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    Description

    Possible Finest Known 1907 Specimen Striking High Relief Double Eagle

    1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim PR69 NGC. In an article in the American Art Review, there is a lengthy quote by Augustus Saint-Gaudens about his artistic theories. The portion that best expresses his approach toward his art is: "I thought that art seemed to be the concentration of the experience and sensation of life in painting, literature, sculpture and particularly acting, which accounts for the desire in artists to have realism." This is a revealing quote that summarizes a lifetime's work that was expressed in the ten dollar and twenty dollar coins that he designed at the end of his life. One certainly gets the impression from viewing a High Relief, of the sensation of lifelike sculpture and sensation, as the figure of Liberty, as well as the eagle, and a dynamic appearance.
    Unknown to most collectors, the mint apparently struck a very limited number of proof, or specimen strike High Relief double eagles for presentation purposes. These coins were struck multiple times (as were regular High Reliefs) although opinions vary greatly on the actual number of strikes; be it three, five, or seven (which is highly doubtful). They display a satiny finish as do regular High Reliefs. Breen alludes to a single example known with a matte sandblast finish, but we discount that theory and the existence of a llegitimate coin made utilizing that process. Previous numismatic research points to two die pairs being used for specimen strikes, however no consistent, noteworthy differences have been satisfactorily explained. The dies were coupled with two distinctly different collars; one displaying uneven bases on the M in UNUM, the other showing even bases. (Of course, the NGC holder precludes confirmation of this.)
    An impressive coin in all regards, both sides are essentially perfect as would be dictated by the assigned grade. There are numerous die striations in the fields, but we stress that this feature is diagnostic of this issue in general. The dies were constantly being maintained, be it for a business strike or specimen strike. Both sides display a warm, green-gold sheen that accents the uncommonly sharp striking detail. A partial wire rim is seen circling most of the obverse and about half of the reverse peripheries. For pedigree purposes, we mention a microscopic group of four tiny planchet imperfections in the reverse field at the leading edge of the eagle's wingtip under the period preceding TWENTY. These are visible only with magnification. Also, when NGC encapsulated this rare coin, it was placed too high in the holder resulting in the clear plastic cover piece coming in contact with Liberty's knee. A casual observer might confuse a resulting small gray area on the plastic with rubbing on the knee which is definitely NOT the case.
    From The Phillip H. Morse Collection of Saint-Gaudens Coinage.(#9137) (NGC ID# 28AX, PCGS# 9132)

    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 [The Morse Collection: Palm Beach, November 3, 2005 ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2005
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,905

    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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