A Guide to the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, c.1872-1874 Great Seal of the Confederate States of America Ms2017-022

A Guide to the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, c.1872-1874

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2017-022


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Special Collections, Virginia Tech

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Newman Library, Virginia Tech
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USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
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Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

©2017 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Marc Brodsky, Special Collections

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms2017-022
Title
Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, c.1872-1874
Physical Characteristics
0.1 Cubic Feet 1 folder
Note
The Seal and the gutta percha box are in excellent condition. The Wyon letter had previously been taped together and that tape is still present on the reverse of the letter. Though fragile, the letter is perfectly legible.
Language
English
Abstract
Collection consists of an electrotype replica of the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, along with a letter of authentication, dated 6 March 1874, from J.S. and A.B. Wyon of London, England, the engravers of the original Great Seal made for the Confederacy in 1864.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Great Seal of the Confederate States of America must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Great Seal of the Confederate States of America, Ms2017-022, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Great Seal of the Confederate States of America was donated to Special Collections in 2001. The collection was reprocessed in 2017.

Processing Information

Original processing of this collection occurred in 1992. Reprocessing, arrangement, and description occurred in August 2017.


Historical Note

The original Great Seal was commissioned by the Confederate States of America, likely in 1863, from J.S. and A.B. Wyon, London, England, then Chief Engravers of Her Majesty's Seals. Reaching Richmond before the end of the war, the seal, as reported in the New York Times (21 May 1912), was removed from the city during the evacuation of April 1865 by William J. Bromwell, chief clerk of the Confederate State Department. By 1872, it was in the possession of John T. Pickett, formerly a Colonel in the Confederate army and then a lawyer in Washington D.C. and Thomas O. Selfridge, a U.S. naval officer. Pickett, reportedly, had 100 electrotype copies made, possibly by George Massamore, numismatist of Baltimore. Seventy-five were made of copper and twenty-five of silver over copper. The original seal was returned to Selfridge, who remained in possession of it until he sold it in 1912 to a group of Richmond businessmen. It now resides in Richmond at the Museum of the Confederacy.

One of the copies made for Pickett was presented by him in 1874 to Wyon, the engravers of the original seal, for authentication, as described in the document that accompanies the seal in this collection. The seal itself is one of the silver on copper electrotype copies.

Content Description

One of one hundred electrotype replica copies made from the original Great Seal of the Confederate States of American in the early 1870s. Of the hundred, 75 were made of copper and 25, as is the case with this example, are silver over copper. The original seal was produced for the CSA in 1864 by J. A. and A. B. Wyon, London, Chief Engravers of Seals for the British Monarchy. Accompanying the seal is a letter of authentication from Wyon dated 6 March 1874, verifying the authenticity of the impression as a faithful reproduction of the original. The Seal is held in its original gutta percha box.


Index Terms

    Persons:

  • Cabell, Robert Baird
  • Subjects:

  • Confederate States of America
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Contents List

Folder 1
Great Seal of the Confederate States of America in gutta percha case, c.1872
Folder 1
Letter confirming authenticity from J.S. and A.B. Wyon, 03-06-1874