NBS member R.V. Dewey has been working for some time researching U.S. Mint engraver James B. Longacre and his work. The below photo may take some time to absorb and interpret, but R.V. may be on to something here. What do our readers see here? -Editor
R. V. Dewey writes:
The accompanying photograph is an untouched original that I shot of a coin I own and represents an area less then one-quarter square inch on the coin.s surface.
The best way to view this image is in a totally darkened room. Put the image on your screen and walk away a comfortable distance to view it. Try and acclimate your eyes for a few minutes to the lighting conditions from 3 to 10 feet from the screen. Let your eyes wander and have an open, receptive mind and enjoy for the first time ever, secret artwork from the engraver never intended to be seen by us, the .outsiders..
These early 19th Century vignettes by Mr. James Barton Longacre do not scream for attention, as they merely whisper to those who will listen intently.
If you can see J.B.L..s face, (to the right of the top center triangle), his bold signature is below and to the right of his self portrait.
Mr. Longacre.s signature resembles a boat anchor with the J and the L sharing a common vertical line. The top left horizontal bar of the signature appears to touch his chin. Notice that the J in the .anchor. gently turns upward, while the L terminates (in the far right .white strip. area) in a diamond shape or arrow design. Could that be Jim.s dog at the far top left?
Play, connect the dots, with the black spots at the far top left and watch the faces shift from one face to another, go very slowly. Notice the three spots that vaguely resemble the constellation Orion angling upwards. Focus on the two spots to the right then the two to the left. Take your time - he is a wonderful artist!
Tip #1: viewing your screen standing up from the far left side, find the dots that make the upside-down isosceles triangle (top left area). This will bring the .big dog. into focus every time.
Tip #2: do not get discouraged, patience will prevail. Remember these micro engravings were for his personal enjoyment, not ours! To view these images we become guests in Mr. Longacre.s miniature world of camouflage, image-shifting and plausible deniability!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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