Presentation on theme: "Models of Liberty on Our US Coin Design types. What is the source of our earliest US coinage? A 1793 Wreath Cent Liberty facing right, a GMM copy John."— Presentation transcript:
What is the source of our earliest US coinage? A 1793 Wreath Cent Liberty facing right, a GMM copy John Wright is said to have prepared some of the dies for the 1793 and 1794 cents before succumbing to the Yellow Fever epidemic.
The source is believed to be the French engraver Augustin Dupré A contemporary restrike of the Libertas Americana Medal originally struck by the Paris Mint in 1782 shows Liberty facing left.
Robert Scots Flowing Hair type with Liberty again facing right The obverses of the three silver Coins of 1794 & 1795; The Flowing Hair half dime, half dollar and dollar. were engraved by our first Chief Engraver Robert Scot probably based on the Libertas American medal.
The reverses of the 1795 half dime, half dollar and dollar showing Robert Scots small eagle design
At left, the 1795 Flowing Hair dollar; at right, the new Draped Bust version In 1795, our first official Chief Engraver, Robert Scot fashioned a new obverse design for the silver dollar patterned after Gilbert Stuarts portrait of Lady Anne Bingham of Philadelphia. This became known as the Draped Bust type.
Both 1795 silver dollar reverses displayed a small scrawny eagle, but close scrutiny points to some notable differences. The coin at left is from the Flowing Hair obverse. The coin at right, from the Draped Bust obverse.
The Draped Bust, small eagle The 1795 the Draped Bust small eagle silver dollar.
The woman on the Draped Bust silver dollar was said to be Anne Bingham, nee Willing, a Philadelphia beauty.
Origin of the Draped Bust design Gilbert Stuart Anne Bingham Self portrait Portrait by Stuart
One sees very little resemblance between Stuarts portrait of Lady Anne Bingham and Scots engraving on the dollar. The 1799 Draped Bust/ Heraldic Eagle dollar. This coin type was struck from 1798 to 1803 and re-struck in 1834 with the 1804 date.
The next US design types were called the Classic Head on our copper coinage and Capped Bust on our silver coins. Both were engraved by Asst. Chief Engraver John Reich. An 1814 Classic Head large cent No one actually knows the source for Reichs designs. Many years afterward, rumors were spread that Reich had used his fat mistress to pose as Miss Liberty but these have long been labeled as bogus.
The Capped Bust silver type An 1811/10 Capped Bust Lettered edge half dollar The origin of the model for this type is unknown.
In 1835 Mint Director William Maskell Patterson decided to resume dollar coinage and sought a design type similar to the Britannia figure on English coinage. Thomas Sully Titian Peale He brought in renowned painters Thomas Sully and Titian Peale to prepare sketches for the proposed dollar coin.
Patterson asked Chief Engraver William Kneass, Sully and Peale to prepare sketches. Sketches for the new 1836 dollar coin obverse by Kneass, (left), Peale, (center) and Sully, (right).
Sully obverse and Peale eagle sketches for the 1836 Gobrecht dollar
Other principle figures in the resumption of our dollar coinage William Kneass, William M. Patterson, Christian Gobrecht After Kneass suffered a stroke in 1835 Mint Director Patterson asked noted engraver Christian Gobrecht to take over his duties.
Despite extensive research, it is not known whether any actual live model was used for the 1836 Liberty Seated Gobrecht dollar. An 1836 Gobrecht dollar graded AU-58 by NGC
Gobrecht died in 1844 and James Barton Longacre replaced him. James Barton Longacre, self portrait (1845) Chief Engraver of the US Mint from 1844-1869
Longacres 25 year tenure permitted him to create more new coinage designs than any engraver before or since. His first creations were the Liberty $1.00 and $20.00 coins in 1849. Shown above right is an 1849 gold dollar
In 1854 Longacre revised the dollar and introduced the $3.00 gold piece. Longacre Sketch and the $3.00 gold piece
Origin of the Indian Head cent Who was the model for this popular coin?
The Indian Head cent first struck in 1859 For years it was thought that Longacres 12 year old daughter Sarah was shown in an native American headdress but as she was born in 1828, she would have been a grown woman of 31, presumably married. No one is certain who the actual model was, if any.
Longacre also designed the 3¢ silver in 1851, the Flying Eagle 1¢ the 2¢ piece in 1864, the 3¢ nickel in 1865, and the Shield nickel in 1866. But Longacres most popular design was the Indian Head cent first struck in a copper-nickel alloy in 1859.
Still a nice Red/ Brown to Red Indian Head Cent is a lovely coin to behold. An 1875 Indian Head cent
It is unknown who the model, was, if any, who sat for William Barber, the Chief Engraver that followed Longacre after the latters death in 1869, but the new coin first struck in 1873 was patterned after the Britannia design seen on English coinage. Example of Britannia coin and 1875-S Trade dollar designed by William Barber
We do know who posed as Liberty for George Morgans dollar coin In 1877 Miss Anna Williams, a Philadelphia school teacher posed in secret for the Morgan dollar.
Anna Williams paid a high price. George Morgan was Assistant Engraver to William Barber in 1877 when he was asked to prepare patterns for a half dollar coin. He persuaded an attractive young school teacher and former art student named Anna Williams to pose for Miss Liberty. In those times the scions and ladies of the upper class considered female models as rather undignified. A school teacher caught in such an uncompromising situation could meet with disastrous consequences.
An attempt at Secrecy The sittings would take place in private at the home of renowned Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakens whose paintings can be seen today in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If anyone later inquired as to the source of the portrait they would be told that it was borrowed from a classical Greek painting housed in the Museum. Miss Williams sat for Morgan at five different sessions.
The coin went into circulation yet nothing happened, at least not right away, but in 1879 a Philadelphia newspaper reporter recognized Miss Williams as the school teacher on the coin and wrote an article calling her the Silver dollar girl. Poor Miss Williams! As a teacher of primary school age children she was summarily ordered to appear before the school board and was later dismissed for her actions; her life virtually ruined in a sea of gossip and humiliation.
Another side to the story Actually, after the Philadelphia reporters story broke, Anna Williamss supposed notoriety brought her much fame and idolatry from the public although she eschewed the fortune that could have come from it all. While she may have lost her teaching job shortly thereafter the story broke, she had little difficulty getting teaching positions later on. She never married although she lived a long life.
Miss Williams portrait becomes more recognizable when placed alongside Morgans $4.00 Coiled hair gold pattern coin. Anna Williams 1879 $4.00 gold Stella (enlarged)
The resplendent Morgan Dollar An 1891 Morgan dollar graded MS-63 by NGC
When William Barber died in 1879, the designer of the Morgan Dollar, George Morgan was passed over in favor of his son Charles Barber 1900 Barber Half dollar Some numismatic scholars strongly believe that Barber merely copied George Morgans dollar design reversing the direction.
Morgan and Barber Libertys compared Obverses of the 1892 Morgan $1.00 facing left and Barber half dollar facing right
The resemblance to Miss Williams may be more apparent on the Liberty nickel Anna Williams and 1892 Barber V nickel Both facing left
Who was the model who appeared on the 1907 Saint-Gaudens $20.00 & $10.00 gold coins? Saint-Gaudens 1897 1907 $20.00 High Relief Victory holding Feather Roman numerals Double Eagle
The source for the $20.00 gold piece dates back to Saint- Gaudens sculpture of the Sherman Monument (1897) The General Sherman monument on horseback led by Victory can be seen in New York at the corner of Central Park south (59th Street) and 5th Avenue
Augustus Saint-Gaudens worked with many models but one of his favorites was Miss Hettie Anderson Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Hettie Anderson Miss Anderson who was born in South Carolina in 1874., She arrived in NYC as a young model in 1894. Her posing for Victory in 1897 was later used on the coin.
Later in 1907, the coin was redone in low relief with Arabic numerals and is far more common than the high relief Roman numeral subtype.
A Bust of Hettie Anderson which Saint-Gaudens had created earlier eventually was used for the $10.00 gold Indian Eagle coin. Bust of Hettie 1907 $10 Indian Gold
The Mystery behind Hermon MacNeils Quarter There may have been two models who posed for Hermon MacNeil's 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter
Rumor suggests not one but two women may have posed as Miss Liberty for Hermon MacNeils Standing Liberty quarter first struck in 1916. The first was thought to be Doris Doscher, a music hall actress who went by the stage name Doris Doree. According to J.H. Cline, dealer and author of Standing Liberty Quarters, Miss Doscher was a long time family friend and tennis partner of the engraver.
Tennis also played a part in the other woman who modeled for Miss Liberty on the Standing Liberty quarter. She was Mrs. Irene MacDowell, the wife of another tennis partner of MacNeil and also a Broadway actress. She claims to have posed for a number of days as Miss Liberty but her husband disapproved and so, this was kept secret from the public until 1972 shortly before Mrs. MacDowells death.
There were two sub-types of the Standing Liberty Quarter issued in 1917 The same impropriety associated with modeling was directed towards any suggestion of nudity on our coinage. Notice the redressing of Miss Liberty on the Type II at right.
Who was the model for the Walking Liberty Half Dollar? A 1916-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar, first year of issue.
. The model for these two coins was the young wife of the poet Wallace Stevens who was said to be quite beautiful. The couple were renting an apartment in New York City whose landlord just happened to be Adolph Weinman, the sculptor and disciple of Saint-Gaudens. He needed a model to sit for his rendition of the new dime and half dollar competition of 1916 and Elsie posed for him to help defray the cost of the rent.
The Peace dollar was the last US coin intended for circulation that portrayed the allegorical figure of Liberty. A 1927-D Peace $1.00 graded MS-62 by Anacs
The model for the Peace $1.00 was the young wife of designer Anthony de Francisci. Theresa de Francisci
Another portrait of Theresa de Francisci alongside the obverse of 1928 Peace dollar
There is still more research to be done on the models who portrayed Liberty on some of our early US coinage. We owe a debt to the artists, models and engravers who had a hand in creating many of our coins that today are regarded among the most beautiful in the world. -The End-