1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration 4 inch medal in Sterling Silver, only 100 pieces minted.
The large silver medal by Emil Fuchs was the official medal of the celebrations and was jointly produced by the Hudson-Fulton Commission and the American Numismatic Society to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Hudson river and the centenary of steamboat navigation.
The medal was struck in a wide variety of sizes and metals, ranging from 1.5 ins. (in base metal) to 4 ins. in diameter in silver. The majority of medals were made for sale to the public, and the total 123,698 struck reflects the wide-spread interest in the event. However, only one hundred examples of the large size (4 in.) medals in silver (as here) were made for presentation to members of the Commission and to Principal Guests at banquets during the celebration.
The celebration showcased the city of New York as a world class city, owing much to the maritime importance of the Hudson River, and also lauded its citizens for their achievements. Amongst the organizers on the celebration commission were financial giants J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, and events were highlighted by the use of electric lights, firework displays, parades and the sailing of ships such as the Lusitania and full scale reproductions of Hudson and Fulton's ships. Wilbur Wright also flew around the Statue of Liberty.
The obverse shows Henry Hudson on the deck of his ship, the Half Moon, surrounded by his crew
The reverse shows three draped and seated female figures. Genius sits in the middle holding a model of Fulton's steamship "Clermont" and represents the genius of steam navigation. Right is the figure of "History" with a scroll and a pen in hand. Left is "Commerce" resting her hand on an anchor. In the exergue is the legend "First use of steam in navigation on the Hudson River 1807".
4 inches (103mm) in diameter and weighing 10.76 oz and containing 332.1 grams of .925 sterling silver (9.88 ozs asw)
This medal is very rare with only 100 being minted in Sterling Silver and being presented to only the most important individuals