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BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 30,497 ✭✭✭✭✭

So I broke a self-implied rule with this new purchase as it's something I never thought I would ever buy. All my collecting life I've stayed away from any engraved award medals since most all seen are dogs which have seen a variety of abuse. Usually when encountered they have been extremely mishandled showing a multitude of molestations such as heavy hairlines from cleaning, rim dings, etc. This is the exception as I have never seen any like this a superb proof like gem with lovely patina which doesn't even have a fingerprint. Along with really liking the obverse design it just instantly spoke to me and made my wallet wiggle.

Enjoy! :)

1885 San Francisco "Mechanics Institute" Award Medal, Silver, 49mm Diameter

More info:

UNITED STATES. San Francisco, California. Mechanics' Institute silver Award Medal. Engraved and awarded to Weed & Kingwell in 1885. (49mm, 43.50 g, 12h). By A. Kuner.

MECHANIC'S' INSTITUTE, Columbia standing facing upon base featuring "MI" (Mechanics' Institute) monogram; she presents laurel crown to personifications of industry—with hammer, anvil, gear, and compass—and of agriculture—with plow, sickle, bushel, grapes, palette, and harp; in background, locomotive crossing stone bridge and steamship sailing in the bay; SAN FRANCISCO in exergue / INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION / AWARDED TO, Weed & Kingwell / "Best Plumbers Goods" elaborately engraved in two lines; decorative scroll work above and below; all within laurel wreath; 1885 in cartouche in exergue. Edge: Plain.

Gem Mint State. Extremely brilliant and prooflike, with very colorful toning throughout. A popular series and very rare when encountered this attractive and problem free.

The Mechanics’ Institute in San Francisco was originally established as a vocational school for unemployed miners in 1854, just a few years after the gold rush and California statehood. Without the presence of facilities such as universities and public libraries, it served as one of the only sources by which one could attain a more advanced education in a trade. In this role, the institute was instrumental in the formation of the University of California in 1868, along with its eventual public university system. The institute is still extant, though now mostly acts in a different role, housing a vast library as well as serving as a cultural center and as a home to the oldest continually operating chess club in the United States.

No stranger to technical prizes at industrial shows, the California Brass Works—with Joseph H. Weed and Vincent Kingwell as proprietors—was established in 1851 by Gallagher & Weed and recognized as one of the leading firms in this branch of trade. Located at 125 1st Street in San Francisco, their operation is summarized by this print advertisement from the 1883 Strangers’ Guide to San Francisco and Vicinity:

"Manufacturers of all kinds of Brass, Composition, Zinc and Babbit Metal Castings. Church and Steamboat Bells. Also, a full assortment of Steam and Water Cocks and Valves, Hydraulic Pipes, Nozzles and Hose Couplings, etc. Brass Ship Work, Spikes, Sheathing Nails, Rudder Braces, etc. Agents for Siebert’s Eureka Lubricator."

To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!


  • MgarmyMgarmy Posts: 2,296 ✭✭✭✭✭


    100% positive transactions with SurfinxHI, bigole, 1madman, collectorcoins, proofmorgan, Luke Marshall, silver pop, golden egg, point five zero,coin22lover, alohagary, blaircountycoin,joebb21

  • truebloodtrueblood Posts: 609 ✭✭✭✭

    Extremely exquisite, I can understand your exceptional exception

  • CoinJunkieCoinJunkie Posts: 8,772 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice! My cardiologist will be billing you directly. :)

  • bronzematbronzemat Posts: 2,570 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well titled, beautiful B)

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    wow nice award medal,

    with that much auction description, you probably had to pay dearly

  • leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,301 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lots of details on that one.

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is in exceptional condition for that kind of medal. A real find!

    All glory is fleeting.
  • braddickbraddick Posts: 22,525 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Exceptional and worthy of breaking all the rules.


  • joeykoinsjoeykoins Posts: 14,595 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congrats. It certainly is Beautiful. Glad you pulled the trigger. Lol ;)

    "Jesus died for you and for me, Thank you,Jesus"!!!

    --- If it should happen I die and leave this world and you want to remember me. Please only remember my opening Sig Line.
  • SkyManSkyMan Posts: 9,493 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • astroratastrorat Posts: 9,221 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Neat medal.

    Numismatist Ordinaire
    See http://www.doubledimes.com for a free online reference for US twenty-cent pieces
  • SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,060 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, there goes the blood pressure.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 27, 2021 10:49AM

    Congrats on an amazing, and historic medal @Broadstruck!

    That was on my watch list and I noticed it had just sold. It's awesome that you picked it up.

    I've been admiring it for a long time but it's outside of my core collecting areas which have been taking up a lot of budget recently.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm flush with excitement!

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

  • CocoinutCocoinut Posts: 2,491 ✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful medal! To remain in that condition, what do you think is the most likely scenario?

     1. The recipient and his heirs treasured it, and made a conscious effort to preserve it,

    2. It was immediately put into a desk or dresser drawer, and forgotten about for decades.

    Countdown to completion of my Mercury Set: 2 coins. My growing Lincoln Set: Finally completed!
  • anablepanablep Posts: 4,982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Love everything about it! Congrats!!

    Always looking for attractive rim toned Morgan and Peace dollars in PCGS or (older) ANA/ANACS holders!

    "Bongo hurtles along the rain soaked highway of life on underinflated bald retread tires."

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 8,710 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My jaw is dropped, but my heart survived. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece.

    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

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  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,662 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice piece!

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

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  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,750 ✭✭✭✭✭

    History and eye appeal are motivating factors in exonumia! Great pickup

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  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,340 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bronzemat said:
    Well titled, beautiful B)

    Most assuredly A. Kuner should have become Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint somewhere in his career.

    That is a most beautiful creation.


    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice one!

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,393 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I take medication for that. Beautiful medal. Design flourish is great. Now I need to read about A. Kuner. Peace Roy

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  • ThreeCentSilverFLThreeCentSilverFL Posts: 1,655 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very Nice medal.

  • thebeavthebeav Posts: 3,732 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's a beauty !
    Back in 1885, Weed & Kingwell had the goods.....I'll tell you that !

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