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Description

MCMVII Wire Rim High Relief Twenty, MS66
Exceptional Satiny Surfaces

1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS66 NGC. One consistent working trait of Augustus Saint-Gaudens was his tendency to labor over sculptural commissions as long as possible. This perfectionism led him to want to revisit and revise certain works years later. He was less than pleased with certain design elements of the Garfield Monument, and offered to make alterations at his own expense. However, the Park authorities did not respond to his offer to improve the monument since the statue had been installed ten years previously. The ten and twenty dollar coins were designed relatively quickly by Saint-Gaudens' standards, with the concept first addressed in December 1904 over dinner with President Roosevelt, and production of the High Relief twenties commencing in the fall of 1907. The basic design elements were already known to him and the figure of Liberty was self-referencing, as it was an adaptation of the striding figure of Liberty taken from his Shaw Memorial located at the entrance to Central Park. Nevertheless, even when adapting a known sculptural figure from three dimensions and reducing it to two dimensions on the coin still took two and a half years of various models and trial strikings.

The High Relief twenty certainly has the appearance of a coin that was labored over for years. It is a startling example of Realism, a genre Saint-Gaudens consistently adhered to throughout his career. This particular coin is bright yellow-gold with thick, satiny mint luster. Only the tiniest contact marks are evident, and it will require magnification to find them. The wire rim encircles almost all of each side, a trait usually reserved for the obverse only.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

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Auction Dates
March, 2013
21st-24th
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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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