By 1905 dissatisfaction with bland, lifeless coinage designs prepared exclusively by engravers at the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia, prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to commission new coin designs from some of America’s best art-ists and medalists. Beginning with sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ work in 1907, the redesign project outlived Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson administra-tions, and World War I to produce new circulating coins of the highest artistic standards.
"Renaissance of American Coinage 1916–1921" describes the origin, design and initial striking of these small medallic ambassadors. The story chronicles initial con-sultation with the Commission of Fine Arts, bureaucratic confusion, interfer-ence by vending machine companies and newspapers, to last minute altera-tions, and final production. In telling this fascinating story, author Burdette reveals long-untouched correspondence, drawings and models by sculptors Hermon MacNeil, Adolph Weinman, Albin Polasek and Anthony de Francisci.
Authoritative text, extensive illustrations and thorough referencing make "Renaissance of American Coinage 1916–1921" the only comprehensive source for this important, but often overlooked aspect of American art and numismatics. This book will be of special interest to historians of the early 20th century, coin col-lectors and fine art sculptors. It is intended to become a standard reference for libraries and historical research facilities.
"Renaissance of American Coinage 1916–1921" is the first of three books exploring the coinage redesign of 1907-1921. Companion volumes are expected to be released in early 2006 and 2007.
The book is available direct from Seneca Mill Press LLC, PO Box 1423, Great Falls VA 22066 for $64.95 plus $4.50 postage, or from several resellers including American Numismatic Rarities, Amos Advantage, R. M. Smythe and Edelman's.