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1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS66 NGC....

2014 February 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - New York #1202

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Auction Ended On: Feb 4, 2014
Item Activity: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
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1907 Flat Rim High Relief Twenty, MS66
One of the Few Known With a Completely Flat Rim
1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS66 NGC. The striding figure of Liberty used by Augustus Saint-Gaudens is inextricably linked to the figure of Liberty that leads General Sherman in the Sherman Monument at the entrance to New York's Central Park. Both are essentially the same figure. In The Greater Journey, David McCullough gives the background for the model Saint-Gaudens used for the Sherman Monument and by extension for the figure of Liberty on the 1907 twenty dollar gold piece:

"Several busts and studies of Victory had also been done in New York prior to Saint-Gaudens's departure for Paris. The young woman who posed for him was a twenty-four year old model named Hettie Anderson from South Carolina, whom he described as 'the handsomest model I have ever seen ... ' Few were to know that she was an African-American, but for Saint-Gaudens and the others who did, it must have seemed especially fitting that she be the one to lead the triumphant Union commander on his way."

Just as few were to know the identity of the sculptor's model for the Sherman Monument, likewise few numismatists know who served as the model for Saint-Gaudens' double eagle. And just as fitting as it is for an African-American to lead the way for General Sherman in his march through the South, it seems just as appropriate for Liberty, as depicted by Hettie Anderson, to lead the way forward into the new American century on the 1907 twenty dollar gold pieces. The realism practiced by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and seen throughout all his sculptural works was groundbreaking for the sculptors that followed him. The veristic creations of Adolph Weinman and Hermon MacNeil were made possible by the naturalism seen on the ten and twenty dollar gold pieces designed by Saint-Gaudens.

This is an impressive example of this significantly scarcer High Relief variant, seen here with a flat rim. This is one of the very few pieces we have ever seen with a completely flat rim around each side. The surfaces display light, even reddish patina and thick, satiny mint luster. The only pedigree identifiers we see are a light smudge of reddish patina near the obverse rim at 9 o'clock and a couple of marks across the rays below the eagle on the reverse.(Registry values: N10218) (PCGS# 9136)

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The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Morse and Duckor Collections
Revised Edition by James L. Halperin, Mark R. Borckardt, Mark Van Winkle, Jon Amato, and Gregory J. Rohan, with special contributor David W. Akers

The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is an issue-by-issue examination of these two artistically inspired series of gold coins. Each date and mintmark is reviewed with up-to-date information, much of which has never been previously published. The book is based on two extraordinary collections: The Phillip H. Morse collection and the Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor collection.

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