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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 42, October 18, 2009, Article 7

FOLLOW-UP: SAINT-GAUDENS COINAGE OF THE AMERICAS CONFERENCE

Megan Fenselau of the American Numismatic Society forwarded a press release following the recent Coinage of the Americas Conference dedicated to Saint-Gaudens. Here are some excerpts. -Editor

The American Numismatic Society held a Stack Family Coinage of the Americas Conference dedicated to Saint-Gaudens and his Numismatic Legacy on Saturday, October 10, 2009, at its headquarters in New York City. Over thirty members attended the event, at which experts on Saint-Gaudens and interested collectors, scholars and dealers discussed the master sculptor's medallic productions.

One of the surprises of the conference was the presentation of a new Saint-Gaudens find in the collections of the ANS. Robert W. Hoge, the Curator of North American Coins and Currency, gave an overview of the ANS Saint-Gaudens holdings entitled "Saint-Gaudens at the American Numismatic Society: A Collection Survey" in which he presented an unusual piece of fascinating ephemera. During the search of the trays, ANS curatorial assistant Sylvia Karges had come across a bronze printing block and a leather pouch, which were apparently specifically made for Saint-Gaudens' 1905 Theodore Roosevelt Special Inauguration Medal.

These had been part of an important purchase made by the ANS in 1961, of items that had come through the family of Augustus' Saint-Gaudens' brother Louis.

Among the ANS holdings on view to the COAC participants were the original plaster models, electrotypes and trial strikes made to Saint-Gaudens' order for his assistant Henry Hering, who coordinated the work with the new coin designs during and after the master's final days. These had been acquired from Hering's estate and donated to the ANS in 1949 by Martin Kortjohn.

Michael Moran, the author of the recent book Striking Change, gave a paper about the relationship between Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Charles Barber, entitled "Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Charles Barber: Unbounded Egos Unbounded Conflict," in which he re-examined their famous feud. In Moran's assessment, Barber's role has been underappreciated, as Saint-Gaudens' side of the story has been more prominently featured in later accounts. Roger Burdette gave a short, thought-provoking paper on Teddy Roosevelt's relationship with Saint-Gaudens, entitled "The Lion's Pride: Collecting America's Best Sculptor."

THE BOOK BAZARRE

DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE will be holding its next mail-bid auction on December 3. Featured Lot: Complete 21-volume set of hardcover catalogues of Stack's sales of the John J. Ford, Jr. collection. For more information, see www.fanningbooks.com . To request a catalogue, e-mail dfanning@columbus.rr.com .


Wayne Homren, Editor

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