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Incredible 1907 Wire Rim Eagle, MS641907 $10 Wire Rim MS64 NGC. The 1907 Wire Rim, Periods eagles are the first of the series, the original conception of that incandescent artistic genius, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. They share an interesting history that is similar to the 1879 Flowing Hair stellas, in that they were specially made and distributed to Congressmen, Washington insiders, and VIPs as part of President Theodore Roosevelt's campaign to engender political support for what he dubbed his "pet crime." (Although the exact mintage of the stellas is unknown, it is likely not far off from the 500 examples produced of the 1907 Wire Rim.)
Since Saint-Gaudens finally decided to reserve his standing figure of Liberty for the larger double eagle, he placed the profile portrait of Liberty--modeled after the figure of Athena from his General Sherman monument in New York--on the eagle's obverse. One wonders what the "Saint" must have thought privately about Roosevelt's cavalier demand that a headdress be placed on the head of Liberty, "a fanciful object for either Liberty or a Native American woman to wear," according to Garrett and Guth. However, in his written responses to Roosevelt, Saint-Gaudens appears to endorse the concept enthusiastically. (Perhaps the sculptor knew enough to choose his battles wisely--with Charles Barber rather than President Roosevelt.)
The 1907 Wire Rim, Periods issue is to the Indian Head eagle series what the High Relief double eagles are to that series--a limited mintage of coins in a relief unsuited for high-speed mass production that would never have been produced except for the personal intervention of the president. Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber, with a long history of relentless animosity toward the more talented sculptor, steadfastly opposed both issues. The 1907 Wire Rim, Periods eagles were fortunately saved in plentiful numbers, due to their method of distribution.
The present near-Gem example has the typical surface texture, a fine-grained, mattelike consistency, with a somewhat pebbly appearance visible under a loupe, but few distractions of any sort. For pedigree purposes we mention a small area of hazel-gray color between the headdress and the first three peripheral stars on the obverse. A few distributed ticks account for the grade, while failing to diminish the incredible eye appeal. Census: 79 in 64, 59 finer.
From The Little Rock Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 8850)
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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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