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Description

1907 High Relief Twenty, Wire Rim
Satiny MS65+

1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS65+ PCGS Secure. CAC. It is an interesting and curious paradox that the best-known work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, in terms of the sheer number of people who are familiar with it, is his design for the 1907 High Relief twenty dollar. The paradox is the sculptor produced dozens of low-relief or bas-relief plaques from the 1870s until the end of his life. One of his best-known bas-reliefs is of Boston financier Samuel Gray Ward. Saint-Gaudens' expert John Dryfhout states that the Ward is "one of the lowest reliefs he executed. Astonishingly, the overall depth of the portrait against the background is no more than one-eighth of an inch. While the figure is intimately conjoined with the background, there remains a convincing sense of depth. ... the clay appears drawn rather than sculpted. When Saint-Gaudens began to undertake the design for the twenty dollar, he chose high relief rather than the bas-relief he was so familiar with. While his bas-reliefs give a sense of having been drawn rather than sculpted, Saint-Gaudens knew the effect of using high relief would best communicate the drama and vibrancy of the figure of Liberty he adapted from Ancient Greece.

Even AU examples of the High Relief display the three-dimensionality of Saint-Gaudens' concept for the figure of American Liberty. At the Gem level, the high relief is not only an impressive feature, but the surfaces display the bright, satiny surfaces just as the coins were struck in 1907. This high-end Gem is fully struck in all areas and shows no obvious contact marks on either side.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

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Auction Dates
March, 2013
21st-24th
Internet/Mail/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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