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Object Record

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Object Name ELECTROTYPE
Catalog Number 0985.03.00212
Date 1874
Description The electrotype is a silver copy of the Great Seal of the Confederacy in a leather case with a tooled gold line. The case has a yellow velvet lining.
Dimensions H-5 W-5 inches
Owned owner/user unknown
Made Samuel H. Black, New York, USA
Provenance The electrotype of the Great Seal of the Confederacy was struck in 1874 and authenticated by the Wyon Company of England during the same year. It is a faithful impression of the original Great Seal made by the late Joseph S. Wyon in 1864.

Lawyer John D. Pickett had arranged for Navy Lieutenant Thomas O. Selfridge to loan him the original Great Seal of the Confederacy in order to have 1,000 electrotype replicas manufactured and coated in gold, silver, and bronze. New York electrotyper Samuel H. Black completed the task for $778, and gave Pickett his Masonic oath that he would never divulge information about the seal’s owner. The two signed an agreement on 15 May 1873 that completed the transaction. The replicas were then placed on sale with all generated revenue gong to relieve Southern widows and orphans.
The amount that Pickett raised is unknown. "The understood,” as Selfridge referred to
the seal, arrived back in his custody on 21 May 1873.