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The Second piece I acquired from Heritage DeWitt Auction a Frémont Ferrotype

BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,018 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 27, 2022 7:03AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Here is the second piece I acquired from the DeWitt sale, a John Frémont ferrotype. A ferrotype features an actual photograph of the candidate. They were introduced. in a very small way, in 1856, but saw wide-spread use in 1860. They were printed on a thin sheet of iron which was cut into pieces. The chemicals that were used to produce these photographs were too caustic to use on paper or cardboard.

John C. Frémont was the first Republican presidential candidate in 1856. He was known as a daring explorer (The Pathfinder) and a strong opponent of slavery. (“free soil, free speech, free men and eternal progression.”)

An 1856 Fremont campaign medalet

In 1864 he headed up a third party, the Radical Democracy Party. They were dissatisfied with Lincoln’s performance in office. Lincoln had not moved fast enough against slavery, and he was too slow to push for African-American civil rights. The party also included some Democrats who were not happy with the perception that the members of their party had not prosecuted the war against the Confederacy vigorously enough. The Radical Democracy Party nominated Fremont in late May 1864.

An 1864 Frémont campaign medal (diameter 40 mm) that includes a "tall tale" that Frémont defeated Stonewall Jackson!


The Radical Democracy Party never got very much traction with the voters. By September it was obvious that they could not win. All they could do was drain votes from Lincoln which could throw the win to the Democrats who had nominated Union General, George McClellan. (McClellan was still a general, but Lincoln had put his career in mothballs after he failed to pursue the Confederate Army following the Battle of Antietam.) Fremont withdrew from the race.

An 1864 McClellan campaign token

I was looking to purchase a Frémont ferrotype. The lot before this piece was quite nice, and I was prepared to bid several hundred dollars more than the previous high price for that piece. I was blown out of the water almost immediately as the final bid was more than double my offer.

This piece did not get as many bids because of the dark line to left of Frémont. It was a flaw in the manufacture of the piece, not a post-production defect. This is the piece that was plated in the DeWitt reference book, and it is the only example of this variety that Heritage has sold. I think that it is quite rare.

Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

Comments

  • CuKevinCuKevin Posts: 1,688 ✭✭✭✭

    Very nice ferrotype and history.

    Choice Numismatics www.ChoiceCoin.com

    CN eBay

    All of my collection is in a safe deposit box!
  • BustDMsBustDMs Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for your insightful and informative posts!

    I really appreciate learning something from your contributions. .

    Q: When does a collector become a numismatist?



    A: The year they spend more on their library than their coin collection.



    A numismatist is judged more on the content of their library than the content of their cabinet.
  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,421 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have this unsubstantiated theory that Fremont would have been a prime candidate to receive an 1854-S $5 Lib at the time of issue

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for sharing your story on your finds and the Fremont ferrotypes.
    I enjoy reading posts that attribute some history with the item being displayed.
    Wayne

    Kennedys are my quest...

  • TPRCTPRC Posts: 3,734 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Uber cool! And the ferrotype looks to be in great condition, which I am sure is a big issue.

    Tom

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones.... Thanks for another interesting post with pictures and history. Cheers, RickO

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,018 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TPRC said:
    Uber cool! And the ferrotype looks to be in great condition, which I am sure is a big issue.

    Yes, the condition of the ferrotype picture means everything. The frame can be perfect, but if the pictures are not good, neither is the piece.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

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