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1879 St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Association Medal, Julian AM-74, About Uncirculated, With Original Box.

1879 St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Association Medal, Julian AM-74, About Uncirculated, With Original Box.

1,295.00

Silver. 70mm. This large silver medal features a female figure holding a scythe and cornucopia on the obverse, surrounded by livestock, farm implements, and mechanical devices with St. Louis AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL ASSOCIATION around. The reverse shows an eagle below a motto INDUSTRY BRINGS PLENTY. The name of the recipient is engraved within a wreath. It reads: EXCELSIOR BREWERY CO. / 2ND BEST HALF BBLS / BEER / 1879. The medal is offered in its original maroon gutta percha case with plush blue velvet interior, which reads: MERMOD JACCARD & CO. ST. LOUIS, MO.

Each side is mostly brilliant and deeply reflective with frosted, well-rendered design elements. Attractive blushes of blue, violet, and gold patina appear over surfaces that show just a touch of friction and some hairlines in the field from a jeweller’s cloth. Ticks and abrasions are minimal.

This medal is attributed as AM-74 in R.W. Julian’s Medals of the United States Mint: The First Century, 1792-1892. Two dies are known to have produced these medals. This is the usually seen variant without any designers’ initials and the wreath leaves in a clockwise direction. Another set of dies shows an L near LO in LOUIS, a reference to George H. Lovett, and the wreath leaves positioned counterclockwise.

Excelsior Brewery Company was one of many brewers that established themselves in St. Louis during the 19th century. It operated for just a few years from the mid-1870s to the early 1880s. The factory was apparently located at at 2818 S. 7th Street, now the site of an Anheuser-Busch parking lot. Initial research into the firm reveals little about its history. Given its short time in business, we would imagine there are relatively few collectible items associated with this pre-Prohibition firm — an important consideration for collectors of breweriana.

Ex: Americana Sale (Stack’s Bowers, 2/2015), lot 71; John Kraljevich.

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