Liberty Head double eagle

The Liberty Head double eagle or Coronet double eagle is an American twenty-dollar gold piece struck as a pattern coin in 1849, for commerce from 1850 to 1907. It was designed by Mint of the United States Chief Engraver James B. Longacre; the largest denomination of United States coin authorized by the Mint Act of 1792 was the eagle, or ten-dollar piece. The large amount of bullion being brought east after the discovery of gold in California in the 1840s caused Congress to consider new denominations of gold coinage; the gold dollar and double eagle were the result. After considerable infighting at the Philadelphia Mint, Chief Engraver James B. Longacre designed the double eagle, it began to be issued for commerce in 1850. Only one 1849 double eagle is known to survive and it rests in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian; the coin was successful. It was struck until replaced by the Saint-Gaudens double eagle in 1907, many were melted when President Franklin D. Roosevelt recalled gold coins from the public in 1933.

Millions of double eagles were sent overseas in international transactions throughout its run to be melted or placed in bank vaults. Many of the latter have now been repatriated to feed the demand from collectors and those who desire to hold gold. Under the Mint Act of 1792, the largest-denomination coin was ten-dollar piece. Struck were a half eagle and quarter eagle. Bullion flowed out of the United States for economic reasons for much of the late 18th and early 19th centuries; the eagle's size made it convenient for use in international transactions, faced with the likelihood that most being struck were exported, the Director of the Mint Elias Boudinot ended its production in 1804. In 1838, coinage resumed; the new eagle was struck to a design by Christian Gobrecht, one of the Mint's engravers. In 1836, the Public Ledger, a Philadelphia newspaper, proposed the issuance of both a gold dollar and a twenty-dollar piece. Along with the eagle, which has the size of the half dollar, we would recommend the double eagle, which of the size of our silver dollar, would contain the value of twenty."

Others perceived a need for a large U. S. gold coin to be used in international transactions—American merchants sometimes used high-denomination Latin American gold coins for that purpose. No proposal for a gold twenty-dollar piece was considered until after the California Gold Rush, beginning in 1848 increased the amount of the metal available in the United States; the increase in the supply of gold caused silver coins to be worth more than their face value, they were exported, generating new support for a gold dollar to take their place in commerce. The quantity of gold made a larger denomination desirable as well, to more efficiently convert gold to coins. In January 1849, North Carolina Congressman James Iver McKay amended his introduced legislation for a gold dollar to provide for a double eagle as well, he wrote to Mint Director Robert M. Patterson, who responded, "there can be no other objection to the Double eagle except that it is not needed, it will be a handsome coin, between the half dollar and dollar in size."Concerned about Whig opposition to the coinage bill, McKay got his fellow Democrat, New Hampshire Senator Charles Atherton, to introduce the bill in the Senate on February 1, 1849—Atherton was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

McKay introduced a version of the bill into the House on February 20. The dollar was attacked on the ground. McKay did not respond substantively, but stated that if no one wanted these denominations, they would be unasked-for at the Mint, would not be coined. Pennsylvania Representative Joseph Ingersoll, a Whig, spoke against the bill, noting that Patterson opposed the new denominations. Ingersoll stated that a twenty-dollar piece would be "doubled into a ponderous and unparalleled size"; the bill providing for the issuance of the gold dollar and double eagle passed both houses by large margins, was signed into law by President James K. Polk on March 3, 1849. According to numismatist David Lange, "the double eagle was a banker's coin intended to simplify transfers of large sums between financial institutions and between nations"; the act authorizing the gold dollar and double eagle precipitated conflict at the Philadelphia Mint. There the officers, including Chief Coiner Franklin Peale, were the friends and relations of Director Patterson.

The outsider in their midst was Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, successor to Gobrecht. A former copper-plate engraver, Longacre had been appointed through the political influence of South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun. Patterson despised Calhoun, Longacre became a loner at the mint. Most of Peale's formal duties were performed by his predecessor, Adam Eckfeldt, who continued to do the work of chief coiner despite his retirement. Peale spent the resulting free time running a private medal business taking commissions from the public and using the government's facilities, including its Contamin portrait lathe; this machine, used in Peale's medal work, was needed to reduce models of new designs to coin-sized reductions from which working dies could be made. So long as no new coin designs were needed, dies could be reproduced mechanically, without using the Contamin device. Although it belonged t

Padua Baptistery

The Padua Baptistery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a religious building found on the Piazza del Duomo next to the cathedral in Padua. Preserved inside is one of the most important fresco cycles of the 14th century, a masterpiece by Giusto de Menabuoi; the construction of the baptistery began in the 12th century on top of an existing structure. Between 1370 and 1379 it was restored and adapted as a mausoleum for prince Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara and his wife, Fina Buzzaccarini; the latter oversaw the decorative work. With the fall of the House of Da Carrara in 1405, Venetian soldiers demolished the grand burial monuments and covered the numerous emblems of Francesco il Vecchio with green paint. After various partial restorations in the 20th century, the work is awaiting an important full restoration; the fresco cycle decorating the walls, painted between 1375 and 1376 by Giusto de' Menabuoi, is considered a masterpiece. With respect to previous works, Padua must have been struck by the Romanesque and Byzantine rigidity, as can be seen in the Paradise of the baptistery's cupola: the scene is organized around a Christ Pantocrator, around which turns a hypnotic wheel with multi-layered spokes made of angels and saints, whose golden halos as seen from below seem to be the work of a magnificent goldsmith.

At the center of the Paradise is the Mother of God. The paintings that cover the walls show scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist and Jesus. On the walls adjacent to the altar are represented the Crucifixion and the Descent of the Holy Spirit, a large polyptych by Guisto de' Menabuoi, sits on the altar itself. Painted on the walls surrounding the altar, in the apse, are monstrous figures and images of the Book of Revelation. In the tholobate are scenes from the book of Genesis, while prophets and evangelists look down from the pendentives. In the stories of Christ and John the Baptist, frescoed on the walls, appear finely calculated architectural representations into which the painter has inserted his solemn, static images; the figures represented in the surrounding scenes, appear freer, for example in the Wedding Feast at Cana, where a group of servants moves about the room in contrast to the static diners. From the analysis of these stylistic choices it is clear that the use of rétro effects was for Giusto a precise component willingly chosen to bring about an expressive and symbolic end: he was the only 14th century painter with the presence of mind to make conscious selections among these different pictorial languages.

In the scene of the creation of the world the zodiac show Christ's function as Lord of cosmic time. God the Father can interrupt the course of natural events to manifest His will to mankind: which occurred during the three hours of darkness that accompanied the agony and death of Jesus. Through his angels, represented here, God dominates and neutralizes the influence of the planetary demons here in the world underneath the moon.. Veneto. ISBN 88-365-0441-8. Web Gallery of Art

2005 Women's British Open

The 2005 Women's British Open was held 28–31 July at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England. It was the 29th edition of the Women's British Open, the fifth as a major championship on the LPGA Tour. Jeong Jang led wire-to-wire and won her first LPGA event and only major title, four strokes ahead of runner-up Sophie Gustafson. Michelle Wie, age 15, tied for third and was the low amateur in her final major before turning professional in the fall. Source: Thursday, 28 July 2005 Friday, 29 July 2005 Amateurs: Stahle, Ciganda, Queen. Saturday, 30 July 2005 Sunday, 31 July 2005 denotes amateurAmateurs: Wie, Ciganda Source: Ladies European Tour: 2005 Weetabix Women's British Open results LPGA: 2005 Women's British Open results