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102021 | UNITED STATES. "Catholic States of America" satirical bronze Medal.

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    102021  |  UNITED STATES. "Catholic States of America" satirical bronze Medal. Issued 1963 (32mm, 11.53 g, 12h). By R. Bashlow and struck by J. Pinches Co. in London.

     

    + CATHOLIC STATES OF AMERICA + / 1963, IN THE / POPE / WE HOPE in three lines below Latin cross / GOOD FOR 1 CONFESSION, BY THE / AUTHORITY OF / PRES. KENNEDY / AND / JOHN XXIII in five lines; laurel wreath below. Edge: Plain.

     

    Rice K-S-2. Choice Mint State. Orange-red surfaces, with a great deal of brilliance. A very direct and pointed portrayal of some of the anti-Catholic sentiments and overall distrust of Kennedy by the political right in America.

     

    Robert Socrates Bashlow, likely most famous in mid-20th century numismatics for his Confederate restrike issues, was no stranger to controversy, as his lengthy friendship to Walter Breen would attest. In this satirical issue struck by the John Pinches Co. in London, he attempted to capitalize upon the fear emanating from the right that JFK, the nation's first Catholic president (and, before the election of Joe Biden, the only) would merely be acting in accordance to the Pope (John XXIII), with America seemingly a vassal state to the Vatican. An interesting relic that reveals that political satire, even verging upon the extreme, is sadly nothing new to us.

     

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