IRVINE, Calif. (June 2012) — Today the Standing Liberty quarter design of 1916-1917 and the modified motif of 1917-1930 are among the greatest of numismatic favorites. Scheduled to cross the auction block at the World’s Fair of Money — the summer American Numismatic Association convention — are four models created by the artist, Hermon A. MacNeil and descended through his family.
The most dramatic is a plaster model for the 1916 quarter with a design differing in details from the adopted version. The shield held by Miss Liberty has a radiant sunburst, and other variations are seen. Measuring 135.5 mm inner diameter plus a border of 14.5 to 15.5 mm this is one the most dramatic existing items from the new silver issues of 1916, described by historian Roger Burdette as the “Renaissance of American Coinage.”
A bas-relief bronze cast of a 1916 quarter obverse will cross the block as well. This design, not adopted for coinage, was the artist’s favorite. The auction catalog notes: On seeing this spectacular piece for the first time the reaction is, ‘Wow! So that’s what a Standing Liberty quarter is supposed to look like!’ But after a moment, the eye is drawn to two playful dolphins aside Liberty’s feet, then to the motto IN GOD WE TRVST draped across Liberty, two sprigs of laurel and last, the missing olive branch. What kind of Standing Liberty quarter is this? The truth is this is what Hermon MacNeil had intended his new quarter to look like.” This measures 130 mm inner diameter plus 11 to 13 mm border.
A plaster bas-relief of MacNeil’s modified reverse design for the 1917 Type II quarter, of approximately like diameter, is another unique addition to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries sale. The suite of models concludes with a cast bronze bas-relief of the artist’s alternate design for the reverse of the 1917 Type II quarter.
“The offering of four different models for one of America’s most beautiful, most admired designs is unique in numismatics,” noted Chris Napolitano, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. “Our ANA Convention Sale will be forever remembered for the treasures in contains across the spectrum of numismatics, including many pieces such as these models that may never be offered again.”
Stay tuned to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website at www.stacksbowers.com for a parade of rarities crossing the block in the official auction being held in conjunction with the World’s Fair of Money August 7-12, in Philadelphia. In addition, the Pre-ANA sale will be hosted by Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 4-6. Participation in all events can be done by phone, online or in-person attendance.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries, a division of Fortune 500 Company Spectrum Group International Inc. (SPGZ.PK), was launched in January 2011, combining the extraordinary histories of Stack’s, the oldest rare coin auction and retail company in America, with Bowers and Merena Auctions, one of the world’s pre-eminent auctioneers of rare coins and paper money. The two companies unite to share a combined legacy that spans more than 100 years, and includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable collections to ever cross an auction block – the John. J. Ford, Jr. and Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., collections, the Harry W. Bass, Jr., Collection, and the Norweb Collection, to name just a few. Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the legendary 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle that realized an astounding $7.59 million (sold in partnership with Sotheby’s). The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, New Hampshire and Hong Kong. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including the ANA World’s Fair of Money and ANA/PNG Pre-Show auctions, and the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expos in Baltimore, three times yearly, and also Philadelphia.