Rare Indian Treaty No. 7 silver medal, ‘King of Canadian Coins’ go to auction

By Mike Walsh

The Prominence X Sale is delivering a showcase of rarities and historical artifacts, including an Indian Treaty No. 7 medal, a 1900 $4 banknote in uncirculated condition and the elusive “King of Canadian Coins”: a 1921 fifty cents in Mint State condition.

The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC)’s April 20-25 sale offers more than 2,300 lots over six sessions.

Auctioneer Marc Verret says the Prominence X Sale “is not just any auction; it’s a convergence of three major collections complemented by items from over 82 other consigners across North America.” Among the highlights are Part III of the Saulner collection of Canadian banknotes, the Kuronen collection of Canadian tokens, and Part II of the militaria collection, which features war medals and related items.

There are several treasures in the sale, including an 1877 Indian Treaty No. 7 silver medal (Lot 736) that holds immense rarity and historical significance in Canada’s heritage. This medal symbolizes and encompasses the Bearspaw, Blood, Chiniki, Piikani, Siksika, Stoney, Tsuu T’ina, and Wesley First Nations. It was bestowed on behalf of Queen Victoria to the leaders of the eight nations who pledged their signatures to the treaty.

Verret says these treaty medals served as tangible tokens of gratitude, exchanged for a myriad of goods and the assurance of Indigenous rights to hunt, fish, and utilize natural resources within reserved lands. They stand as enduring reminders of the solemn commitments made during the treaty negotiations, intricately woven into the fabric of Canadian history.

Crafted with meticulous detail, the medal, weighing 205 grams and measuring 76 millimetres, bears the skilled artistry of Joseph Shepherd and Alfred Benjamin Wyon. Its obverse features Queen Victoria, crowned and veiled, facing left, with “VICTORIA” inscribed to the right and “REGINA” to the left. The reverse depicts a poignant scene: A commissioner of the second rank stands facing right, clasping hands in solemn agreement with an Aboriginal leader dressed in ceremonial attire, set against a backdrop of tepees and the rising sun.

The No. 7 Treaty medal has a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-plus. Notably, a Treaty No. 4 medal fetched an impressive $113,525 at TCNC’s Royal Canadian Numismatic Association convention sale last July, underscoring the enduring value and reverence accorded to these historical artifacts.

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