For many collectors of tokens and medals, gold medals are out of
reach. The value of the gold makes many expensive, out of the range of
the casual collector, and some have only modest artistic merit. Others
were awarded to recipients whose accomplishments are lost to history.
Many gold award medals that likely were coveted by their recipients
and their loved ones at one time often meet the melting pot.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 21 auctions at the Whitman Baltimore
Expo offered a number of medals that showcase the historical beauty of
the best of these gold award medals. Among them is an issue designed
by a prominent designer of U.S. coins.
National Institute of Arts and Letters award medal, Mint State 66
Adolph A. Weinman is best-known to collectors as designer of the
Walking Liberty half dollar and the Winged Liberty Head dime. He also
designed many gorgeous medals including the gold National Institute of
Arts and Letters medal.
Weinman was a member of the organization, which is now known as the
American Academy of Arts and Letters, and designed the medal in 1909.
The organization’s first award for sculpture was presented to the
widow of Augustus Saint-Gaudens (the sculptor died in 1907) and the
award is still presented to “any citizen of the United States, whether
a member of the Institute or not, for distinguished services to arts
and letters in the creation of original work.”
Inside Coin World: Note shows Washington
Monument as it should have looked: A 19th century
note shows the Washington Monument in its original though abandoned
form. Also in the June 25 Coin World, a coin scandal begins in 1935.
Stack’s Bowers sold a cast gold example measuring 57 millimeters in
diameter and graded Mint State 66 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. for
$6,600 on March 21. It was awarded to American educator and historian
William M. Sloane in 1927 and his name and the award date are recorded
in a recessed panel around the edge.
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