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Remarkable 1907 High Relief Twenty
Wire Rim Variant, MS64

1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS64 NGC. Augustus Saint-Gaudens' ten and twenty dollar gold designs were subjected to numerous delays and revisions. The coins or plaster models were in some state of conception or execution from early 1905, when President Roosevelt first exhorted the sculptor to take on the project, until Saint-Gaudens' death from stomach cancer in August 1907. Even after his death, the revisions continued under the watchful eye of his assistant, Henry Hering.
The primary reason for the long design and production period lay in Saint-Gaudens' enormous popularity. As early as 1881, his French friend Paul Bion described him as "drowning in work ... a sort of 'Edisson' [sp.] of sculpture, combining, constructing, producing treasure on treasure." While Saint-Gaudens was working on the designs for the gold coins from 1905 to 1907, he also had other commissions. The John Dryfhout book on Saint-Gaudens' oeuvre shows that the sculptor completed numerous other works during the two-plus years that the coinage redesign was under way.
This High Relief is a wonderful example of what is undoubtedly the most widely recognized of all of Saint-Gaudens' works. The surfaces are bright and satiny, as one would expect, with yellow-gold the dominant color but a slight presence of reddish patina also is noted on each side. The striking details are exceptionally sharp with complete separation of the letters from the rim at the top of the reverse. A few faint freckles of copper alloy can barely be made out on the obverse.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

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Auction Dates
July, 2010
8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
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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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