Canada - Seven Year War Medal by John Pingo
Thomas Hollis (1720–1774), political propagandist, as well an ardent member of the Society of Arts (later Royal Society of Arts) and S.P.A.C. committee chairman, was born in London on 14 April 1720. He was a good friend of William Pitt, and in Hollis’s opinion the leadership of Pitt during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) epitomised the commercial, imperial, and constitutional virtues of Whig liberty. Pitt, from a commercial background, led the House of Commons and organised the victories of 1759 over France which consolidated British sea power and brought territorial gains in India and Canada. The Society was responsible for the series of British Victories medals. i.e. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Gorée etc. Edward Hawkins in his book, Medallic Illustrations mentions that Mr Hollis sent a specimen to Mr Pitt, with the edge inscribed William Pitt Administring. Canadian numismatist Geoffrey Bell in his research paper, "Medals of the Seven Year's War - Presented Specimens" written for the Medal Collectors of America notes only two specimens in copper with the William Pitt Administring edge. Both were in the Stacks - Bowers offering of the John J. Ford collection May 24, 2006 lots 75 and 76. Lot 76 was an almost uncirculated example with the provenance of being the Fred Baldwin example. Lot 75, and the item currently being offered is the choice uncirculated example from the Ford collection, with the provenance of Robert W. Reford collection (Sotheby & Co Canada Oct 30, 1968), Ted Craig estate on October 4, 1982 and then the Ford sale where it realised $US2185. There is not any documentation regarding this being from the Ford sale, but it is evident from doing a visual comparison in the Stacks Bowers archives and this example. The question arises if this is the presentation piece that was given to British Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder. Bell references one piece in silver and the two copper examples. The Seven Year War Medals have broad appeal, and are actively collected by medal collectors from Canada, Great Britain and the United States.