Washington Funeral medal
Origin: America, Massachusetts, Newburyport
Medal; 31 mm x 25 mm
case: Diam: 2 3/8"; H: 3/8"
Gold, gilt brass, painted glass, cloth and paper
Gift of the Lasser family
Acc. No. 2003-22,93
Label:February 1800 saw two huge funeral processions held for George Washington in Boston. The first was a Masonic function attended by an estimated 1600 brethren, while the larger, public one was held on Washington's birthday. Medals were made to be worn by mourners at these processions, with gold specimens going to those who were close to Washington.
Believed to have been worn during the Boston processions by John Marshall, the Chief Justice of note, this ovoid gold medal remained with his descendants until late in the 20th century. Its early 19th century case is indicative of how cherished this memento was to Chief Justice Marshall, a good friend and biographer of Washington's.