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US Coin 'Renaissance Era' Faves


Ætheling

Which is you fave?  

22 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is your fave?

    • Saint Gaudens Double Eagle
    • Indian Eagle
    • Indian Half Eagle
      0
    • Indian Quarter Eagle
    • Peace Dollar
    • Walking Liberty Half Dollar
    • Standing Liberty Quarter
    • Mercury Dime
      0
    • Buffalo Nickel
    • Lincoln 'Wheat' Cent


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The period 1907-1921 is rightly regarded as the era when US coinage underwent a Renaissance, the drab* Barber series was replaced by a new wave of artistic designs.

 

There's no doubt that the post-1907 designs are still popular to this day, but which one is your all time favourite? Why?

 

 

 

* As they are sometimes described, whether you agree or not, I'll leave that to you.

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There's no doubt that the post-1907 designs are still popular to this day, but which one is your all time favourite? Why?

I voted for the Walking Liberty half dollar. There is an unsurpassed elegance and overall balance in the stance of Liberty as well as the eagle on the reverse. It is almost "art nouveau" (or "Jugendstil" in German). The eagle on the reverse of the Morgan dollars, for example, has always struck me as being somewhat top-heavy.

 

The St. Gaudens Double Eagle would be my very close second choice, though I really don't like the reverse as much as I do the obverse of that design.

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Standing Liberty for me (Well there's a surprise! :grin: ). For me, I just think that it's the best portrait of Miss Liberty, graceful and even beautiful, the reverse is not so strong though, imho.

 

A very close second are the incuse Indians, just marvellous coins. I've really done a U turn in my opinion on those, I was never keen on them until I held one in my hand, then it happened. Love the radical 'incuse' nature of the design, also very well balanced design elements.

 

Just trailing a little behind those is the Mercury Dime, always loved that coin, just looks cool.

 

 

The only two I don't like of the new type coins are the Lincoln cents (that was the coin design that started US coins on the slippery slope to president mugshots) and my least favourite of them all is the Buffalo Nickel, I just don't like that coin, too cluttered, no fields and i'm not all that bothered about buffalo.

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Peace dollar. Glad to see the overrated St. Gaudens DE isn't voted yet!

 

BITE YOUR TONGUE!!!

 

The Saint is by far my favorite, the symbolism abounds, from the number of stars for the number of states, Liberty standing over the capitol with a torch to light the way and an olive branch of peace, the eagle soaring in flight over a rising sun, so much beauty. Though I will admit, the Saint-Gaudens eagle is a close second in my mind, and I think I like the eagle even better on that one.

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Walking Liberty Half for me. Overall I feel it has the best design when the entire coin is taken into consideration. Both the obverse and reverse are stunning. Liberty is beautiful and the full body view showing her walking across America is a fantastic symbol. They are all beautiful and I could not rank them in order of appeal to me.

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I don't think the StG Double Eagle is ugly. I just don't think it is "THE KING OF COINS" or any other crap like that that dealers, coin world, etc would have you believe. It's 20th century gold that did not circulate. Put one of many other designs in gold instead of silver and those will be big hits too.

 

Overrated does not mean "ugly" or "undesirable". It just means... it shouldn't be ranked as high as the coin media ranks it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to cast my vote for the Walking Liberty as well. Not only is it a beautiful and symbolic design, but it holds its beauty even when circulated. Merc dimes and Standing Liberty quarters are a close second. I like the design on the buffalo nickel, but I don't like the fact that the date is the first thing to go when the coin sees actual use. As for the peace dollar and all the gold denominations, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they should really be counted, since they saw very little actual use. Symbolic and commemorative coins are nice enough, but I honestly don't see the point in a coin that is never used.

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The Saint (in particular with Roman numerals) has always been my favorite design, and I make no apologies for that. The Walker is close behind--they both share similar design thoughts anyway.

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I think it would be neat to have a similar thread for "favorite era of US coins". We can showcase all the major eras "Wheat, Buffalo, Mercury, Standing, Walking, Peace, St. Gaudens" vs "Indian, V nick, Barbers, Morgan, Liberty Heads" vs etc etc

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I am only going on the record here, not intending to convince, convert or persuade.

 

First, the word "renaissance" requires an original birth. Tne Renaissance of the 1400s was the rebirth of Roman (and Greek) culture. Where is the original American numismatic art that was superior to some "middle age" of lesser merit? Was that intermediate era Longacre or Barber? Was the Early Federal coinage so superior that it had to be copied by Saint Gaudens, as Michelangelo rediscovered classicism in the human form? Not at all. There was no "Renaissance of American coinage" because there never was any earlier, and better age to be copied.

 

Second, copying the past is not as consequential as inventing the future. What made American coinage so dismal - and needing a "rebirth" - was Barber's cribbing of Rorty. But, then you have to ask, how was that inferior to Saint Gaudens stealing from the Greeks? The $20 Saint is just the Nike of Paionios. Everyone knows that. And it was a copy of a copy because he used it on his Sherman Monunment.

 

Show me the numismatic equivalent of this:

 

fallingwater01.jpg

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Show me the numismatic equivalent of this:

 

(Fallingwater image snipped for space)

1982GOLDFRANKLLOYDWRIGHTHALFOUNCEMEDALPCGSMS66101309.jpg

 

Sorry, couldn't resist. :D

 

I'd be inclined to consider the Seated Lib series as the 'first birth', m'self, especially taking the concurrent Flying Eagle cents, two cents, three cents, and shield and V nickels into account.

 

Slight digression re: Frank Lloyd Wright - I happened to be in Springfield, Ohio several years ago with a friend of mine and mentioned that I'd like to do a photographic study of some of the older neighborhoods and somehow or another mentioned that I've always loved Wright architecture--at which point he directed me to Wright's Westcott House, then undergoing renovation. There was a large dumpster alongside with some of the original wood latticework from the windows. After I stopped hyperventilating, I promptly dove in and recovered a small piece for myself. :)

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Glad to hear that you have some original FLlW millwork! Back when (way back when, now) my wife and I bought a pair of those American Medallic half ounce Frank Lloyd Wrights.

 

My link

 

See, the SLQ is very Roman and all, but do you like her with or without the armor?

 

I agree on the 3-cent, both silver and nickel. The nickel is the better design. Both are balanced and harmonious in their own way. Neither wins prizes today.

 

I beg leave to repeat that a "Renaissance" implies some previous Golden Age. What was the better time of American coinage that this supposed "renaissance" recaptured?

 

What this is, really, is just the vanilla creme of Neo-Classicism. In the (perhaps lost) book Art Under a Dictatorship, Lehman Haupt condemns classicism, as did Frank Lloyd Wright, for its stultifying consequences on art. I point out that the Mercury Dime of 1916 sported the Fasces, the symbol of Unity. The "Renaissance of American Coinage" was only the local version of an international trend against individualism.

 

To see what is possible, spend some time in the Website of the Internatioanl Federation of Medalists

FIDEM here http://www.fidem-medals.org/index.html

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  • 1 month later...

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