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    Description

    Mint State 1915-S Pan-Pac Octagonal Fifty Dollar

    1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific 50 Dollar Octagonal MS60 Uncertified. Bowers writes that the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition was a "showcase for sculpture and art" on a scale then unparalleled. Sculptor Robert Aitken produced a water display at the titled The Fountain of the Earth. The monumental production was set in the Court of Abundance at the expo, featuring many figures plus a colossal sculpture of Hermes, with outstretched arms grasping reptiles--"suggestive of earliest forms of earth life, from the mouths of which streams of water are thrown all over the globe; steam clouds shrouded by night." (Bowers, Commemorative Coins of the United States: A Complete Encyclopedia.) Aitken also produced a bust of William Howard Taft (U.S. president, 1909-1913) and a statue of Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo that were near the Palace of Fine Arts. Near the Sunken Gardens, at the center of the Court of the Sun and Stars, Aitken's heroic sculptures Earth, Air, Fire, and Water were on display.
    Numerous sculptors who already had or would in the future have numismatic associations or design commemorative coins exhibited their works at the exposition. Aitken, of course, was already known as the designer of the famed fifty dollar commemorative coins sold only at the exposition, in round and octagonal formats. The octagonal format, reminding many collectors of the 1851-52 octagonal Gold Rush slugs, were the more popular of the two options.
    The present coin shows pleasing yellow-gold surfaces that are free of rub, even on the exposed highpoint of the cheek of Minerva, but light hairlines on each side attest to an old cleaning. This lot comes complete with a purple velvet-lined black snap box, similar to the original-issue boxes but made up by famed Fort Worth, Texas, numismatist B. Max Mehl, whose imprint in gold is stamped on the inside front cover.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# BYHP, PCGS# 7452)

    Weight: 83.59 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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