by Roger W. Burdette – Seneca Mill Press
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 artists and medalists. Beginning with sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ work in 1907, the redesign project outlived Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson administrations, 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 consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts, bureaucratic confusion, interference by vending machine companies and newspapers, to last minute alterations, 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 collectors 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 late 2005 and 2006.
Roger W. Burdette is a numismatist and member of the American Numismatic Association since 1971. He has researched and written numerous articles for coin collector publications. The results of his research are incorporated into many of the standard reference books on numismatics including the Guide Book of United States Coins and United State Pattern Coins, Experimental and Trial Pieces, 8th edition. His research is based on original source materials from multiple public and private archives.
(c) 2005 Roger W. Burdette 352 pages
ISBN 0-9768986-0-8 (hard cover)
Seneca Mill Press LLC
P.O. Box 1423
Great Falls, VA 22066