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Auction of Rare George Washington Relic

ornate gold medal commissioned by George Washington and later presented to the Marquis de LafayetteNEW YORK – An ornate gold medal depicting an eagle, commissioned by George Washington and later presented to the Marquis de Lafayette, is to be sold at auction later this year.

Sotheby’s auction house made the announcement Thursday, on the 250th anniversary of Lafayette’s birth. The gold and enamel medal — showing an eagle surrounded by a laurel wreath — was designed as a symbol of the ideals of the Revolutionary War. It is estimated to bring up to $10 million at the Dec. 11 sale.

After Washington’s death, the medal was presented to Lafayette by Washington’s family; it was consigned to the auction by Lafayette’s great-great granddaughter, Baronne Meunier du Houssoy, of France.

“This medal is a treasure from the age of heroes; one of those magical artifacts that burns through time and transports us to a moment that changed the world forever,” David Redden, vice chairman of Sotheby’s, said in a statement. “Not only is it a precious and unique work of art, but a link between two men who, against the most improbable odds, managed to change the course of history.”

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