Jim Wells spotted an error in last week's item about a Heritage auction lot. Thanks!
I enjoyed the March 6 E-Sylum article about a fascinating coin: "A Hand Engraved Gold Dollar Pattern." Yet I see Heritage Auctions' error was repeated: "...The reverse has a laurel wreath around the perforated center and outside that UNITED STATES OF AMERICA..."
Look again: the coin reads U. STATES OF AMERICA - reminding me of Henry Voigt's "UNITED STATES OF AMERI." on the first Chain Large Cent. Why would James Longacre abbreviate the UNITED? Was the experienced designer unable to calculate the space needed? Or did he start at the end, with AMERICA, then work backwards to the UNITED and then realize he had run out of room? At first I thought he might be left-handed to do that, but his self-portrait (below) appears to show him right-handed (unless he was painting his mirror image!)
It harks to another old controversy: do left-handed engravers face their coin portraits to the left, to better sculpt the subject's eyes, mouth, etc. from the left; and right-handers face their portraits right, for the same reason? Or are engravers even given that choice? Ah, the mystery.
Keep up the interesting dialogues!
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
FEATURED WEB PAGE: A HAND-ENGRAVED GOLD DOLLAR PATTERN
Wayne Homren, Editor
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