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    Description

    1907 Twenty Dollar High Relief, MS66
    Complete Wire Rim Around the Obverse

    1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS66 NGC. It might fairly be asked what the difference was between the Neoclassicists, who so strongly influenced American coinage in the 19th century, and the pure Classicism of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, as seen on the High Relief double eagle. One important distinction can be found in the writings of the Neoclassicists and then comparing what they said and did to what Saint-Gaudens sculpted in high relief format on the double eagle. Josiah Wedgewood, founder of the famous jasperware company that still bears his name, stated his intention 200 years ago as:

    "I only pretend to have attempted to copy the antique forms, but do not with absolute servility. I have endeavoured to preserve the style and spirit, or if you please, the elegant simplicity of the antique forms."



    While Augustus Saint-Gaudens never rejected Neoclassicism outright, he went further than just preserving the style and spirit of the ancient Greeks. Modeling for the figure of Liberty, used both in the Sherman Monument and later on the obverse of the High Relief double eagle did indeed copy the antique forms. Undoubtedly Saint-Gaudens was familiar with the Nike of Samothrace in the Louvre as early as his days as a student in the École des Beaux Arts in the late 1860s. It was this magnificent sculpture that served as the obvious reference point for his figure of Liberty that he transferred 40 years later to the obverse of the double eagle. He also preserved the sculptural integrity of the original Nike by engraving the dies for the double eagle in high relief, giving the figure a sculptural realism and vibrancy that was greatly diminished when Charles Barber lowered the relief for high-speed production. But before Barber lowered the relief, President Roosevelt managed to twist enough arms in the Mint to have 12,367 coins struck in high relief. This is a magnificent example that is crisply struck in all areas. The satiny mint luster is virtually unaffected by contact marks and there is just the slightest hint of reddish patina present. The "fin" or wire rim is complete around the obverse, but only visible around approximately half of the reverse.
    Selections From The Dr. James C. Kirk Collection of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles.(Registry values: N10218) (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.

    View all of [Selections From The Dr. James C. Kirk Collection of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 848

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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    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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