War and Peace in Miniature: Medals from the American Numismatic Society

George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, Virginia

October 2018–July 2020

Eighteenth-century medals helped form national identity and supported international diplomacy. Eager to establish America’s claim to nationhood, America’s founding fathers began commissioning official medals even before declaring political independence.

At the time of his death in 1799, George Washington owned an unequaled collection of the new nation’s medals. Drawing on the rich collections of the American Numismatic Society in New York, we are pleased to present a rare selection of America’s most important early medals, a miniature pageant of our nation’s history from 1776 through 1805.

More on this exhibition

Objects on loan

The ANS had a total of 30 objects on loan to this exhibition. Highlights of the loan include:

Copper Medal, United States. 1964.67.1

Lead Medal, Paris (France), 1790 – 1792. 1935.126.24

Silver Medal, Royal Mint, 1760 – 1820. 1919.154.1

Silver Medal, United States, 1780. 1945.23.7

Copper Medal, United States, 1747 – 1833. 0000.999.38320

Silver Medal of U.S. Government, Birmingham (Ala.), 1796. 1915.141.1

Bronze Decoration, United States, 1742 – 1786. 1940.80.2

Silver Medal of U.S. Government, United States, 1789. 1916.999.197

B Medal, United States, 1736 – 1802. 1967.225.523

Silver Medal, United States, 1732 – 1799. 0000.999.38279

Bronze Medal, Paris (France), 1777. 1967.226.79

Silver Medal, United States. 0000.999.38316

Bronze Medal, Town of Paris (Maine). 1940.100.187

Bronze Decoration, Town of Paris (Maine), 1752 – 1810. 0000.999.38343