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    Exceptionally Well-Preserved 1907 High Relief Twenty
    Wire Rim, MS66

    1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim MS66 PCGS. We do not know for certain when Roosevelt decided to redesign the nation's coinage, but he had made up his mind by early 1905. Saint-Gaudens and the President likely discussed the idea at the American Institute of Architect's dinner on January 12, 1905 at the White House, and five days later Roosevelt sent the artist a letter asking if he could make designs for the "gold coins and the one cent pieces."
    By selecting an outside artist to redesign the coins, the president offended the Mint's Chief Engraver Charles Barber, whose large ego was no secret. Barber also had clashed with Saint-Gaudens on several occasions in the past. Their rivalry during the redesign has been mentioned on countless occasions, and even before Saint-Gaudens got to work on sketches he knew that Barber would be an obstacle.
    In 2003 Susan Grewe Tripp discovered an interesting letter dated January 14, 1905 from Saint-Gaudens to his brother Louis, who was also an artist. He wrote, "Barber is a S.O.A.B. but I had a talk with the President who ordered [Treasury] Secretary Shaw in my presence to cut Barber's head off if he didn't do our bidding." This comical anecdote tells a lot about Roosevelt's colorful personality, but it also shows that Saint-Gaudens must have been hesitant about accepting the President's commission and made his opinion of Barber very clear. Roosevelt's support gave Saint-Gaudens a level of protection from Barber, and it was through his persistence that the 1907 High Relief double eagles were struck.
    This is an exquisitely preserved example of the High Relief, a coin that more closely approaches art than anything else produced in the U.S. Mint. The surfaces are astonishingly free from the usual contact marks. In fact, we only see one, and it is located on the obverse below the T in LIBERTY. The rich, satiny mint luster has the usual overlay of light reddish patina. An outstanding, high-grade High Relief that will be sure to raise eyebrows at lot viewing and also at the price it realizes.(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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    6th-10th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,351

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% 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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