Medals relating to Ships

As always, you can click or tap medals to see the reverse. Some medals might have multiple variants that differ in material, size, or other details. If multiple variants are available you can drag or slide medals sideways to display them.

U.S.S. Nashville Visit to Chicago Plaquette1909
Reddish bronze

The plaquette's obverse bears U.S.S. Nashville at sea within roped border. At upper right, U.S.S. / NASHVILLE; signed at lower right, J · H · RIPSTRA

The reverse bears several lines of inscription, · ARRIVAL · OF · / · U · S · NASHVILLE · / · IN · CHICAGO · HARBOR · JUNE · 4 · 1909 · / · FIRED · FIRST · SHOT · / · IN · SPANISH - AMERICAN · WAR · / CHICAGO NUMISMATIC SOCIETY - · MEDALLIC · SERIES · 1909

The U.S.S. Nashville became famous for firing the first shot in the Spanish-American war. She captured four Spanish vessels and assisted in the cutting of the undersea cable to Cienfuegos. She was decommissioned in 1906 and transfered to the Great Lakes with her new homeport at Chicago.

This plaquette was the first art medal issued by the Chicago Numismatic Society, the precursor to the Chicago Coin Club.

The rounded ractangular plaquette measures 76mm x 38mm and was struck in bronze and silver. The reported mintage is 500 pieces in bronze and 100 in silver. The original price for a bronze was 75 cents and for a silver $2.50.

Queen Mary - Final Cruise1967
Bronze with tan patina

The medal's obverse shows the Queen Mary during ocean crossing on raised center field. In panel below, QUEEN MARY; in exergue, "THE STATELIEST SHIP / IN BEING"; signed under panel at right, RALPH J MENCONI

The reverse bears ship's coat of arms over globe with superimposed U.S. and British flags. Inscribed under crown, RMS; to left, MAIDEN / VOYAGE / MAY 27 1936; to right, ARRIVED / LONG BEACH / DECEMBER 9 1967; across center, 1001 ROUND TRIPS ON THE ATLANTIC; to left and right of globe, WAR - SERVICE / MARCH / 1940 - SEPTEMBER / 1946 / TRANSPORTED 810,730 / MILITARY / PERSONNEL

The edge is marked with MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. BRONZE

The Queen Mary was one of the most luxurious ships of its time. Launched in 1936, she was quickly repurposed as a troop transport in World War II, capable of transporting as many as 16,000 troops at 30 knots, albeit in much less luxurious conditions than before the war. After the war she was restored to her old glory and continued to provide transatlantic service for another two decades. Her final voyage came with the voyage to Long Beach, California, where she now resides as a floating hotel, attraction and event venue.

This little gem of a medal is very reminiscent of the old French ocean liner medals that commemorated maiden voyages or were handed to passengers upon completion of an ocean crossing. It is beautifully executed and has the clear lines and details so typical of Menconi's work.

The medal measures 57mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.