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Pony Express

1952 James Earle Fraser Born: Winona, Minnesota 1876 Died: Westport, Connecticut 1953 Medallic Art Company (Founder) Society of Medallic Arts (Commissioner) bronze 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle 1972.167.12 Not currently on view


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This medal is one of James Fraser’s last medallic works and honors the Pony Express, the legendary mail service that ran from April 1860 until October 1861. The image shows a rider fending off attackers and galloping at full speed to his next stop where a fresh horse awaits him. The inscription “Ten days to San Francisco ” was the Pony Express guarantee for transcontinental service. The reverse side of the medal, with the motto “New Frontiers 1849,” reworks a design originally used on the 1926 Oregon Trail commemorative half-dollar.

Keywords

Animal - cattle

Architecture - vehicle - wagon

Equestrian

Figure male - full length

History - United States - exploration

History - United States - Pony Express

sculpture - medal

metal - bronze

relief