US Coins

Gobrecht’s grave site to get marker from LSCC

Christian Gobrecht served as the third chief engraver of the United States from Dec. 21, 1840, until his death at age 58 on July 23, 1844.

Image courtesy of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The Liberty Seated Collectors Club has scheduled the public unveiling and dedication on Nov. 13 of a special grave marker recognizing the contributions to American coinage of the third chief engraver of the United States, Christian Gobrecht.

The 1 p.m. Eastern Time event is to be held at the Gobrecht family grave site area at Lawnview Cemetery, now known as Lawnview Memorial Park, 500 Huntington Pike, in Rockledge, Pennsylvania, northwest of Philadelphia.

The engraver’s plot is located at Lot 136, Section B, Grave 97.

The LSCC-contributed black granite grave marker recognizes Gobrecht’s service at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and is emblazoned with a rendition of the design of the obverse from an 1836 Gobrecht, Name on Base, No Stars on Obverse, original silver dollar pattern, Judd 60. 

Establishing a legacy

Professionally trained as an engraver, Christian Gobrecht was sought by U.S. Mint Director Robert Patterson in 1823 to fill an assistant engraver position at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, but Gobrecht turned down the offer.

In December 1823, Gobrecht directly petitioned President James Monroe to be appointed chief engraver, but that position instead went to William Kneass.

Over the following 17 years while Kneass served as chief engraver, Gobrecht engraved and sold letter and number punches to the U.S. Mint and provided a pattern die in 1826, of which no examples remain.

In September 1835, Gobrecht was hired on the Mint’s payroll as a second engraver after Kneass had suffered a crippling stroke on Aug. 27, 1835. Following  Kneass’ stroke, almost all pattern and die work was executed by Gobrecht, including variants of the Gobrecht dollar patterns, which were struck briefly in small quantities from 1836 to 1839.

Shortly after Kneass’ death in 1840, Gobrecht was appointed chief engraver of the U.S. Mint, Dec. 21, 1840, by President Martin Van Buren.

During his tenure as chief engraver of the Mint, Gobrecht executed what he is primarily known for, the Seated Liberty dollar, based on sketches by artists Thomas Sully and Titian Peale.

The Seated Liberty design was used on several denominations, and remained in use on U.S. coinage until 1891.

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