Comitia Americana Medals -- Libertas Americana

Libertas Americana

Copper Libertas Americana medal.

The Libertas Americana medal was created under the direction of Benjamin Franklin.  While stationed in France during the American Revolutionary War, Franklin received a detailed account of the Yorktown victory and was soon tasked to create a monument in its honor. Franklin responded with a proposal for a medal, rather than a monument, in which the United States would be depicted as the infant Hercules in cradle, strangling the two serpent sent by Hera; above him France personified as Athena (Minerva) would act as his nurse and mentor. The design became the medal's reverse was further developed by both painter Esprit-Antoine Gibelin and engraver Augustin Dupré, each of whom furthered the design of France to also be seen as the protector of the infant as she fights the lioness Britannia who pounces at the child. The obverse iconography depicts Liberty with flowing hair. The obverse image would become the typical image of early American coinage.