November 17, 2004 |
A historic Center City church has placed a masterpiece sculpture for sale on the open market after efforts to sell it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for more than $2 million fell short. The large marble relief, called Angel of Purity, was created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who is considered the most important American sculptor of the 19th century. It was installed in 1902 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church after grieving parents commissioned it as a memorial to their daughter, who had died of diphtheria.
January 8, 1999 |
Paying the troops has always been crucial to the success of military campaigns, and a sale Tuesday and Wednesday in New York will trace the disasters that befell both the British and the French in the 18th century when two of their ships, laden with gold and silver payments, foundered off Cape Breton Island. It is too late for those soldiers' heirs to sue, so coins dredged from the shipwrecks will open Stack's two-day sale of Americana, at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, 119 W. 56th St. When salvagers combed the wreck of HBMS Feversham, a British frigate, they found silver Massachusetts shillings.
January 2, 2004 |
Few things shake off a collector's winter blues more effectively than reading the January auction catalogs. Big auction houses scour the land for prize pieces, and this year is a good example. Orlando becomes the focus again. The Florida United Numismatists' show, Monday through Jan. 11, attracts buyers to three auctions. A collection of gold and silver dredged up from shipwrecks will add a little romance to the Monday and Tuesday auction by American Numismatic Rarities. Thomas Sebring's collection includes coins from the Atocha, the SS Central America, and Dutch and Spanish ships that foundered in the 18th century.
January 16, 2004 |
January is the month to look ahead and look back. The annual international Coin of the Year judging is going on to pick the most artistic and striking coins of 2002. Meanwhile, collectors are eagerly awaiting the appearance, probably not until March, of the first of the newly designed nickels. The coins are in production now. The annual competition picks coins from everywhere, offering prizes in many categories. U.S. coinage has had mixed success in recent years, though the Rhode Island state quarter carried off the top prize for the year in which it was struck.
September 17, 1997 |
A hundred years after they were honored by a memorial on Boston Common, the black Civil War soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment are finding glory once again at the National Gallery of Art. A giant plaster relief version of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens work commemorating the regiment and its white commander will grace the gallery's West Building for at least the next 10 years. "I doubt if plaster or bronze has ever spoken more eloquently than in this memorial," Gen. Colin Powell, retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the statue's dedication yesterday.
November 29, 1987 |
Navigators discovered and opened much of the world to European development in the late 15th century, and the next decade will see commemorative coins and medals celebrating the 500th anniversary of the golden age of navigation. The Portuguese State Mint will be among the first to mark the anniversaries of the departure and return of many ships with a series of legal-tender coins. Antonio Miguel Trigueiros, marketing manager for the mint in Lisbon, said the gold coins in this series would be the first gold pieces to be struck in Portugal in a century.
November 30, 2003 |
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was not only the most important American sculptor of the 19th century, he was one of the greatest this country has produced at any time. Need proof? See the exhibition devoted to his work at the Allentown Art Museum. Saint-Gaudens' public monuments alone confirm his stature many times over. In the heart of Midtown Manhattan, his equestrian statue of Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman commands the southeast corner of Central Park, accompanied by a radiant allegorical figure of a female Victory, who proclaims the Union general's triumphal campaign through Georgia.
August 3, 1997 |
It's easy to understand the inspiration that enveloped America's best-respected sculptor of the 19th century when you're sitting on a white-columned veranda and looking out across a golden meadow that slips into a valley to meet New Hampshire's Mount Ascutney. This beautiful, unspoiled stretch of the upper Connecticut River Valley was home to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who created some of the most noteworthy public monuments still standing in cities here and abroad. He came to Cornish in 1885, when he was working on a statue of Abraham Lincoln and looking for lanky farmers to serve as presidential models.
December 17, 1989 |
In addition to the usual books on areas of collecting, and the annual flood of scholarly companions to museum exhibitions, this season's antiques books also include two entertaining volumes about collectors themselves - and a third on how to become one. The Vanderbilts by Jerry E. Paterson (Harry N. Abrams, $45) is illustrated with pictures of furnishings of Vanderbilt houses and the art collected by the family members. It is not only a good story about the lifestyle of this very rich family, but a source book on turn-of-the-century taste.
October 12, 1986 |
An unusually large collection of gold coins minted in San Francisco will be sold Oct. 22-23 at the Omni Park Central Hotel, 56th St. at Seventh Avenue, New York City. The trove of gold coins from a private collection includes complete sets by year, mostly in uncirculated condition. The collection, which will be auctioned by Sack's, also includes complete coinage by Augustus Saint-Gaudens by year. The San Francisco Mint began production in 1854 in the wake of the California gold rush.