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    1907 Wire Rim High Relief Twenty, MS65
    Nearly Perfect Surfaces

    1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS65 NGC. In 1897 Augustus Saint-Gaudens was presented with an honorary degree from Harvard. In his address, president Charles Eliot said:

    "Augustus Saint-Gaudens - a sculptor whose art follows and ennobles nature, enforces fame and lasting remembrance, and does not count the mortal years it takes to mold immortal fame."

    This last point underscores the time Saint-Gaudens took to finish the many commissions he took on. The Shaw Memorial occupied his attention for 14 years. The Sherman Memorial began in 1888, when Saint-Gaudens sculpted a bust of the old general, and he was not completely satisfied with the final product until 1903. Even with the sculptural elements largely a known (the obverse largely borrowed from the Sherman Monument), it still required three years for Saint-Gaudens and his assistant, Henry Hering, to bring the designs for the High Relief twenty dollar to completion. One has to wonder if death had not overtaken him, when Saint-Gaudens would have finally put the final touches to the double eagle.

    The Ultra High Relief twenties were preferred by Saint-Gaudens, but modern, high-speed minting rendered that high relief variant unworkable. It is to the everlasting credit of Henry Hering that he was actually able to bring the high relief design into production. This was an idea both President Roosevelt and Augustus Saint-Gaudens agreed was a goal worthy of attainment, one they saw on ancient Greek coins and sought to emulate. The attainment of that goal was one that required multiple blows from a hydraulic press to accomplish, and after three months only 11,250 pieces were produced. This is one of the finest we have seen at the Gem level. The strength of strike seen here is only present on the best-produced High Reliefs. The satiny mint luster is nearly unmarred with the only interruptions in the surfaces being a shallow contact mark at the end of the sixth ray on the obverse and a barely noticeable luster graze to the left of the U in UNITED on the reverse.
    Ex: Philadelphia Auction (Heritage, 8/2012), lot 5440.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 26F2, PCGS# 9135)

    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
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,079

    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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