Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 51

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Lot 1572

1907 $10 Indian. Rounded rim, periods. PCGS graded MS-65 PQ. A coin of virtual perfection thus our Premium Quality designation. Here is a superb satiny mint gem with immaculate surfaces throughout and all is enhanced by a touch of golden sunset toning. Although the PCGS population lists 17 finer, we cannot imagine that is the actual case and thus this splendid gem is worthy of a premium bid. A mere 50 were struck.

Flawless revolving gold surfaces combine with an essentially perfect strike to make this a breath-taking Gem specimen of the first date and type of the Saint-Gaudens design. Edges are raised and boldly defined with a "rolled" look not seen on other 1907-dated issues. The rim is there to protect legends and devices from wear in circulation and during stacking in bank coin trays. The announcement that this coin was never handled or in circulation should come as no surprise, for the glow from the surface is rich with vibrancy and life, metaphorically speaking. Around the inner margin are 13 stars and, on the reverse, the usual legend (but without IN GOD WE TRUST); and the somewhat indistinct detail convinced Mint Superintendent John S. Landis that it made the coins look ''sweated,'' (his word) or super-heated to ''sweat'' measurable amounts of gold from genuine coins. The coin itself is identifiable from the few others in this grade by a pair of tiny marks on the right leg of the eagle (one is horizontal and below it, a slightly larger diagonal contact mark). You can generally tell a coin's character from its features. And collectors who have an instinct for "character" will spot it in this coin in a heartbeat. Put simply, this spectacular rarity is destined to be a centerpiece in some high-quality gold collection featuring only the finest and rarest treasures in American numismatics. Pop 16; 17 finer, 14 in 66, 3 in 67 (PCGS # 8851) .

Augustus Saint-Gaudens' so-called "Indian" Head Eagles are more properly a concoction of his creative genius having to mold itself to the political realities of coin design. Read some of Walter Breen's acidic commentary on how this special coin came about: "For the new eagle design, Augustus St. Gaudens [sic] (in consultation with Pres. Theodore Roosevelt) decided to use not a standing figure but a head, feeling that the heroic effect of any standing figure, as chosen for the double eagle, would be lost in smaller diameter. The President disgusted beyond measure at what he called our 'atrociously hideous' coinage, had asked St. Gaudens to design replacements.

The profile St. Gaudens chose originated in a figure of Nike ('Victory'), part of his Gen. Sherman Monument (1905), ultimately inspired by a Hellenistic Wingless Victory on the temple of Zeus Soter. at Pergamon. At Pres. Roosevelt's insistence, and for no other reason, St. Gaudens gave this head a nationalistic character by the absurd addition of a feathered war bonnet, such as neither Ms. Liberty nor any Native American woman would have ever worn."
Estimated Value $200,000 - 225,000.

Realized $230,000

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