St. Louis America Welcomes The World : 1904 Expo Medal

This giant medal comes from the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Medals of this size are often called “table medals” – at about 2 inches in diameter, you wouldn’t have wanted to carry this around in your pocket. Instead, it would sit on your coffee table or hang on your wall as a conversation piece and a chance to gloat about where you traveled.

On the obverse of this medal, there are four allegorical figures putting offerings on a stone plinth. The figures seem to represent (from the left), Europe (in a toga and Hellenistic visor) Asia (in flowing robes), South America (with Incan jewelry) and North America (with a feathered headdress). The plinth is engraved with the scales of justice, and an olive tree is shown in the background, spreading branches of peace over the proceedings.

The reverse of the medal is a bit more prosaic. It has a simple legend: “St. Louis 1904 America Welcomes The World”. As long as you’re not from Africa, Australia, or Antarctica, apparently.

St. Louis Welcomes The World - 1904 World's Fair Medal : Obverse with 4 allegorical figures representing the continents of Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

St. Louis Welcomes The World - 1904 World's Fair Medal : Obverse

St. Louis Welcomes The World - 1904 World's Fair Medal : Reverse

St. Louis Welcomes The World - 1904 World's Fair Medal : Reverse

Identification code: Hendershott-30-280

Date: 1904

Mint Mark: Cornucopia (Paris Mint)

Mintage: unknown

Country of origin: France – I believe this was minted by De Paulis

Composition: appears to be copper or bronze

Size: 50mm in diameter

Weight: unknown

Other details: St. Louis also hosted the Olympics in 1904, in one of the few instances where the World’s Fair and Olympics took place in the same city in the same year. This medal was likely available at both events.

Estimated value: $70-150. This is a thinly traded medal due to its rarity. Some examples include this one in a $100 auction lot, this one in an NGC MS-65 capsule, and one that sold for $75 on eBay in similar condition. Oddly enough, one also came up for “free” on a social networking auction site.

5 responses to “St. Louis America Welcomes The World : 1904 Expo Medal

  1. Great description. I’m listing one on eBay. May I have your permission to use your write-up and give proper credit to you?

    Thank you!

  2. Yes, using my write-up would be fine. Please make sure to include a link to my page:

    I would also appreciate it if you sent me the ebay listing number. I wouldn’t mind adding another one of these to my collection (and, if it goes for more than I can afford, I can add the price information to my page).

    -Thanks, and good luck,

    Ps: Just to clarify – using the description is fine. Using the images is not: it’s best to use scans of the actual medal being sold whenever you list on eBay.

  3. Thank you George!
    My eBay listing is number 120682644552
    Just as you say in your description, the medals I’m offering are in a small frame that was no doubt hung on someone’s wall for display. Both medals are in excellent condition…no scratches, flattening of edges, or apparent wear of any kind.

  4. I added a link to your listing, so people can click through. Good luck!

  5. My listing on eBay (St. Louis 1904 America Welcomes the World Expo Medal) sold for $180. I’m positive being able to use your great description of the larger of the two medals in this auction certainly made a significant difference.

    Thank you again for your kindness!

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