Sunday, August 14, 2016

2016 American Peony Society 1932 Silver Medal

1932 American Peony Society Silver Medal on Ebay

I must say I was pleasantly surprised to find this 1932 American Peony Society Silver Medal on Ebay a couple weeks ago. I just won the auction a few days ago, and paid for it this weekend. You might remember that I happened upon a similar American Peony Society medal a few years ago, 2013 American Peony Society Silver Medal, on Etsy. So now I will have two pieces of American Peony Society history to keep and preserve. However, the most exciting part of finding this medal is finding a piece of American Peony Society history. The entire text of the inscription on the back of the medal reads:


The first medal I found was from the 70s. This one is from the 30s. That's almost 40 years earlier! In another 16 years this medal will be an antique! That is really cool. I wonder if anyone has any medals that are already antiques? After checking the APS web site, for APS Gold Medal and APS Best in Show, it looks like the only earlier awards were issued in 1923, 1926, and 1931. So it seems like there may only be a handful of older medals out there - if they awarded medals with those prizes. It is just so exciting to find a piece of peony history!

1932 American Peony Society Silver Medal
Awarded to Angus Macauly

A special thanks to Reiner, our APS historian for helping me find this text about the 1932 peony show. I found the bits about the happiness of all despite the depression quite interesting...

The Duluth Peony Show
By Mrs. J. M. Sellwood, Duluth, Minn.
TIME has had both feet and wings, I guess, since our show and I can hardly believe that it is so far passed.

We had one grand show; a beautiful room with a marvelous background for staging a peony show. The show was held in the ballroom of the Hotel Duluth, July 1-2. 1932. The hotel staff’s co-operation was so fine that it did not seem possible to me, as chairman, that we were actually staging a bigger and better show than ever.

We had fifteen entries in the classes calling for twenty blooms, one named variety; and in the class calling for ten blooms, one named variety, we had twenty-two entries. They were certainly gorgeous

The weather been fine here this year and the peony only added to its already superior reputation among the gardens here.

Walter Faxon was our best flower this year and seemed to be good in every class where it was entered.

We forty-four exhibitors, many of whom entered every class possible. We had new ones and old ones and the best part of it, everyone seemed happy. I was a little fearful that the depression spirit might mar the event, but somehow the flowers won’t permit, I guess.

Angus Macauley of 106 Waverly Place, Duluth, won the silver medal for the highest points in the show, having thirty-five points. He was tied with the Fond du Lac Flower Gardens but a flip of a coin won the medal for Mr. Macauley. Joe Priley of the Fond du Lac Flower Gardens, Fond du Lac, Minn., won the Peony Manual.

Thirty-six classes were provided to cover and everyone from the novice to the professional was provided for. The judges were A. M. Brand, Faribault, Minn.; A. B. Franklin, Minneapolis, Minn.; C. A. Pfeiffer, Winona, Minn., and John M. Kleitsch Duluth, Minn. The artistic arrangements were judged by Miss Indianola Willcuts, of Duluth. This was the seventeenth annual show of the Duluth Peony Society.

An excerpt of The American Peony Society Bulletin
December, 1932 Vol. 33 No. 52


  1. How fantastic! And don't you love the name of the artistic arrangements judge - Indianola.

    1. Brooks,

      Yes, that is quite the name! :-)