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eMedals-Philippines. A Medal of Honour for the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904

Item: W5155

Philippines. A Medal of Honour for the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904

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Philippines. A Medal of Honour for the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904

In silver-plated brass, obverse inscribed "VIVA AMERICA" above crossed swords, with the inscription "SOUVENIR OF THE CAPTURE OF MANILA P.I BY THE ARMY & NAVY OF THE U.S." and marked "IBERKOUCH - DESIGNER" below, reverse illustrating two ships in the harbour, with numerous figures on the beach at Manila Bay, a solitary figure at the far left raising the American flag, measuring 36.3 mm in diameter, bruised, contact marks, frayed original ribbon, near extremely fine.
Footnote: It was a grandiose idea in 1904, but William Howard Taft, Governor General of the Philippines and future president of the United States, wanted a novel way to introduce the far-flung, new colony to his fellow Americans. It was a novel idea indeed. A Philippine Exposition with more than 130 buildings was built on 47 acres of fairground at the St. Louis World's Fair. There were reproductions of ancient structures like the Manila Cathedral and the Ayuntamiento, the seat of Spanish colonial power. More than 70,000 exhibits from the finest ethnographic, church, provincial and private art collections all over the islands were crated and shipped all the way to Missouri. Entire villages were built to replicate those of the Visayans, Bagobos, Samals, “Moros” (as they were called then), Igorots, Tingguianes, Negritos and 30 other tribes. These villages were “stocked” with over a thousand tribal men, women, and children as living exhibits. The logistics must have been mindboggling, but the Philippine Exposition at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was a stunning visual extravaganza. It also popularized distorted images of the Philippines and its people. This medal was struck by Crispulo Zamora.
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