George Washington gold medal auctioned in New York for $5.3 M
NEW YORK (AP) — George Washington’s commissioned gold medal that was given to Marquis de Lafayette, the French revolutionary who supported the American Revolution, was sold Tuesday at auction for $5.3 million, Sotheby’s announced.
La Fondation de Chambrun, in Chateau La Grange, Lafayette’s home 30 miles east of Paris, beat out two other bidders.
“The medal is a symbol of the bond and friendship between America and France,” said Christophe Van de Weghe, a Manhattan art dealer who represented the foundation.
The medal, shaped like an eagle and believed have its original ribbon and red leather box, will be displayed in Lafayette’s bedroom, Van de Weghe said. It also might be displayed at Mount Vernon, Washington’s former home and slave plantation in Virginia.
Washington, Lafayette and others in 1783 formed the Society of the Cincinnati, a group devoted to maintaining the Revolution’s ideals, and eagle badges were given to members.
The medal auctioned Tuesday was made to Washington’s specifications.
After Washington’s death, the medal was presented to Lafayette by Washington’s family; it was consigned to the auction by Lafayette’s great-great granddaughter.
The pre-sale estimate was $4 million to $10 million.
Published in The Messenger 12.20.07