Egyptian Obelisk Medal
diameter: 1 5/8 in. ( 4.2 cm )
Aluminum struck medal with obverse showing obelisk at right with shield with stars and stripes, and American eagle at left; beneath is oval seal of New York within laurel wreath; sun rising in background; legend around star-studded border: "DISCIPULUS EST PRIORI POSTERIOR DIES." Reverse contains inscription: "Quarried at Syene/and elected at Heliopolis by/THOTHMES III/re-erected at ALEXANDRIA/Under AUGUSTUS/Removed to New York/through the Liberality of/W.H.Vanderbilt/by the skill of/Lieu.Com. H.H. Gorringe U.S.N", surrounded by legend: "PRESENTED TO THE UNITES STATES BY ISMAIL KHEDIVE OF EGYPT/1881"
This medal was issued to commemorate the opening ceremony of the Egyptian obelisk presented to the Unted States by the khedive (ruler) of Egypt in 1869. William H. Vanderbilt provided funds to transport the obelisk to New York. On June 1, 1880, the steamer "Dessoug", under the command of lieutenant commander Henry H. Gorringe, left Alexandria with the giant obelisk on board, arriving in New York on July 31, 1880. The cornerstone for the obelisk was laid in place October 2, 1880.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.