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Commems Collection: 1936 Lynchburg Sesquicentennial

 
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 Posted 04/16/2012  6:42 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Up for discussion today is one of four coins in the classic commemorative series to feature the portrait of a living person -- a 1936 City of Lynchburg, Virginia Sesquicentennial half-dollar presented in PCGS MS-66.

Lynchburg traces its roots to the initiation of a ferry service across the Fluvanna River (now James River) started by John Lynch. John was only 17 at the time and started the ferry on land owned by his father. The ferry enabled those north of the river to get to the trading center at New London without risking the perils of crossing it. In time, the village at Lynch's Ferry became a trading center itself. John Lynch petitioned the Virginia General Assembly for a land grant/town charter in 1784. In 1786, 45 acres of land were granted and the Town of Lynchburg was founded.

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The Lynchburg half-dollar was struck to mark the 150th anniversary of the granting of the charter and founding of the town. A portrait of John Lynch was an obvious choice for a primary design element for the coin, and was considered. Unfortunately, no images of John Lynch were available from which to model a portrait. Rather than create a "fictitious" portrait as was done for the portrait of Columbus on the 1892 Columbian half-dollar, an alternate design solution was sought. Ultimately, it was decided to feature a portrait of Senator Carter Glass on the obverse of the coin.

Why Glass? He had strong ties to Lynchburg, he was born there in 1858. He was an important political figure in Virginia for many years, including serving as a US Congressman from 1902 to 1918, and US Senator from Virginia from 1920 to 1946. (In between, he was US Secretary of the Treasury as part of the Woodrow Wilson administration.) He was also significantly involved in shaping our current financial system, including playing a significant role in the creation of the Federal Reserve System as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

All that said, Sen. Glass did not want to be featured on the commemorative coin and even contacted the Treasury Department in an attempt to be removed from consideration as he didn't believe a living person should be depicted. Ultimately, his wishes were "overruled" and his portrait was used for the coin's obverse. He must have comes to terms with it all, however, as he served as the honorary president of the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial Association.

The reverse of the coin features a standing Lady Liberty with welcoming, outstretched arms; in the background is seen the old Lynchburg Courthouse. The coin was the work of Charles Keck who also designed the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition gold $1.00 and the 1927 Vermont-Bennington Sesquicentennial 50-cent coin. When looking at the three coins side-by-side, characteristics of Keck's artistic style become evident -- try it!

The coin shown has a brilliant obverse and reverse, with just the slightest hint of toning on the obverse and a bit of peripheral toning on the top half of the reverse. Both sides have nice cartwheel luster and a minimum of marks. A total of 20,000 coins were struck, but survivors in grades beyond MS-66 are relatively rare.

To supplement the coin, I've included an example of its original five-coin holder/mailer.

Who can post the names of the other classic commemoratives that feature the portrait of a living person?

Enjoy!


1936 Lynchburg, VA Sesquicentennial -- Obverse




1936 Lynchburg, VA Sesquicentennial -- Reverse




1936 Lynchburg, VA Sesquicentennial -- Original Holder, Front




1936 Lynchburg, VA Sesquicentennial -- Original Holder, Interior



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/16/2012  7:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add COMET to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Again, nice coin. The packaging is pretty unique.
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 Posted 04/16/2012  9:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another beautiful coin indeed commems.

To be honest ... the surfaces appear by photo to be a bit duller (old dip?) than the remainder of your fabulous set. The limited toning is not much of a problem ... and I suppose you might consider this an upgrade candidate for your set based on what I have seen from you so far.

Please accept that comment in the spirit of honest feedback ... I suspect that you knew all this already with the coin in hand.

Your written history is again truly exemplary ... nothing to add from me ... and I learned a few things ... never knew that Carter Glass was born in Lynchburg ... or that the James River had a prior name. Exceptional and concise summary indeed.

Your related ephemera is the best I have ever seen ... you could and should start your own museum IMHO.


Quote:
Who can post the names of the other classic commemoratives that feature the portrait of a living person?


Hmmmm ... last I checked none of them are living ... so I assume you meant living at the time of issue.

That's an easy putt for a fan of the series ... so I'll leave the answer to the other folks who enjoy the set ... with a few hints if I may ...

Your Lynchburg with Carter Glass is coin #3 of four ... the coin being authorized by Congress on May 28, 1936.

Coin #4 followed soon after ... authorized on June 26, 1936 and created a bit of controversy with a change in obverse design on a long running series.

Coins #1 and #2 feature co-joined obverse busts ... with one of the featured subjects living at the time of issue.

Coin #1 features a fabulous eagle on the reverse ... and coin #2 is the weakest struck low relief design of the entire classic series ... features the Liberty bell on the reverse ... a design that was later 'stolen' for the Franklin half series.

That should be enough hints to answer the question.

Great coin commems ... keep them coming.

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 04/17/2012  12:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TreeMonkey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Alabama is one of them. Sweet half-dollar you have there, commems!
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 Posted 04/17/2012  8:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@nickelsearcher: I agree, this one is on my list for a planned "side-grade" vs. upgrade. I will someday search for a nicer example, but it will likely be another MS-66 unless I find a 67 that I just can't live without. (It could happen!)
Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/17/2012  9:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Did not intend in any way commems to minimize your great coin ... hoping you accept my honest comments ... both positive and constructive ... in the spirit of a fellow enthusiast sharing some insights.

Sooo ... quick answers to the question of living folks ...

1921 Alabama Half ... Governor T.E. Kilby on the obverse co-joined with W. E. Bibb (the first Governor of Alabama)

1926 Sesqui Half ... President Coolidge co-joined with George Washington. IMHO the most ugly coin in the series.

You coin ... 1936 Lynchburg ... Carter Glass

And finally ... 1936 Robinson Half ...

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 04/17/2012  9:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@nickelsearcher: No insult taken from your comments. I think it highlights your keen eye for the series. My Lynchburg, while nicer in hand than what is shown via the scans, is not quite as nice as other coins in my collection. It will be replaced someday when the right coin comes along!

Thanks also for adding the answer to my trivia question!
Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
04/17/2012 9:47 pm
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 Posted 04/26/2012  12:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wquinn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coin!
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