101276 | UNITED STATES. William McKinley silver Repoussé Badge.
101276 | UNITED STATES. William McKinley silver Repoussé Badge. Issued circa 1912 on a 1903-dated Barber Half Dollar (30mm, 13.03 g).
Pop-out facing head of McKinley in place of the head of Liberty. Edge: Reeded, with pin attached.
Stump –. Pop-out & host coin: Choice Extremely Fine. Pleasantly toned. A great piece of numismatic ephemera from the early 20th century.
"Repoussés" are an interesting form of coin art appearing in the early part of the 1900’s. The host coin was heated to a very high temperature, thus softening the metal and making it a candidate for "re-punching." Dies with a facing (usually) head of some kind would take the place of the original device on the obverse, with an incuse version of this obverse design now evident on the reverse. The result would offer a tremendous 3-D effect, whereby the face on the coin was seemingly bursting out of the piece. In reality, the process was simply an update of the bracteates that used to circulate in areas such as medieval Germany and Switzerland—the coins merely having an obverse design, with the reverse being an incuse, inverted version of the obverse. In the case of this piece, the McKinley "pop-out" was likely issued during one of Theodore Roosevelt's presidential campaigns—possibly that of 1912 when he ran under the third party Bull Moose ticket—for which these could have served as political badges. Roosevlet was McKinley's vice president, who succeeded him upon McKinley's assassination in Buffalo in 1901.
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