Great Britain 1736 Jernegan Cistern Silver Medal, Betts-169, Eimer-537, AU58 PCGS. 39 mm, 20.5 gm. Struck in silver. Obv. Minerva standing between military trophies and emblems of the Arts and Sciences. BOTH HANDS FILL’D FOR BRITAIN around. GEORGE REIGNING in exergue. Rev. Caroline, royally robed, waters a stand of young palm-trees. GROWING ARTS ADORN EMPIRE around, in exergue CAROLINE PROTECTING 1736.
Although the Jernegan Cistern medal is listed in the C. Wyllys Betts’ seminal volume American Colonial History as Illustrated by Contemporary Medals, any relation to American history is tangential at best. Some took the palm trees and Caroline to be a reference to the Carolinas, although Betts himself disclaimed any more-direct association with America. (Betts points to the 1863 cataloguing of the Lilliendahl Collection by W.H. Strobridge as a source of the misinterpretation.) The medals were struck as “tickets” for a lottery to win a giant silver urn or cistern made by London goldsmith and banker Henry Jernegan.
This example shows beautiful color with trivial field chatter but no more than a light touch of high-point wear on Caroline’s and Minerva’s left breast and arm.