Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 12

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Lot 38

Borglum, John Gutzon de la Mothe (1867-1941) American sculptor notable for creating the monument at Mount Rushmore. After receiving his training at France's École des Beaux-Arts, Borglum, the son of a woodcutter, returned to America and gained his first commission: that of the statue of Abraham Lincoln now standing in the rotunda of the Capitol building. Borglum was then asked to create a National Memorial in South Dakota featuring the likeness of four American presidents in colossal proportion. In fact, each head was to measure 60 feet high. Unfortunately, the artist died before the project was completed. His son, however, stepped in to complete the monument.

Document Signed ("Gutzon Borglum"). Four pages, quarto, Mount Rushmore, September 26, 1934. On pale yellow onionskin. Being a contract granting retail rights for souvenir items from Mount Rushmore to H.C. Farnham and Floyd Mellen of Omaha. Witnessed by Lincoln Borglum and three others. Also a Document Signed ("Gutzon Borglum"). One page, quarto, Mount Rushmore, October 3, 1934. On "Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission" letterhead. To Mr. Farnham. Both documents have transmittal folds, paper clip stains and nicks and chips to the edges but are, overall, in very good condition.

A wonderful group dealing with some of the concrete issues involved in marketing and popularizing the soon-to-be completed National Monument. The unmistakable faces from Mount Rushmore would be featured as bookends, portraits, busts, and in other formats created by Mr. Borglum. Images of the souvenirs would be provided to Farnam and Mellen for advertising purposes, as would copies of articles and interviews which "may have been written about Mount Rushmore." The items would be supplied "in plaster and in forms hereinbefore stated in a total quantity of not less than ten thousand…" The second document, an addendum to the first, allows for extension of the one year contract "provided 50,000 casts have been sold. Otherwise some new agreement must be entered upon." It is important to remember that the opening of Mount Rushmore had been anticipated for some time: the press and newsreels kept the American public abreast of progress on the Monument and this commercial agreement would help to protect Borglum's interests.
Estimated Value $1,750 - 2,500.

Realized $1,668

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