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Established in 1930 to promote metallic arts, the Society of Medalists annually commissioned prominent sculptors to create medals that were then cast in bronze and, later, silver. The series represents an artistic tapestry of the currents of thought in mythology, religion, philosophy, the sciences, art, literature, world cultures, nature and current events, throughout the decades of the 20th century.
Blue Moon Coins has 87 of the .999 pure silver medals issued from 1930 to 1995, including an additional Bicentennial medal. Three of the medallions are highlighted here.
– Lot 168: Charles Lindbergh & Spirit of Lone Eagle (1932). Frederick MacMonnies
(1863-1937) was an American expatriate sculptor who studied under Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the designer of the $20 double eagle gold coin and the $10 Indian head gold coin. Known for his sculpture of American Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, MacMonnies fashioned the Charles Lindbergh medal, fourth in the Society of Medalists series. MacMonnies writes of this medal: “In the head of Lindbergh I have tried to catch something of the inner belief and nobility of vision of the boy, together with the experience of the master airman.”
– Lot 160: Genesis & Web of Destiny (1949). Adolph Weinman insisted he was an architectural sculptor, despite being best known for his numismatic designs of the walking Liberty half dollar (which is now used as the obverse of the 1-ounce American silver eagle) and the Mercury dime. Characterized by a lyrical, neo-classical style, his pieces sit in such prominent places as the pediments of the Jefferson Memorial and the National Archives Building, both in Washington, D.C.; the Missouri State Capitol; and the new subterranean Pennsylvania Station in New York City where many of his pieces sat until the old station was razed in 1966.
– Lot 195: “The Races of Man” (1955). Malvina Hoffman’s lifework is a series of 105 sculptures titled “The Races of Man,” which she began in 1930. Depicting various settings of human people groups as individuals and family units, her series graced the halls of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago where she worked for many years. With entry no. 51, Hoffman created a tribute to John Donne’s poem about universal brotherhood, titled, No Man Is an Island from which the famous “For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee” line derives.
Also highlighted in the auction will be lot 2, a customized 25th anniversary set of MS 70 American silver eagles. In 2011, the U.S. Mint produced a 25th Anniversary American silver eagle coin set. With a limit of five sets per household and at $299 per set, only 100,000 sets entered circulation tremendous demand was created. The sets sold out in four hours. What Blue Moon Coins is offering in the auction is an affordable alternative to the original set.
The winning bidder of these lots will receive: one genuine actual box that the original sets were delivered in; the original 25th anniversary paperwork explaining what coins were in that original mint set; and five genuine U.S. Mint .9999 pure 1-ounce silver coins, guaranteed and certified by NGC as MS 70 Early Releases 25th Anniversary 2011 American silver eagles.
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE