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    Description

    MCMVII High Relief Double Eagle, MS65+
    Outstanding Example of the Wire Rim Variant

    1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS65+ PCGS. A relatively unexamined part of the otherwise minutely detailed life of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is his brief time in Rome. The sculptor was concluding his studies at the École des Beaux-Art when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870. Despite his protests to his French artist-friends who remained in Paris and witnessed the war and subsequent Communard in 1871, the young Saint-Gaudens fled to Rome. While there he immersed himself in the Classics. His first large-sized, commissioned work Hiawatha, was completed there. While Hiawatha was an entirely American subject, Saint-Gaudens was strongly influenced by both the Classicism that surrounded him in Rome as well as Neoclassicism that had been so influential in the arts in Europe for more than a century. This early work of Saint-Gaudens is the only one that can be said to be in the genre of Neoclassicism. However, Saint-Gaudens was deeply affected by the sculpture from classical antiquity that he saw all around him in Rome. The remaining three decades of his life was devoted to Realism. Yet, toward the end of his life when President Roosevelt asked him to redesign the nation's coinage, both men looked to antiquity for inspiration in both design and precedents of coins struck in high relief. Both the ten and twenty dollar coins from 1907 show strong classical elements. The reverse of the ten dollar gold piece is an adaptation of the shekel of Tyre, an eagle A.A. Weinman (at that time a student of Saint-Gaudens) had used on the reverse of Theodore Roosevelt's Inaugural medal of 1905. The obverse of the twenty dollar coin was clearly an adaptation of the Nike of Samothrace in the Louvre, a statue Saint-Gaudens was undoubtedly familiar with from his days as a student in Paris.

    This amazing High Relief brings to life the powerful, striding figure seen on the Nike in the Louvre. The surfaces have thick satiny mint luster and are all but free from post-striking defects. Each side is bright yellow-gold with none of the often-seen reddish patina.(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
    January, 2015
    7th-12th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,328

    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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