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William H. Key (1820-1902)

I noticed the marking "Key F" under the bust on the obverse of the Elisha Kent Kane (HK-756/7) piece, and I traced it to William H. Key and then was able to buy this piece (storecard). The following link details who this die sinker & engraver was: William H. Key was a die sinker and engraver, born in Brooklyn NY, who learned engraving from his father, Frederick C. Key. Both son and father worked in Philadelphia (1854-1860) as F.C. Key & Son. William actually did the engraving work, implying that William H. Key engraved the HK-756/7 pieces. William worked productively for the US Mint for many years (1864-1885). Please see the attached link for many of his medals.

I understand that many of the 1876 expo pieces were made by Key.... while others were made by Soley.... more work needs to be done in this area....

Uploaded files:
  • F.C.-Key-Token-Miller-26-PA-Kane-.jpg

Here is a thread on the PCGS US Coin Forum on Key:

William H Warner & Brother (Philadelphia) seems to have acquired a number of Key's dies, so it would be interesting to study how those dies were used.