AMERICAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY TO SELL FOREIGN ORDERS, MEDALS, AND DECORATIONS TO BENEFIT ACQUISITIONS Landmark sales in London in May and October will offer a unique $2 million collection of historic military medals, orders and decorations from a variety of nations at every price level.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - In landmark sales to be conducted in London by Auctioneers Morton & Eden in association with Sotheby's on 24-25 May and 25-26 October 2006, a unique collection of historic military medals, orders and decorations from a variety of nations will be made available to museums and the collecting community.
In an earlier era when organizations such as the American Numismatic Society took a very broad approach to collecting, the Society acquired an extensive and diverse collection of military medals, orders and decorations, including numerous historically important European and Asian pieces. Some of these medals come with specific histories that enhance their significance: for instance, among the British material are an Army Long Service and Good Conduct medal awarded in 1837 to a member of the Grenadier Guards who had taken part in the Battle of Waterloo, a Naval General Service medal to a man who served on board Lord Collingwood's flagship at Trafalgar, and a Polar medal awarded to the crew member who looked after the dogs on Captain Scott's first expedition to the Antarctic.
From the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, the ANS accumulated more than 5000 British and world campaign and gallantry medals, orders and decorations, but in recent decades the Society has gradually refocused its priorities, concentrating on its role as a museum of money and related artefacts, moving into new headquarters near Wall Street in Manhattan, and partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to create an exhibition about the history of coins and currency.
The medals and decorations had not been exhibited for over 20 years, when the ANS decided to de-accession the foreign materials--though it will retain its holdings in American medals and decorations, which reflect aspects of the political and socio-economic historical context of the American coins and currency collection. The sales of the non-American material will reintroduce many interesting and important medals for possible acquisition by museums, collectors, and organizations in Europe and Asia that have a direct connection to the histories of these objects. The proceeds of the auctions will be used by the ANS to finance new acquisitions in line with the society's mission to create the definitive collection of world coinage. Specialist auctioneers Morton & Eden, in association with Sotheby's, will conduct the sale in London in two sessions, the first on Wednesday, May 24-25, and the second on October 25-26.
"This sale is an opportunity for these materials to be transferred into collections where there will be more likelihood that they will be studied and exhibited," said ANS executive director Dr Ute Wartenberg Kagan. "The Society's goals have been redefined since these objects were obtained--while we still saw it as vital to retain all our American orders and decorations, we recognised that this group of non-American material was not being curated and had not been on display for 20 years or more. Money raised from the sale will go into our acquisition fund to improve our core collection of American and