The Great Seal of the Confederacy, Ca 1872

Gilt electrotype impressed copy produced by Colonel John T. Pickett in 1872 using the original engraved seal of 1864. 3.75 in. dia., framed, 9 x 9 in. overall with a decorative octagonal matting.

On April 30, 1863, The Confederate Congress agreed by joint resolution to create a seal of the Confederacy which would "consist of a device representing an equestrian portrait of Washington [after the statue which surmounts his monument in the Capitol Square in Richmond] surrounded with a wreath of the principal agricultural products of the Confederacy." The seal, it was determined, would also incorporate the Latin phrase "Deo Vindice" or "God Will Vindicate." The seal was never used and no impressions exist.

Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin asked the Confederate commissioner in England, James Mason, to find a suitable engraver to design the seal. Joseph S. Wyon of London was chosen for the job, which he completed in 1864. The finished seal, in solid silver, was sent to America in the care of Confederate agent Henry Hotze with orders that it be thrown into the sea if his ship was stopped by the Union Navy. The seal finally arrived at Richmond in August, 1864. When the city fell to Union forces in April, 1865, the seal was smuggled out by the wife of William J. Bromwell, a clerk in the State Department.

In 1872, Bromwell's attorney, John T. Pickett, had electrotype copies of the unique original seal made in various metals before giving it as a gift to Thomas Selfridge. It is not known how many copies of the seal were made, but it was apparently reproduced in very limited numbers. Pickett subsequently sold copies to benefit orphans in the South.

Quite Scarce. 


Holed for mounting in the untrimmed edge at 2 o’clock, not affecting the seal itself. Excellent condition and tonality; housed in a handsome shadow-box.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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