May 7, 2024 The Paul Friedrich Collection of Firearms & Gold Rush
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/7/2024
Circa 1866 bronze medallion issued for the rescue of passengers and crew of the US Mail steamer SS San Francisco that wrecked in December 1853. The obverse depicts Lady Liberty praising a kneeling mariner and placing a wreath on his head. The reverse depicts a man and a woman, shipwrecked, and clinging to a floating piece of wood. In a January 16, 1854 newspaper account: "The steamship San Francisco left New York on the 22nd of December, having on board the Third Regiment of the United States Artillery, as well as ...cabin passengers. On Saturday morning, Dec. 24, when about 200 miles east of Charleston, a violent storm sprang up, and the sea commenced running very high. For several hours the steamer stemmed the waves nobly…. About 12 o'clock that night, the engine stopped, and the vessel was left to the mercy of the waves. During the whole of that night, such of the cabin passengers as could be gathered together, assembled in the lower cabin, where, with Mr. Cooper, an Episcopal clergyman, they united in prayer to God for their preservation from the impending danger. The sea ran high all night…. At about 8 o'clock in the morning, she was struck amidships by a violent sea carrying the entire main saloon, the paddle-boxes and smoke-stacks overboard, which caused the hurricane deck to break in half and fall upon the cabin floor. …The horror of the moment cannot be described. [Passengers] were seen groping their way through the water to the upper deck. … We remained many hours upon the deck, the sea washing over us at every lurch of the vessel, and the cold northwest wind chilling us to the heart;... not less than 100 human beings were clinging to spars, doors, and such other fragments as they could obtain for the preservation of their lives, but the next wave sealed their fate, and they were hurried without a moment's notice into eternity." The ship experienced other misfortunes before some British ships came to their aid. Of the 700 souls on board the San Francisco, about 200 were swept overboard. During the next 72 hours, three passing ships, the Kilby, the Three Bells, and the Antarctic, were able to aid the sinking ship and save many of the surviving passengers. CONDITION: Excellent with no observed edge nicks or dings. Overall chocolate brown patina to the bronze.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $270.00
Estimate: $400 - $800
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Tuesday, May 7, 2024.
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