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    1907 Double Eagle, MS65
    Flat Rim High Relief
    Warm, Satiny Mint Luster

    1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS65 NGC. Augustus Saint-Gaudens is universally considered the greatest American sculptor of the 19th and early 20th centuries. But work did not come easy in his early years. His son Homer recounts that after his father returned to New York after his first residency in Rome, it was with "great persistence" that he obtained commissions in those early years. As examples of Saint-Gaudens' need for work in the early 1870s he mentions two commissions:

    "One of these commissions for a large semi-circular panel for the Adams Express Company Building in Chicago, represented a bull-dog, with revolvers and bowie knives to assist him, guarding a couple of safes. Another, for a silver candelabra, which Tiffany was to place in the Gordon Bennett yacht Mohawk, was a figure of an Indian dancing with knife and scalp."

    Even though commissions were difficult to come by in these early years and caused him "intense nervous stress" Saint-Gaudens made time to teach his brother Louis and three others how to cut cameos, a craft he had learned beginning at age 13. His skill as a cameo cutter acquainted him with some of the demands of sculpting, especially when working in a small area, a skill that would serve him well when he was later called upon to redesign the nation's coinage.

    By the time he was called upon by President Roosevelt to redesign the ten and twenty dollar gold pieces, he was certainly more secure in commissions than in his early years. However, Saint-Gaudens had difficulty turning down commissions throughout his life, even when completion was years away. His previous experience as a cameo cutter and sculptor are abundantly evident in the design of the High Relief twenty dollar. This particular coin shows an almost completely flat rim around each side, just a trace of extruded metal can be seen on the reverse. The surfaces exude a warm, satiny mint luster that is lightly accented by light reddish patina, and there are no obvious contact marks on either side.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9136)

    Weight: 33.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    4th-7th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 841

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse and Steven Duckor Collections
    Revised Edition by Roger Burdette, and edited by James L. Halperin and Mark Van Winkle

    Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles is an issue-by-issue examination of this 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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