Baker, William Spohn (1885)
Scanned Page: 245
Americans of the present era miss the veneration accorded to the Father of Our Country in former times. So numerous were these tributes that eventually order was in order, and Baker accepted the challenge, issuing not only this catalog of over six hundred Washington medals, but also three associated works dedicated to biographies, engraved portraits, and character sketches of the first President. Washingtonia was an early numismatic craze, fueled by the creation of the Washington Cabinet of medals inaugurated by the U.S. Mint in 1860. The Cabinet was noteworthy enough to inspire its own medal, Baker-326, which combined an adaptation of Houdon?s celebrated Washington bust with a rendering of the Cabinet display. America being America, public adulation piqued commercial interest, which did not shy from occassionally muling Washington with lesser subjects, "a perversion of true medallic purposes" in Baker's opinion, whose own work has endured and remains highly regarded. Voted #49 of the top one hundred numismatic literature items by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.