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Post Your Coins And Medals Designed By A Woman

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 Posted 04/04/2021  7:45 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Historically, women have designed the minority of coins and medals struck. That may soon be changing, however, as more and more women are taking a leading role in numismatic design. This thread is dedicated to the coin and medal designs - of yesteryear and today - put forth by female artists and sculptors from around the world.

To kick things off, I present a coin designed by one of the United States' best-ever sculptors/medallic artists - regardless of gender. The coin is the 1921 Alabama Statehood Centennial half dollar and the artist responsible is Laura Gardin Fraser (LGF).

LGF was born in Chicago, IL on September 14, 1889. She attended high school in New York City (the Horace Mann School, an experimental unit of Teachers College, Columbia University) and later was a student, then an instructor, at NYC's Art Students League. She won multiple awards there as a student, including the Saint- Gaudens Medal in her first year. She met fellow artist James Earle Fraser at the League (he was her sculpture instructor) and married him in 1913, Together, the pair moved to Westport, CT where they opened their own studio in which they each worked for the balance of their careers/lives. LGF died on August 13, 1966.

In addition to her awards at the Art Students League, LGF earned the 1915 National Arts Club Medal of Honor, the J. Sanford Saltus Medal for Medallic Art (given for outstanding achievement in the field of sculpture by the American Numismatic Society) in 1926 and the 1931 Watrous Gold Medal of the National Academy of Design.

LGF was a prolific artist who designed six US commemorative coins, two Philippines commemorative coins and more than three dozen medals.

Laura Gardin Fraser at Work on a Sculpture

Image Credit: Image courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

I plan on providing more biographic information on LGF in future posts, and will also present her other commemorative coins along with some of the medals in my collection. What coins/medals from women designers do you have?

For now, here's the first US coin designed by a women...

1921 Alabama Statehood Centennial Half Dollar


You can learn more about the Alabama half dollar here:

- 1921 Alabama Statehood Centennial, 2x2 Variety
- 1921 Alabama Statehood Centennial, Plain Variety
- 1921 Alabama Statehood Centennial, Coats-of-Arms Thread
- 1921 Alabama Statehood Centennial, Coins with Stars Thread
- 1921 Alabama Statehood Centennial, Monroe-Wilson Alabama Half Dollar


You can read my other posts about commemorative coins and medals here: Read More: Commems Collection.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/05/2021  3:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Next up from the Laura Gardin Fraser (LGF) US commemorative coin portfolio are the 1922 Grant Centenary Memorial coins - a silver half dollar and a gold $1.00.

In her early days as a sculptress, LGF focused on smaller pieces, often animals - dogs and horses were among her favorites (she owned several dogs). Later in her career, she received commissions for large reliefs and monumental sculptures. Of special note was the double equestrian statue of Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson erected in Baltimore, MD in 1948; it took Fraser 12 years to complete the piece. The statue was removed in 2017.

Laura Gardin Fraser Working on a Small Horse Sculpture

(Image Credit: Public Domain.

The Ulysses S. Grant Centenary Memorial Association was the sponsor of the Grant commemorative coins; they were authorized via Public Law 67-137. LGF's stylized initials, though small, are seen below Grant's portrait, about midway between the "1822" and "1922" anniversary dates.

1922 Grant Birth Centenary Half Dollar, Star Variety




1922 Grant Birth Centenary Gold $1.00, Star Variety



To learn more about the Grant commemorative coins, check out:

- 1922 Grant Birth Centenary, Plain Variety
- 1922 Grant Birth Centenary, w/ Star Variety
- 1922 Grant Birth Centenary, Grant's Birthplace?
- 1922 Grant Birth Centenary, Post-Shutdown Promotion
- 1922 Grant Birth Centenary, "Cousin"
- 1922 Grant Birth Centenary, Coins with Beards Thread
- 1922 Grant Birth Centenary, Coins with Stars Thread

For other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, see Read More: Commems Collection.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/05/2021  3:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent!

If I had better photos, I would post the Elizabeth Jones designed 1982 Washington Commemorative.
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 Posted 04/06/2021  11:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Laura Gardin Fraser's third US commemorative coin designs were for the 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial half dollar.

By 1925, LGF had a thriving professional career with commissions across a range of sculpture disciplines, including bas reliefs, medals/coins and statues. Her work continued to be recognized for its high artistry and technical execution. In 1924, she was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Design, an organization founded to recognize and promote outstanding artists in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture and engraving.

The Fort Vancouver Centennial Corporation originally hired Sidney Bell, a "local" artist in Portland, OR, to create the designs for their coin. His efforts were rejected, however, by the Commission of Fine Arts and Laura Gardin Fraser was brought in to rework Bell's portrait of John McLoughlin (which Bell based on a portrait painting by John Urquhart), to fully develop the reverse design and to create the models for the half dollar. All went well in the hands of the skilled sculptress.

1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial Half Dollar



For more information about the coin, check out:

- 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial
- 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial - Redux
- 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial - Coins Depicting Places Thread
- 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial - Coins with Beards


Other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals can be found here: Read More: Commems Collection.


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 Posted 04/06/2021  12:34 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The classic Young Head of Queen Elizabeth II used on British coins from 1953 to 1967 (and still on Maundy coins), as well as on Canadian, NZ and Australian coins until 1965, was designed by Mary Gillick:

You can see a photo of her here:
https://coinsweekly.com/exhibition-...ary-gillick/
Edited by NumisRob
04/06/2021 6:14 pm
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 Posted 04/06/2021  2:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The classic Young Head of Queen Elizabeth II used on British coins from 1953 to 1967 (and still on Maundy coins), as well as on Canadian, NZ and Australian coins until 1965, was designed by Mary Gillick:
Very nice!
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 Posted 04/07/2021  10:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Lea Ahlborn, 1826-1897, was a Swedish designer and engraver. Employed by the Royal Swedish Mint in 1855, she became the first female civil servant in Sweden. She designed and engraved all Swedish coins during the second half of the 19th century. She also designed the Norwegian gold coins during that period, as well as the first Finnish coins denominated in markka in 1860.


(Image from Public Domain)

Although her talent is clearly visible from the coins, it was best expressed on the close to 400 medals she designed. Most of them were Swedish, but she also designed a medal of George Washington in 1883 (centenary of the end of the American war of independence) and another for the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America, in 1892. During her time she received several awards and was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts as well as an honorary member of several foreign associations.

I have none of Lea Ahlborn's medals, but several of her Swedish coins. This 20 kronor gold coin is a good representative:

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 Posted 04/07/2021  10:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@NumiRob: Thanks for the contribution!

The Mary Gillick portrait of QEII is certainly iconic among the coins of the UK and the British Commonwealth. Here's an example of the 1955 copper-nickel Half Crown from the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasland. I've enjoyed having it in my collection for years.

QEII's portrait is on the obverse and the Federation Coat-of-Arms is presented on the reverse. The Arms were designed by M.J. Morris and adapted for the coin by Thomas Humphrey Paget for The Royal Mint. The Shield of the Arms is supported on the left by a sable antelope, and on the right by a cheetah; its center represents the three territories of the Federation - Nyasland at the top (rising sun), Southern Rhodesia in the center (lion) and Northern Rhodesia at the bottom (wavy lines).




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Edited by commems
04/07/2021 11:01 am
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 Posted 04/07/2021  10:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@erafjel: Terrific addition! Thanks for joining in and providing some background information for your lovely 20 Kronor!


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 Posted 04/07/2021  1:32 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Mary Milner Dickens was a prolific sculptor who was responsible for the reverse designs of several British coins. You can read about her here:
https://www.royalmintmuseum.org.uk/...ner-dickens/
Here are two of her designs on UK 50p coins:
2000 British Public Libraries:

2003 Votes For Women (Suffragette movement):

Edited by NumisRob
04/07/2021 1:34 pm
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 Posted 04/07/2021  1:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Here are two of her designs on UK 50p coins:
Outstanding!
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 Posted 04/07/2021  2:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
UK 50p coins...2003 Votes For Women (Suffragette movement)

Living here in the US, I was unfamiliar with the "WSPU" initials on the flag...So, I looked it up! The initials are an abbreviation for the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). Reading about them on several web sites, including the UK Parliament site, I've come to learn that the group was an all-female militant group that looked to secure the right to vote for women by whatever means necessary.

I might have to dig a bit deeper into the story and compare it with the women's suffrage movement here in the US.

Thanks for sharing!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
04/07/2021 2:10 pm
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 Posted 04/07/2021  2:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I might have to dig a bit deeper into the story and compare it with the women's suffrage movement here in the US.
That could be interesting!
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