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Description

Gem 1907 Wire Rim, Periods Ten Dollar
One of Only 500 Produced

1907 $10 Wire Rim MS65 NGC. Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens felt that his monumental striding portrait of Liberty should be placed only on the United States' largest gold coin, the double eagle. For the ten dollar gold coin, he accordingly designed a side-view portrait of a Liberty head, one he modeled after the head of Victory (Athena Nike) from his General Sherman monument in New York City. The General Sherman monument was the last large-scale work that the famed sculptor completed, in 1905, before cancer took him at the premature age of 59 in August 1907. (In an interesting side note revealed in Augustus Saint-Gaudens: American Sculptor of the Gilded Age by Henry Duffy and John Dryfhout, the authors reveal the little-known fact that James Earle Fraser, future designer of the Buffalo nickel, worked with Saint-Gaudens both in Paris and New Hampshire on the Sherman project.)
One of the studies for the Nike head, Relief of Victory (1903-7), on display at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site and Number 38 in the Duffy-Dryfhout reference, bears much in common with the final ten dollar gold portrait, the main exception being the laurel leaf wreath that encircles the female head. In Saint-Gaudens' transition of the design from Nike to Liberty, President Theodore Roosevelt insisted that the figure bear a feathered headdress such as an Indian chief might wear--an unlikely ornament for either Liberty or a female Native American. The politically savvy Saint-Gaudens nonetheless acquiesced to the president's wishes.
Only 500 pieces of this design were created and all were passed out to various dignitaries, mostly in Washington and Philadelphia. This design epitomizes the noted sculptor's artistic vision for the ten dollar gold denomination, before the tinkering began by the obstructionist mint engraver, Charles Barber.
The surfaces of this piece show the typical brightness seen on all Wire Rim tens. This brightness is created by the fine, swirling die polishing marks seen on each side. Sharply defined for the issue, the coin displays a slight overlay of reddish patina.
At MS65 the present coin is roughly midway in condition among the certified survivors at both services. NGC has certified 27 in this grade, with 26 finer (1/08).(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 8850)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
March, 2008
6th-7th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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Page Views: 1,852

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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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