The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 6, February 9, 2003, Article 9


  David Lange writes: "I'd like to thank those persons who
  furnished information about the Lamasure painting of the first
  U. S. Mint buildings. Ron Guth was quite helpful in providing
  some facts, and he has given permission to publish his

  "You might try contacting Craig Whitford about the Lamasure
  painting. I know that he made reproductions of the image on
  postcards and that, at one time, he was interested in re-creating,
  in miniature, the early U.S. Mint and its machinery, so he may
  know where the painting is currently located.

  By way of coincidence, I just purchased a Frank Stewart
  publication that contains information about the Mint, printed
  closer to the time of the actual demolition than his book was.
  If you are interested, I'll let you know if there is any different
  or new information contained therein, when the book arrives.

  At the Philadelphia ANA, I visited Congress Hall, hoping to
  see the Stewart collection on display. Unfortunately, the
  collection has been put in storage and, except for a few
  pieces on display at the Philadelphia Mint, is essentially
  inaccessible. Stewart must be rolling over in his grave!"

  Craig Whitford was indeed helpful, as he provided the
  following: "In regards to the whereabouts of the Lamasure
  painting of the first mint....its last known location was in the
  Independence Hall Collection.

  In the May 1977 issue of Coinage magazine in an article
  titled "Home of Our First Mint" by Thomas W. Becker,
  he notes the following:

  "In 1967, I was elated to find the Lamasure painting
  stacked away in the basement of the First National Bank
  Building in downtown Philadelphia. I had gone with Charles
  Hoskins on the recommendations of Eva Adams, then Director
  of the Bureau of the Mint. ..Together, Hoskins and I set up the
  cameras and lights, took careful meter readings, and closely
  inspected the painting....Looking over my research notes
  dictated after the work in Philadelphia that November of 1967,
  I find this notation: "The Lamasure painting is a pastel (water
  color) measuring 34 7/8 inches across the top and 24 inches
  up and down both sides. The painting is on thin cardboard, one
  solid sheet, and the entire piece of material is now in a very bad
  state of repair..."

  I have nice copies of the postcards in color of the Lamasure
  painting which Frank Stewart produced if you would like one
  for use as an image. I also, during 1986, commissioned a local
  artist to "recreate" the Lamasure image with a few changes. The
  commissioned oil painting is 24 x 36 and I have images of it
  available for reproduction as well."

  Dave Bowers writes: "The Lamasure painting was hanging in
  the foyer of the 4th Philadelphia Mint when I was there on
  April 2, 1992 (100th anniversary of the 1792 Mint Act),
  when a special ceremony was held. Possibly it is still there.

  The "other" well-known 20th century painting, a fanciful scene
  of the striking of the 1792 half dismes, was commissioned by
  Jim Kelly, Dayton (later Englewood), Ohio, dealer, active
  from the 1940s through the 1970s."

  NBS President Pete Smith writes: "The Philadelphia Mint has
  a small Interpretive Center above the Gift Shop. I believe I
  saw the original Lamazure painting there when I visited the
  Mint in 2000.

  Stewart reproduced the painting in color in two sizes for
  calendars he distributed. If David Lange cannot get permission
  to copy the original painting, he may wish to contact me to
  reproduce one of the Stewart calendars. The calendar is an
  item I exhibited in Philadelphia in 2000."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address:

To subscribe go to:
Copyright © 2005-2011 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.



Copyright © 1998 - 2011 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster