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Numismatics
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Photo credit: Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Mint: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Engraver: Robert Scot, American, born Scotland, 1744–1823
Maker: United States Mint, founded 1792

10 Dollars from Philadelphia

1799

Gold

17.47 g, 6:00, 32.47 mm
Transfer from the Yale University Library, Numismatic Collection, 2001
2001.87.4

This is the earliest American gold coin in the Yale University Art Gallery’s collection. It highlights the work of Robert Scot, the first chief engraver of the U.S. mint, who held the office from the mint’s foundation in 1793 until his death in office in 1823. It bears what we would now regard as a pedestrian portrait of Liberty, but the heraldic reverse is magnificent.

Geography: 
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Culture: 
American
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Numismatics
Provenance: 

Fletcher E. Nyce, Sr. (1878-1929), Pa.; given to his son Fletcher Nyce, Jr. (1906-1997), Cincinnati, Ohio, about 1925; given to Sterling Memorial Library, New Haven, Conn. November 11, 1986; transferred to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2001 [see note 1]

Note 1 : According to his son in an 1986 letter, Fletcher E. Nyce, Sr. acquired the coin from an estate that the bank in which he worked, the Pennsylvania Trust Company, was settling.

Bibliography: 

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 130, no. 71, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.