1805 “Eccleston” Washington Large Format Medal. Struck in Copper. Baker-85. Unlisted Large Thick Variant, Uncirculated.112 mm. Unlisted in Baker and Rulau/Fuld. This is an exceedingly rare, Variant Format. This specimen is a nearly identical to the piece which appeared as Lot 1870 in NASCA’s April 1981 Kessler-Spangenberger Collection sale which was heralded as a “Probably Unique Eccleston Specimen.” The 1981 Kessler-Spangenberger Collection description reads:
“Sharp cast from a late die state specimen, surrounded by a broad and thick band which starts near medal with rising series of concave border circles and ends with machine-scored tire rim, the edge having two bands of plain surface separated by another band of “tire tread” design. A huge piece, weighing over 1 1/2 pounds. The ultimate in a showpiece Baker item.”
This current example offered here appears to have been die struck and it has a definite ring. The medal in the center does indeed have the appearance of having been cast, but there is no separation between the medal and the surrounding bands, as intimated in the NASCA sale description, indicating that this entire piece was made as one unit. It is Uncirculated with excellent natural color, having some scattered deeper tone flecks mostly on the inner obverse portion and a few trivial edge contact ticks. Another auction firm has characterized this type as being, “One of just three known to us” being a statement that fits our experience. The last specimen of this medal we sold was way back in our EAHA Auction of December 11, 1999, Lot 34, graded Choice Uncirculated, where is sold for $2,185 (that having a pedigree to an earlier Stack’s auction). An impressive, very rare and desirable major variety that is lacking in virtually every George Washington historical medal and Washingtonia related collection.