord's Prayer medalets that were sold to U.S. Mint visitors. However, these might actually have been manufactured by Scovill. I don't believe a definitive list of Soley creations exists.

    That's a great and very interesting letter! This letter indicates that the US Mint struck the Lord's Prayer pieces themselves so they would be U.S. Mint products before 1892. Also, if Scovill did do these for the Mint on/after 1892, those would still be Mint products, albeit struck outside the Mint.

    Combining this May 12, 1892 letter with the December 11, 1894 New York Times article below, it may be that the Mint was selling Lord's Prayer medalettes in the Mint shop, and Scovill heard about this prompting the 1892 letter. However, by 1894 it seems that the Mint was selling Lord's Prayer medalettes made by George B. Soley and not Scovill.

    Here's the transcribed letter for easier reading.

    It's signed by Theophilus R Hyde Jr. His full name may be Theophilus Rogers Hyde Jr.

    May 12, 1892

    O. C. Bosbyshell, Supt.

    U.S.Mint, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Deaer Sir,--Can you send us one set of silver, nickel, and bronze proof coin of the issue of 1892. If so, please do so with bill.

    We have a call for an aluminum medal on which is to be shown, in a circle o about 5/15" diam. the Lord's Prayer. We are told that you have done such work and desire to know if you can do it for us and if so, at what price. Also, assuming that you can do it, would you like ot have us send the die for your engineer to put on the lettering, or can you give us a hub, taken from some die already made, which our die sinker can use?

    Please advise us.

    Yours truly,

    Scovill Mfg. Co.

    T. R. Hyde Jr.

    This may be his Geni page:

    https://www.geni.com/people/Theophilus-Hyde/6000000003204880372

    Here's the December 11, 1894 New York Times article stating Lord's Prayer pieces sold by the Philadelphia Mint were done by Soley. The article was posted to E-Sylum by Dick Johnson.

    RESEARCH ON GEORGE SOLEY UNCOVERS SECRET SERVICE BANNING OF U.S. MINT BOOK

    https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v11n44a11.html

    SALE OF SOUVENIRS STOPPED

    Result of a Secret Service Officer's Visit to the Philadelphia Mint

    PHILADELPHIA, Deec. 11. - William J. McManus, secret-service officer in charge of this city for the National Government, this morning stopped thee manufacture and sale of a small medal which has been on sale at the mint. The medal, which is the size and about the color of a gold dollar, has the face and bust of Washington in relief on the front with the words, "God and Our Country." On the back is the Lord's Prayer, in letters so fine that a magnifying glass is needed to read it. These medals have beene manufactured by George B. Soley, an employee of the mint, and sold to visitors as souvenirs. They have not been made in the mint. The die used, however, is one made for the Government and purchased by Soley for the purpose.

    Mr. McManus has also stopped the sale in the mint of the "History of the Philadelphia Mint," a publication issued and also sold, as a souvenir to visitors. The step was taken because of the printing in the book of facsimiles of all the coins of the United States. No seizure of the books has, however, been made, pending a decision from Washington.

    Here's my "God and Our Country" Washington Lord's Prayer medal in silver by Soley. It's the only one I've ever seen in silver.

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    Nice, I have one as well but not in Silver, that's quite rare! Here's a pic of the book the Secret Service ad is talking about as well! :)

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    Wow! You've been able to pick up some very impressive Tokens there @Zoins, love the one up top! Very impressive, good on you!

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 19, 2020 3:26PM

    @fretboard said:
    Yes, there's not a list for Soley at all, that's why I'm looking for help. I have created an album of Soley Tokens over on Cointalk website if you're ever in the area! Anyone is invited to check out my collection!

    I would love to see it! Can you paste a link to your album?

    @fretboard said:
    Wow! You've been able to pick up some very impressive Tokens there @Zoins, love the one up top! Very impressive, good on you!

    Thanks for the compliments! You have some nice medals as well and that book is great! I still need to get the Grant Death Medal and So Called Dollar HK-71 myself. The HK-71 and similar 1876 Centennial medals seem fairly rare to come across!

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    I would love to see it! Can you paste a link to your album?

    Thanks for the compliments! You have some nice medals as well and that book is great! I still need to get the Grant Death Medal and So Called Dollar HK-71 myself. The HK-71 and similar 1876 Centennial medals seem fairly rare to come across!

    Yes, the HK-71 is fairly rare in fact it's the rarest and the only HK I have! Below is a link to my album, I actually just finished it a couple of days ago, well it's finished for right now but I hope to add more to it if I can! I also have two other albums on CT, don't know if you'd be interested in looking at them, but feel free! :) Oh, you'll probably have to register on CT if you're not a member yet but anyone can look at the albums once you've past the main page!

    https://www.cointalk.com/media/albums/george-soley.1832/

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    I just found out that one of the Medals that I have in my collection and minted by Soley was actually a shared project with George Hampden Lovett. Apparently on the Yale website it says that Lovett designed the obverse of the design and Soley was responsible for the reverse design. Great news for me to learn about! Unfortunately, I gotta take tid bits here and tid bits there as that's all I have! :D I've included the obverse of HK-71 for comparison as Soley himself is credited for HK-71 and you can definitely see a difference with the Lovett bust of George and the Soley bust of George! :)

    https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/107776

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting @fretboard!

    Here's the page for those that won't click through.

    I wonder what the following means:

    After: Jean-Antoine Houdon, French, 1741–1828

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Very interesting @fretboard!

    Here's the page for those that won't click through.

    I wonder what the following means:

    After: Jean-Antoine Houdon, French, 1741–1828

    Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, I think it just means that after Houdon made a statue of George Washington the Medal was made. Why does it even state that, I can only think that the Yale website has information for both. That said, it's really a just guess on my part. :D

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_(Houdon)

  • tokenprotokenpro Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    "After" in artistic / medallic terms simply means a copy or copied from, in this case Soley copied the famous Houdan bust of Washington -- at least in the eyes of the Yale curator.

    It does not mean false or fake as no attempt is made to hide the identity of the current artist or to claim that the portrait is the work of Houdan. Most later 19th Century die sinkers had to rely on paintings, sculptures or earlier medals to create their own image of a famous person. Some recreated the previous image as close as possible while others added their own "artistic interpretation".

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tokenpro said:
    "After" in artistic / medallic terms simply means a copy or copied from, in this case Soley copied the famous Houdan bust of Washington -- at least in the eyes of the Yale curator.

    It does not mean false or fake as no attempt is made to hide the identity of the current artist or to claim that the portrait is the work of Houdan. Most later 19th Century die sinkers had to rely on paintings, sculptures or earlier medals to create their own image of a famous person. Some recreated the previous image as close as possible while others added their own "artistic interpretation".

    Good info :+1:

    Here, Yale thought Lovett did the obverse and copied Houdan, while Soley did the reverse.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 23, 2020 1:55AM

    I recently picked up the following George Soley 1892 American Railway Supply Medalettes from Tim Gabriel:


    It's listed in Rulau 4th edition but not attributed to Soley:

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 4,340 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the morning knowledge with my coffee. I've got a "Two cities as one" Brooklyn bridge medal in tin dated 1883 when it was called the East River bridge. Have a good day. Peace Roy

  • Yeah, those American Railway Medalettes are really cool and very rare as well, nice! There was recently one for sale on ebay, link is below. Sold for $141.50, I was truly surprised! :D Here's another patriotic Token of President Cleveland, I don't know if it's rare or not but it's signed and that's always a plus especially since there's not a list of Soley's designs. B)

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1892-Columbian-Worlds-Fair-Compliments-of-American-Railway-Supply-co-NYC-Token-/373194971149?nma=true&si=kkhOiIm2%2BzpJXs0q1lD%2BOr8KWcY%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Very interesting @fretboard!

    Here's the page for those that won't click through.

    I wonder what the following means:

    After: Jean-Antoine Houdon, French, 1741–1828

    I happened across page 153 of the History of the US Mint book I took a pic of that book above. Apparently all engravers were going off of the bust designed by Houdon as it had the best likeness to George Washington at the time. Also, I took pics above that show Soley's Washington Medal HK-71 and George Lovett's design and I can see a difference, I don't know if anyone else can tell but Lovett's looks way more defined to me. Here's a pic of the page I'm talking about in the book! :)

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    Here's a couple of pics of George Soley's 13mm Tokens or Prayer Tokens as some people call them. These three are double sided which is fairly rare and the only double sided ones in my collection. :) I thought I had more but once again, I was wrong! :D

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 27, 2020 11:05PM

    @fretboard said:
    Yeah, those American Railway Medalettes are really cool and very rare as well, nice! There was recently one for sale on ebay, link is below. Sold for $141.50, I was truly surprised!

    The one on eBay looks like it's gilt. They are rare but a few of them have shown up on the bay and at other places over the years. They are almost never attributed to Soley and I wonder if they would go for more if they were.

    @fretboard said:
    Here's a couple of pics of George Soley's 13mm Tokens or Prayer Tokens as some people call them. These three are double sided which is fairly rare and the only double sided ones in my collection. :) I thought I had more but once again, I was wrong! :D

    You really have some great tokens @fretboard! It's not easy finding all these Soley pieces. I love the Grant tomb piece!

    I'm assuming by "double sided" you means ones that don't have a prayer side? I probably wouldn't really call them Prayer tokens as there is no prayer on those and they don't really look like mules as it looks like the dies were intended to be paired that way.

    Here are some more of my single sided Lord's Prayer Tokens. I have some double sided ones but need to dig them out.

    1901 Pan American Exposition Electric Tower Lord's Prayer Medalette - Silver - George Bache Soley

    1893 Trenton Battle Monument (George Washington) Lord's Prayer Medalette - George Bache Soley

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said: Yeah you're right, the three I posted above aren't considered Prayer Tokens at all because they don't have the Prayer on the reverse. I have other's and I'll post more pics within a couple of days. I had to do some research on that 1889 Brooklyn Bridge Token where the curator at Yale University said the obverse was engraved by George H. Lovett. Stuff like that bugs the crap out of me as I've never heard it before. Anyways, I emailed the guy who has the Lovett Tokens and Medals website about it for his opinion. He said he thinks it's a bad call by Yale, I gotta know stuff like that as I hate spreading misinformation, the subject matter is difficult enough as it is and when I'm wrong about something, that's a downer for me! Back to the pics you posted above, I have one of the Electric Tower Lord's Prayer Medalettes but the 1893 Trenton Battle Monument Medalette is a very rare one, that I didn't even know about! Besides that, yours haven't been holed, that's a plus! Nice! :D

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 1, 2020 4:05AM

    @fretboard said:
    @Zoins said: Yeah you're right, the three I posted above aren't considered Prayer Tokens at all because they don't have the Prayer on the reverse. I have other's and I'll post more pics within a couple of days.

    No worries. It's just nice to classify his pieces as Prayer tokens and non-prayer tokens. I think the non-prayer ones are quite interesting and can be challenging to find!

    I had to do some research on that 1889 Brooklyn Bridge Token where the curator at Yale University said the obverse was engraved by George H. Lovett. Stuff like that bugs the crap out of me as I've never heard it before. Anyways, I emailed the guy who has the Lovett Tokens and Medals website about it for his opinion. He said he thinks it's a bad call by Yale, I gotta know stuff like that as I hate spreading misinformation, the subject matter is difficult enough as it is and when I'm wrong about something, that's a downer for me!

    Good to know. Let me kow how it works out. I wonder how it compares to other busts of Washington by Lovett and Soley.

    Back to the pics you posted above, I have one of the Electric Tower Lord's Prayer Medalettes but the 1893 Trenton Battle Monument Medalette is a very rare one, that I didn't even know about! Besides that, yours haven't been holed, that's a plus! Nice! :D

    Do you have an Electric Tower in brass or silver? I also have a couple of the brass but the silver is the only one I've ever run across. If you have one, that would be the 2nd!

    The Trenton Battle Monument piece is rare but not unheard of. Here's one posted on CoinPeople.com.

    And I do have a bunch of holed pieces too. They are kind of hard to avoid with Soley's pieces!

    https://www.coinpeople.com/topic/16787-battle-of-trenton-monument/

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins No silver at all, in fact you have some of the rarest ones I've ever come across. Do you live in the Philadelphia area? I ask because you've been very lucky in putting together your collection! :D Here's a couple of my Prayer Tokens, some are rare and some, not so much!





  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    Here's a pic of a Medal that I think George Soley made for a couple of different reasons. One, because I once read it was his Medal and Washington, Lincoln and Grant were his favorite Presidents, size is 25.5mm. I read that on Worthpoint, which by itself means nothing at all. :D Incidentally, there are at least three different versions of this Presidents Medal, two are with Columbus different designs and supposedly those two were made for the Columbian World's Fair in 1892-93. Still, I don't have definite proof that he minted this 1897 Medal but it will stay with my collection until I get definite proof. The last reason I think it's his is because of the little 13mm 1897 Grant Token pictured below the Presidents Medal. Anyone have any thoughts?




  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    Here's more Prayer Tokens, I'll just show one side to save room! ;) I hope to visit Philadelphia some day as I think if I was there I could visit a bunch of coin shops as well as antique and thrift shops and find all kinds of great medals and tokens, not only by Soley but all kinds of die sinkers! :D After all, the cream of the crop as far as die sinkers were right there making some of the greatest pictorials ever made. That said, I'm over 65 now and with this Covid-19 causing a pandemic, I think I'll leave the hunting to you youngsters!! :D











  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    Oh my, looks like I posted a couple of doubles above, must have been a senior moment! :D Here's a couple of more 1877 Tokens struck in Philadelphia, size is approximately 18.5mm.




  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 4, 2020 6:18AM

    I agree it would be great to collect in Philadelphia. I love the city but unfortunately don't live there. I imagine a lot of treasures could be found by those who do! I loved the Pennsylvania Cabinet token sale a while back. That sale really brought the city alive for me with all the merchant tokens.

    You have an amazing set of pieces @fretboard! Thanks for sharing them! Have you thought about putting together a Soley catalog? :)

    Your 1877 First Steam Coining Press piece is nice. I love to image what it would have been like to be at the expo. I still need a 1877 but here's my 1876. I love how the "6" is crooked on this which I've seen on other pieces as well.

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    I agree it would be great to collect in Philadelphia. I love the city but unfortunately don't live there. I imagine a lot of treasures could be found by those who do! I loved the Pennsylvania Cabinet token sale a while back. That sale really brought the city alive for me with all the merchant tokens.

    You have an amazing set of pieces @fretboard! Thanks for sharing them! Have you thought about putting together a Soley catalog? :)

    Your 1877 First Steam Coining Press piece is nice. I love to image what it would have been like to be at the expo. I still need a 1877 but here's my 1876. I love how the "6" is crooked on this which I've seen on other pieces as well.

    Yeah your 1876 is killer and extremely rare! :D That's an amazing piece as I've never come across another 1876 so I'm thinking yours is extremely rare. Have you ever come across another 1876 like yours? I'm just curious as to how rare it is? On a separate note below is pic of Robert Lovett Jr's Storecard Token, it's not mine I took the pic off of ebay. Apparently he lived down the street from George Soley. That's amazing what a small world it was back then. As far as putting together a catalog, I'd love to have my pieces placed somewhere but I'm not a very organized person at all so it wouldn't be done by me! :D

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 8, 2020 4:05AM

    @fretboard said:

    @Zoins said:
    I agree it would be great to collect in Philadelphia. I love the city but unfortunately don't live there. I imagine a lot of treasures could be found by those who do! I loved the Pennsylvania Cabinet token sale a while back. That sale really brought the city alive for me with all the merchant tokens.

    You have an amazing set of pieces @fretboard! Thanks for sharing them! Have you thought about putting together a Soley catalog? :)

    Your 1877 First Steam Coining Press piece is nice. I love to image what it would have been like to be at the expo. I still need a 1877 but here's my 1876. I love how the "6" is crooked on this which I've seen on other pieces as well.

    Yeah your 1876 is killer and extremely rare! :D That's an amazing piece as I've never come across another 1876 so I'm thinking yours is extremely rare. Have you ever come across another 1876 like yours? I'm just curious as to how rare it is? On a separate note below is pic of Robert Lovett Jr's Storecard Token, it's not mine I took the pic off of ebay. Apparently he lived down the street from George Soley. That's amazing what a small world it was back then. As far as putting together a catalog, I'd love to have my pieces placed somewhere but I'm not a very organized person at all so it wouldn't be done by me! :disappointed:

    Thanks! I think I've seen one other 1876. I don't own it but it's out there. It's also silver so pretty rare.

    I'm a big fan of the Centennial Advertising Medal Company token. Are you sure it's from Lovett? It clearly has the initials "LR" under Washington's bust and the following description indicates LR stands for "Louis Roloff".

    bricksntokens wrote on eBay:

    The Centennial Advertising Medal Company struck tokens for merchants around the period of the 1876 Centennial Fair which is when this token was produced. The reverse die, engraved by New York City token maker Louis Roloff and whose initials appear on the die, had previously been used to strike store card tokens during the Civil War. The different varieties of this die combination were not listed in the 3rd edition store card book, but were listed in the 2nd edition store card book. Two brass varieties were listed, the normal variety having a R-6 rarity and a second variety described as having a trial flan and having a R-8 rarity. This token is the variety described as having a trial flan. There are edge extensions on both the top and bottom edges of the token that are difficult to see with the token housed in a slab.

    Here are some photos of the Pennsylvania Cabinet Specimen from refacesupply on eBay. This one has some edge damage which shows up on quite a few of these. I'm no sure what caused it yet but find it intriguing because it appears on quite a few of them.

  • GoldenEggGoldenEgg Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @fretboard said:

    @Zoins said:
    I agree it would be great to collect in Philadelphia. I love the city but unfortunately don't live there. I imagine a lot of treasures could be found by those who do! I loved the Pennsylvania Cabinet token sale a while back. That sale really brought the city alive for me with all the merchant tokens.

    You have an amazing set of pieces @fretboard! Thanks for sharing them! Have you thought about putting together a Soley catalog? :)

    Your 1877 First Steam Coining Press piece is nice. I love to image what it would have been like to be at the expo. I still need a 1877 but here's my 1876. I love how the "6" is crooked on this which I've seen on other pieces as well.

    Yeah your 1876 is killer and extremely rare! :D That's an amazing piece as I've never come across another 1876 so I'm thinking yours is extremely rare. Have you ever come across another 1876 like yours? I'm just curious as to how rare it is? On a separate note below is pic of Robert Lovett Jr's Storecard Token, it's not mine I took the pic off of ebay. Apparently he lived down the street from George Soley. That's amazing what a small world it was back then. As far as putting together a catalog, I'd love to have my pieces placed somewhere but I'm not a very organized person at all so it wouldn't be done by me! :disappointed:

    Thanks! I think I've seen one other 1876. I don't own it but it's out there. It's also silver so pretty rare.

    I'm a big fan of the Centennial Advertising Medal Company token. Are you sure it's from Lovett? It clearly has the initials "LR" under Washington's bust and the following description indicates LR stands for "Louis Roloff".

    bricksntokens wrote on eBay:

    The Centennial Advertising Medal Company struck tokens for merchants around the period of the 1876 Centennial Fair which is when this token was produced. The reverse die, engraved by New York City token maker Louis Roloff and whose initials appear on the die, had previously been used to strike store card tokens during the Civil War. The different varieties of this die combination were not listed in the 3rd edition store card book, but were listed in the 2nd edition store card book. Two brass varieties were listed, the normal variety having a R-6 rarity and a second variety described as having a trial flan and having a R-8 rarity. This token is the variety described as having a trial flan. There are edge extensions on both the top and bottom edges of the token that are difficult to see with the token housed in a slab.

    Here are some photos of the Pennsylvania Cabinet Specimen from refacesupply on eBay. This one has some edge damage which shows up on quite a few of these. I'm no sure what caused it yet but find it intriguing because it appears on quite a few of them.

    Not damage - a broken collar. One reason that I find this type particularly interesting!

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GoldenEgg said:

    @Zoins said:

    @fretboard said:

    @Zoins said:
    I agree it would be great to collect in Philadelphia. I love the city but unfortunately don't live there. I imagine a lot of treasures could be found by those who do! I loved the Pennsylvania Cabinet token sale a while back. That sale really brought the city alive for me with all the merchant tokens.

    You have an amazing set of pieces @fretboard! Thanks for sharing them! Have you thought about putting together a Soley catalog? :)

    Your 1877 First Steam Coining Press piece is nice. I love to image what it would have been like to be at the expo. I still need a 1877 but here's my 1876. I love how the "6" is crooked on this which I've seen on other pieces as well.

    Yeah your 1876 is killer and extremely rare! :D That's an amazing piece as I've never come across another 1876 so I'm thinking yours is extremely rare. Have you ever come across another 1876 like yours? I'm just curious as to how rare it is? On a separate note below is pic of Robert Lovett Jr's Storecard Token, it's not mine I took the pic off of ebay. Apparently he lived down the street from George Soley. That's amazing what a small world it was back then. As far as putting together a catalog, I'd love to have my pieces placed somewhere but I'm not a very organized person at all so it wouldn't be done by me! :disappointed:

    Thanks! I think I've seen one other 1876. I don't own it but it's out there. It's also silver so pretty rare.

    I'm a big fan of the Centennial Advertising Medal Company token. Are you sure it's from Lovett? It clearly has the initials "LR" under Washington's bust and the following description indicates LR stands for "Louis Roloff".

    bricksntokens wrote on eBay:

    The Centennial Advertising Medal Company struck tokens for merchants around the period of the 1876 Centennial Fair which is when this token was produced. The reverse die, engraved by New York City token maker Louis Roloff and whose initials appear on the die, had previously been used to strike store card tokens during the Civil War. The different varieties of this die combination were not listed in the 3rd edition store card book, but were listed in the 2nd edition store card book. Two brass varieties were listed, the normal variety having a R-6 rarity and a second variety described as having a trial flan and having a R-8 rarity. This token is the variety described as having a trial flan. There are edge extensions on both the top and bottom edges of the token that are difficult to see with the token housed in a slab.

    Here are some photos of the Pennsylvania Cabinet Specimen from refacesupply on eBay. This one has some edge damage which shows up on quite a few of these. I'm no sure what caused it yet but find it intriguing because it appears on quite a few of them.

    Not damage - a broken collar. One reason that I find this type particularly interesting!

    Good to know. It's damage to something, even if the collar ;)

    It's definitely not on the particular piece because I've seen several specimens with the same issue.

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    I agree it would be great to collect in Philadelphia. I love the city but unfortunately don't live there. I imagine a lot of treasures could be found by those who do! I loved the Pennsylvania Cabinet token sale a while back. That sale really brought the city alive for me with all the merchant tokens.

    I'm a big fan of the Centennial Advertising Medal Company token. Are you sure it's from Lovett? It clearly has the initials "LR" under Washington's bust and the following description indicates LR stands for "Louis Roloff".

    Great to get educated on this subject, great "Louis Roloff", yep and I've seen his name on CWT as well! Still a small world in Philadelphia! Hey @GoldenEgg good to see someone else in on this thread! :) I have a tiny, 3 Tokens and I'm not sure who made these but I was told Soley made the side with 3 Presidents on it. I'll show all three even tho' I've already shown one. The last two pics are not my Token, it's just a pic from the bay. Anyone know anything about these 3?? I bought all three even tho' I think two of them may not be Soley but I know for sure the one dated 1897 is his and the 3 Presidents sides are his, at least that's what me thinks!! :D





  • GoldenEggGoldenEgg Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 10, 2020 12:48PM

    Attributing medals to George Soley is a tough task, because records are limited and or inaccessible. That forces us to rely on the medals (or medaletes) themselves to match the style, design, composition, and size to other known Soley pieces. Some of his work is signed giving us some clues.

    The 13mm Lord’s Prayer Medaletes have long been attributed to Soley. While there are other similarly sized Lord’s Prayer designs out there, Soley’s have a specific appearance which typically make his stand out among others. Many of the obverse designs paired with his reverse Lord’s Prayer engravings were also used on larger 25mm medals. We can reasonably conclude that these larger medals were engraved by him (or Barber, or Morgan) and struck by him. Both of those Columbus medals above are examples.

    Some are difficult to tell. For example, many small Lord’s Prayer medaletes were produced by Schwaab out of Milwaukee. For the most part, I would say that if you can find another example in a bronze encasing, it is not a Soley piece. Also generally the Schwaab pieces are brass, the Lord’s prayer engraving isn’t as good, and theirs are thinner. However there are a few medaletes that do appear in bronze casings that still might be Soley’s.

    Below are two examples. On the left is one produced by Schwaab, as indicated by the makers mark on the reverse of the encasing. On the right is one that might be Soley’s for a few reasons: 1) the casing does not have Schwaab’s mark. 2) The style closely resemble Soley’s, especially the reverse Lord’s Prayer engraving. 3) The center piece is gilt, not brass.

    Soley’s medals often were holed and included a ribbon or pin, so it’s not unlikely that a few may have been encased as well.

    Another note is that there were many, in Philadelphia and elsewhere, manufacturing similar looking medals in this period, so it may be difficult to distinguish been Soley’s work and that of others, not just Schwaabs (which were actually mostly produced after Soley’s death). And as Roger points out above, Soley may have been using the models of Barber, and from the evidence I’ve seen, Morgan too.

    Some of my favorites of Soley’s are the ones of Mint Officials. Below is the only example I have handy to take a photo of, but I also have a Daniel Fox as well. It is the 13mm version, not the 25mm version, both of which were copied from George Morgan’s 76mm medal.


  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @GoldenEgg said:
    Attributing medals to George Soley is a tough task, because records are limited and or inaccessible. That forces us to rely on the medals (or medaletes) themselves to match the style, design, composition, and size to other known Soley pieces. Some of his work is signed giving us some clues.

    Another note is that there were many, in Philadelphia and elsewhere, manufacturing similar looking medals in this period, so it may be difficult to distinguish been Soley’s work and that of others, not just Schwaabs (which were actually mostly produced after Soley’s death). And as Roger points out above, Soley may have been using the models of Barber, and from the evidence I’ve seen, Morgan too.

    Yep, that's all the truth and adds to the frustration of collecting Soley pieces. I don't know how many times I've said to myself that I was gonna stop collecting his pieces but then I would locate a signed piece and that would make everything good for me for awhile. Yeah, years ago I thought all the medals with the "Our Father" prayer on them were Soley's. Unfortunately I now have a small collection of Schwaabs! :D On a separate note, I just bought a Robert Lovett Jr. Medal. It kinda happened by accident as I saw it on ebay listed as a BIN for $9.99 so I bought it! It's a huge one, made of white metal measures across at 39.7mm on my caliper and 3.2mm thick and on the trunk is RL. It was delivered today but this will be my only Lovett piece as they're way too pricey for me! :)



  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 11, 2020 3:36AM

    @GoldenEgg said:
    Attributing medals to George Soley is a tough task, because records are limited and or inaccessible. That forces us to rely on the medals (or medaletes) themselves to match the style, design, composition, and size to other known Soley pieces. Some of his work is signed giving us some clues.

    That's the agony and the ecstasy of collecting Soley's work. It's fun because you're finding something new from a major die sinker, but also time consuming because he has a lot of work.

    The 13mm Lord’s Prayer Medaletes have long been attributed to Soley. While there are other similarly sized Lord’s Prayer designs out there, Soley’s have a specific appearance which typically make his stand out among others. Many of the obverse designs paired with his reverse Lord’s Prayer engravings were also used on larger 25mm medals. We can reasonably conclude that these larger medals were engraved by him (or Barber, or Morgan) and struck by him.

    In addition to the Schwaab casings, size and style are important as some have been attributed to other notable die sinkers. Very good example with photos.

    Some of my favorites of Soley’s are the ones of Mint Officials. Below is the only example I have handy to take a photo of, but I also have a Daniel Fox as well. It is the 13mm version, not the 25mm version, both of which were copied from George Morgan’s 76mm medal.

    Nice one. I've been looking at this for some time and having the 13mm type attributed to Soley makes a lot of sense.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 11, 2020 3:36AM

    @fretboard said:
    Yeah, those American Railway Medalettes are really cool and very rare as well, nice! There was recently one for sale on ebay, link is below. Sold for $141.50, I was truly surprised! :D

    That's actually lower than what I've seen for other specimens, but that may be due to the condition. There's a strong overlap with Columbian expo collectors for these. These tend to sell for more in good condition. There are auction records on Heritage, Stack's and Goldbergs for these.

    In addition to the two from Tim Gabriel above, I have a set of 3 from Columbian Expo expert Tom Hoffman @tmot99 which went to award-winning collector Howard Hornreich before coming to me.

  • tmot99tmot99 Posts: 5,241 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins I'm glad they went to a good home!

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 11, 2020 3:56AM

    @tmot99 said:
    @Zoins I'm glad they went to a good home!

    Thanks! They are beautiful pieces!

    Here's another one of your pieces I was able to pick up which I still need to get better photos of.

    I really appreciate your provenance and eye for assembling your collection. It's great to be the next steward of these.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 23,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 11, 2020 3:38PM

    @fretboard Great "Father - Saviour - Defender" pieces! I'm a big fan of those but can't help yet as I'm still getting up to speed on those myself. @GoldenEgg's information on Soley making miniatures of medals by Morgan and Barber is really interesting. Sometimes the smaller medals will be attributed to Morgan or Barber with no mention of Soley!

    I did run across this one from "TNG" on CoinCommunity.com which is nice because it includes the sash.

    https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=301479&whichpage=193

  • fretboardfretboard Posts: 66 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    @fretboard Great "Father - Saviour - Defender" pieces! I'm a big fan of those but can't help yet as I'm still getting up to speed on those myself. @GoldenEgg's information on Soley making miniatures of medals by Morgan and Barber is really interesting. Sometimes the smaller medals will be attributed to Morgan or Barber with no mention of Soley!

    I did run across this one from "TNG" on CoinCommunity.com which is nice because it includes the sash.

    Yeah I actually heard information similar to what @GoldenEgg stated somewhere else. Information like that adds to the mystique and frustration as well! :D Here's a similar one but different to the one you posted, it's actually the only Brass Medal I have in the 25.5mm size. Mine is so nice in hand it looks like gold, wish it was but it's not as the weight isn't there at all. I just found out today that the maker of many of these Columbian World's Fair Medals are in Nathan Eglit's book Columbiana, damn book cost $150 so I'll wait until I come up with an option. Here's my Brass Columbus with a different reverse than yours!




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