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Links between Seattle and Alaska

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Earlier this year, I flew on Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Anchorage, AK on business (and back). I came to realize the parallels between these two places (Washington state and Alaska), and it seemed to me that Seattle still is the gateway to the "great northwest" including the huge wilderness of Alaska. Ships/flights/commerce seemed to be coming/going from Seattle to Alaska and back during my few days in downtown Seattle and downtown Anchorage, and reflecting on spending time in both places, I started thinking about the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in the HK SCD book. There seem to be a great many websites explaining this exposition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska?Yukon?Pacific_Exposition) and it's interesting to see the geographic, cultural, and historical parallels as well as the artwork on the medals from this fair. It certainly seems like Seward's "folly" was anything but given the amazing natural resources in Alaska. Attached are some photos of a few pieces I own (and like). Notice the female sign on the obv of HK-359 which might be referring to "virgin copper" on the rev. Thought that was a nice touch...

I've been focusing on Seattle and Alaska in my current research. Seattle was the de facto capital of Alaska before it became a territory and then state. Exploring this history has been fun.

I found these pictures of the AYP Expo Emblem. It's interesting to see that this seal on a number of the SCDs, including HK-353 above. This seal was designed by Adeliade Hanscom (see http://www.aype.net/theofficialseal.html). She trained at the Art Institute of San Francisco but moved to Seattle after the great earthquake/fire in 1906. Funny the connections to HK-340/343a (SF Earthquake). She entered an art contest for the exposition and won, receiving $500 for her work, a huge sum at the time! As the theme of the world's fair was "the gateway to the orient," promotion of trade among pacific rim nations was the goal. Consistent with the goal, the seal shows 3 women holding the "keys to wealth" -- Gold, an Ocean Steamer, and a Railway Locomotive. The seal was not copyrighted, so one sees it on many exposition items (postcards, medals, etc). The seal has in the background alaskan/great northwest mountains, sun, trees (left ?japanese and right pacific/northwest trees), and river/ocean. This all certainly seems appropriate for Alaska/NW, and the seal seems to celebrate gold. I presume the lady on the left was Japanese or from Asia/pacific rim. Curious about the open hand of the lady on the right. I presume it is a sign of friendship. Of course, this was modified such that the open hand is holding the Seward shield in HK-353. edited by rjesinger on 7/2/2011

I am starting to sort out the so-called dollars from the AYP for our next book. The Manufactures Building, 368 and 368A, presents an interesting case. John Raymond has noted different illustrations of 368 in the first and second edition of H&K. 368A is defined by its MANUFACTURFS spelling error. In fact, 368 and 368A are different dies. I think we actually have three different dies, but I'm still working that out. I have two high quality pieces in hand, so I put together this image as a comparison. From the inset image you can see the F is actually an E. It and the G below are partially filled. The missing dot on the left side of BUILDING is actually there, but also filled. So the question now is whether there are examples of this die without the filled letters and dots that have been mistaken for 368 based on the HK description. You can find a larger image at: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8020/7497189198_8e62d53aaf_o.jpg

Okay, so they are technically not so-called dollars, but they do fit with the discussion of the official seal. Both pieces were also made by Joseph Mayer & Bros., the official distributors for the official medals.

I also acquired several AYPE hangers with so-called dollars. I'll post the one with the official silver medal. This medal does not have an S stamp as so many do when the hanger is added. I did a cut away on the reverse of the hanger to show the full legend, OFFICIAL MEDAL / A.Y.P.EX. / U.S. MINT / MAKER. I did not actually cut away the ribbon. I removed it. Shot the hanger separately, then did an overlay to reveal the legend hidden by the ribbon.

Ok I will admit my ignorance after all this time. What is the 's' stamp and where is it located if it is present. Is this one of those little known things I would have learned if I had taken the class? Bill G

I also acquired several AYPE hangers with so-called dollars. I'll post the one with the official silver medal. This medal does not have an S stamp as so many do when the hanger is added. I did a cut away on the reverse of the hanger to show the full legend, OFFICIAL MEDAL / A.Y.P.EX. / U.S. MINT / MAKER. I did not actually cut away the ribbon. I removed it. Shot the hanger separately, then did an overlay to reveal the legend hidden by the ribbon.

Some examples of HK-353 have a small S stamped on the rim and sometimes in the reverse field when the medal has a loop attached. Since Mayer & Bros. attached the loops (I presume they did the work), they probably added the stamp to indicate the piece was silver. Some looped pieces do not have the stamp and the one used in this badge does not have an S stamped on it. We'll have to ask Bob if they looked at any looped 353s and talked about the S.

Nope, I do not recall that we talked about this at the ANA summer seminar; this is new to me as well and very interesting info. I will say that we certainly talked about some die varieties and SCD error strikes, which was quite fascinating. For example, my HK-732a is a double-die strike and I didn't even realize it. 🙂

I was reading the above post about the difference between 368 and 368A. I compared my 368 with those and it isn't the same. The obverse is closest to #366 but with 8 rays. Also, there are no dots before or after "building". It has a medallic rotation with slightly rotated dies.

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