The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 44, November 1, 2015, Article 15

EDMOND MILNE (1724-1822)

John Lupia submitted this information about another 18th century American numismatic dealer from his Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies‎ for this week's installment of his series. Thanks! This is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. The subject is goldsmith and medal dealer Edmond Milne. -Editor

“EDMOND MILNE, Goldsmith and Jeweller, At the Sign of the Crown and 3 Pearls, next Door to the Corner of Market street, in Second-street, PHILADELPHIA; Begs Leave to inform the Public that he has just Imported in the last Vessel from LONDON, . . . . gold, silver and silver gilt Mason’s Medals . . . .”

Pennsylvania Journal, Thursday, December 8 & 15, 1763 and November 8, 1764, Maryland Gazette, Thursday, May 24, 1764; Pennsylvania Gazette, Thursday, January 3, 1765.

English Masonic medals struck or cast in precious metals were imported and sold by jewelers at their shops as part of the regular retail trade or at times in auction sales. Milne was not known to have sold his work or imported stock through the auction forum, but rather seems to have been a retailer. As a goldsmith he also made medals as was the custom then as now.

11-8-1764 Penn Journ -MILNE During his period of history it was fairly common for engravers, goldsmiths and silversmith to advertise they made medals or more specifically "Mason Medals" as he did in the Maryland Gazette, March 16, 1763. His logo “The Crown and 3 Pearls” was painted on a wooden sign suspended from metal brackets above his shop’s door on Second Street, next door to “The Indian King”. Two engravings of this logo are known and were frequently published in his advertisements.

Edmond (or variant) Edmund Milne (1724-1822), was a goldsmith and early Philadelphia numismatic dealer.[2] He succeeded Charles J. Dutens in the winter of 1757, as a silversmith at Philadelphia.[3] His earliest known advertisement was published, December 22, 1757, Pennsylvania Gazette, where he announces that after having worked for Charles J. Dutens Jewelry Shop, next to the Indian King on Market Street, for the past two years, i.e., from 1755 to 1757, he now succeeds him running his own shop independently as a medallist and jeweler. Milne, at the age of twenty-one was an independent goldsmith.

He is best known as the silversmith who was employed by General George Washington. In 1776, Washington commissioned him to make a silver-hilted sword to be presented to his secretary Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. In 1777, he made from sixteen silver Dollars given him by Gen. George Washington a dozen coin-silver camp cups for him.

There is little research published on him and a few scattered notices regarding real estate and reimbursements for land surveys and so forth, which he sold at auction March 16, 1785 advertised in the Freeman Journal.

The 1793 Philadelphia Septennial Census lists him as a gentleman, rather than a goldsmith or jeweler, since he retired six years earlier in February 1787. His daughter Eliza married John Russell, the famous printer at Boston on April 17, 1793. In August 1795, he opened a shoe store at 34 Arch Street corner of 3d Street, named Edmund Milne & Co. His wife Elizabeth died at Philadelphia on January 13, 1796.

In the 1810 U. S. Census he appears to be living with his son Richard Milne at Philadelphia.

He died at age 98 in Northern Liberties on February 4, 1822. He is buried in the 2d Baptist Cemetery

To read the complete article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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