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Unique Charles A. Lindbergh 14-Inch Obverse Bronze Galvano For The 1928 Congressional Gold Medal by Laura Gardin Fraser

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indentThis is a unique bronze galvano of the obverse for the Charles A. Lindbergh Congressional Gold Medal that was designed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser. This was from the estate of Laura Gardin Fraser.

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The 1928 Charles A. Lindbergh Congressional Gold Medal

indentIn medallic work, a galvano is always one-sided and made by placing a bas-relief mold or pattern (of plaster, plastic or metal) in an electrolytic tank containing an electrolyte solution. Galvanos can be made positive or negative (provided the pattern is the opposite: a positive pattern makes a negative galvano). In the numismatic and medallic field negative galvanos are the form of pattern making of a bas-relief to be converted into a die. Galvano casts are often mounted on wood and become a very desirable wall hanging.

indentAfter extensively researching auction records from the largest coin auction houses and contacting several world renowned numismatists including USPatterns.com, it appears that this is the only Laura Gardin Fraser galvano in private hands. A few of her galvanos exist in museums including the Syracuse University Art Museum and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma.

A galvano featuring James Earle Fraser's 1913 Buffalo Nickel reverse design set a world-record price realizing $180,000 in a Stack's Bowers auction on March 26, 2024 lot #4046. Although there are several James Earle Fraser galvanos known, this one is iconic. The Laura Gardin Fraser galvano featured in this listing is the only one known in private hands.

indentLaura Gardin Fraser was a noted American Sculptor and was the first woman to design a U.S. commemorative coin. She was the winner of the design competition for the 1932 Washington Quarter by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. This design was issued as the 1999 George Washington Commemorative Gold Five-Dollar coin, and her obverse design was used for the circulating quarter starting in 2022.

indentHer officially adopted designs include the 1921 Alabama Half Dollar, the 1922 Grant Gold Dollar and Half Dollar, and the 1925 Vancouver Half Dollar. Additionally, she co-designed the 1926 Oregon Trail Half Dollar with her husband, sculptor James Earle Fraser.

indentThe Congressional Gold Medal is our country's highest honor recognizing and appreciating the achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions. The U.S. Mint struck this medal in gold which was presented to Lindbergh. The Smithsonian Institute has one example in gilt bronze. Two specimens were struck in .999 fine silver with a sandblast finish and a weight of 5.77 troy ounces. Bronze versions were struck by the U.S. Mint for sale to collectors.

indentThe Congressional Gold Medal was authorized by Congress on May 4, 1928 and was presented to Col. Charles A. Lindbergh by President Calvin Coolidge at The White House on August 15, 1930. This medal was to commemorate him for the first non-stop transatlantic flight between New York and Paris on May 20-21, 1927.

indentThis unique bronze galvano truly belongs in a museum or private collection of Laura Gardin Fraser coin and medal designs. This would be the centerpiece in a collection dedicated to Charles Lindbergh or Congressional Gold Medals.

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This bronze galvano was previously from a Museum/Gallery that acquired it directly from the Fraser Estate. Also in their collection were the original plasters of Laura Gardin Fraser's 1932 Quarter design.

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Here is a plaster of the reverse
by Laura Gardin Fraser:


Charles A. Lindbergh
14-Inch Plaster of the Reverse
For The 1928 Congressional Gold Medal

Designed and Sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser


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The Medal Maker
featuring Laura Gardin Fraser

This video was produced by the Medallic Art Company which was one of the longest-lasting private mints in the United States. It ceased operations in 2016 after 113 years. In 2018, the American Numismatic Society acquired the archival remains and intellectual property rights.



Featured on the cover of
Mint Error News Magazine Issue 69:

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