Felix Schlag - American Sculptor
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Felix Oscar Schlag (September 4, 1891 – March 9, 1974) was a German born American sculptor who was the designer of the United States five cent coin in use from 1938 to 2004.
He was born to Karl and Teresa Schlag in Frankfurt, Germany where as a young man, he served in the German army of World War I. Schlag studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. He moved to the United States in 1929.
In early 1938 the Treasury Department announced that it was holding a public competition to design the new US nickel. The rules of the coin design competition stated that the new nickel would have an obverse that depicted a portrait of the 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson, while the reverse would be required to depict Monticello, his Virginia home.
He was one of nearly 400 contestants who submitted their designs to the Treasury and in April 1938, his initial design was chosen by Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female Director of the US Mint, along with the contest judges, and he won the $1,000 award. After modifying his original design, it was accepted in July 1938 and the following November, the first Jefferson nickels were placed into circulation. That same year he became a US citizen.
In 1966 he accepted the offer of the American government to place his initials "FS" on the nickel on Jefferson's coat near the rim of the coin in small letters that are easily viewable. He died at the age of 83.
The designer relocated to Owosso, Michigan, where he died and is buried. He and his wife Anna, whom he married in 1920, had three children: Feliza (1920), Leo (1921), and Hilda (1929). A memorial was placed by the Michigan State Numismatic Society on September 14, 2008.
Felix Schlag Related Items on eBay
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