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The E-Sylum (12/5/2010)

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Regarding what he believed to be a replica Davis Guards Sabine Pass medal, last week eBay seller Lloyd Wagner asked:

Is this in fact a copy? Any help or advice would certainly be appreciated!

Jonathan Brecher has done some online research on this piece, and here's his account of what he found. Thanks! -Editor

I was in fact bidding on this item, as I knew exactly what it was, or what it seemed to be. I shared the same problem that Lloyd faces now: Is it real, or isn't it?

As the auction closed, I was about 98% sure this item was a replica. I found pictures online for three or four authentic specimens, and all of them markedly finer quality than the one listed on eBay. Still, I had some remaining doubt because while none of the authentic specimens matched the one on eBay, none of the authentic specimens matched each other, either. They were all hand-engraved, and all unique. In the end, I bid about 2% of the last sale price I could find for an authentic specimen. Even so, it was annoying to get outbid!

Several days later, the American Numismatic Society online collection database came back online. It turns out that the ANS has four Sabine Pass medals with excellent pictures, and unlike all of the other pictures I had found, one of the ANS specimens is a _very_ good stylistic match for the one on eBay.

As you can imagine, I was *very* annoyed at that point that I hadn't bid higher!

Fortunately, for me, that annoyance lasted only a minute or two, until I read the full ANS record. The last line of the record reads, "Fake Davis Guards Medal".


The silly thing is, it might even be a good buy at $1,000 as a replica. I don't know. It's not a common replica, anyway. And the last couple of real ones sold for $30,000-$40,000...

So I wish I knew if it was a close call and I should be glad I got outbid, or close call and I should have bid higher!

Thanks for the information on an interesting medal. Below are images of Lloyd's piece followed by the fake in the ANS collection. -Editor

Sabine Pass copy obverse Sabine Pass copy reverse
Lloyd Wagner example

Sabine Pass ANS copy obverse Sabine Pass ANS copy reverse

To view the ANS collection database entries, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: SABINE PASS MEDAL COPIES (

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