Well worn Copper's Blog

05 Nov 2021

Adolph Weinman & his 1915 Panama -Pacific Sculptures

| Well worn Copper

Sculptor Adolph Weinman never fails to amaze me. I recently discovered two of his works are among the sculpture collection of the White House gardens. The pieces, titled Rising Sun and Descending Night, were created for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. Numismatists are familiar with the Pan-Pacific Expo from the commemorative half dollar, quarter eagle, and the round and octagon $50 gold pieces, which were issued in 1915. One can only imagine if Weinman were given an opportunity to present models for the commemorative coinage incorporating these two figures. Unfortunately, chief engraver Charles Barber still had a firm grip on anything that came out of the mint, and he ended up designing the commemorative half dollar and quarter eagle . There is also the chance Weinman could have been too occupied to submit models as he was probably busy finishing up what would become his classic Mercury dime and Walking Liberty half dollar coins, which were issued in 1916. For anyone interested, the sculptures mentioned can be found in the book, "20th century American Sculpture in the White House Garden" by David Finn.

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