Coins, Tokens and Historical Medals

To be Sold on: 19 September 2019

Estimate: £5,000 - £6,000

USA, Capture of the British Frigate H.M.S. Serapis by the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard off Flamborough Head, England, 1779, a copper medal for the 'Comitia Americana' series by A. Dupré, bust of John Paul Jones right in naval uniform, joanni pavlo jones classis praefecto, comitia americana below, rev. hostivm navibvs captis avt fvgatis, naval action in progress, crew of U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard boarding H.M.S. Serapis behind, date of the action in exergue, 56mm (Julian NA-1; Betts 568; BHM 222; MH 580; Ford XIV, 203), Extremely fine and very rare [slabbed PCGS SP 63] £5,000-£6,000

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USA, Capture of the British Frigate H.M.S. Serapis by the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard off Flamborough Head, England, 1779, a copper medal for the 'Comitia Americana' series by A. Dupré, bust of John Paul Jones right in naval uniform, joanni pavlo jones classis praefecto, comitia americana below, rev. hostivm navibvs captis avt fvgatis, naval action in progress, crew of U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard boarding H.M.S. Serapis behind, date of the action in exergue, 56mm (Julian NA-1; Betts 568; BHM 222; MH 580; Ford XIV, 203), Extremely fine and very rare [slabbed PCGS SP 63] £5,000-£6,000
On 23 September 1779 the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard, under the command of Capt. John Paul Jones (1747-92), led a combined Franco-American fleet of five ships against a large Baltic merchant fleet being escorted by the British ships H.M.S. Serapis and the smaller Countess of Scarborough. The fighting took place off the Yorkshire coast near Flamborough Head and the coastal town of Bridlington, when the French Capt. Landais of the Alliance engaged the Countess of Scarborough, leaving Serapis to battle against the four remaining American and French ships. Initially considerable damage was inflicted to the hull and rigging of the Bonhomme Richard and the American flag fell, prompting Capt. Richard Pearson of the Serapis to ask Jones if he had intentionally struck his colour in surrender. Jones defiantly replied: "I have not yet begun to fight!" and after a further three hours of bitter exchange it was the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough that were forced to surrender. The Americans boarded and transferred across to the Serapis following a close, hard-fought victory, with the critically-damaged Bonhomme Richard sinking on the following day. The victory made John Paul Jones a national hero and this piece holds the distinction of being the only naval medal authorized by the Continental Congress