Brenner, Victor D. Lincoln Plaque
Victor Brenner’s Lincoln Plaque
The Inspiration for the Lincoln Your Pocket!
Victor David Brenner’s important Abraham Lincoln Bronze Plaque; the inspiration for the penny in your pocket!
A half-length portrait of the martyred president faces right.
Originally, the plaque was hinged and hooked with metal attachments for desk or wall mounting. This one is missing the brass desk stand and has only the hanger on the back.
Roger Burdette’s recent Renaissance of American Coinage 1909-1915 depicts a Lincoln commemorative desk medal produced by Gorham & Co. from models of Lincoln by Brenner. Burdette writes, “The immediate inspiration for this medallic portrait (and a 1907 rectangular plaquette) appears to be an 1864 photograph of President Lincoln taken in Matthew Brady’s Washington, D.C. studio by assistant Anthony Berger (O-89). However, a letter written by Brenner and published in April 1, 1909 opens the possibility that the medalist also had in mind a portrait of the President reading to his son, Tad (O-93).
Theodore Roosevelt selected this plaque as the image he wanted for the Lincoln penny. Favoring classically influenced sculpture and art, Roosevelt initially commissioned the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign all American coins, but Saint-Gaudens died before he could finish his work. The Lincoln penny was supposed to simply be a commemorative penny, only produced for that year, but the popularity of the coin among the American public was such that the design remained in production and has not changed to this day.
Sold as is, with adhesive remnants, mottling, and spotting.
Brenner, Victor D. Lincoln Plaque. ABRAHAM LINCOLN /1809 1865. Right side: COPYRIGHT 1907 BY V.D. BRENNER (although the V looks like a Y) with an arrow pointing left inside a circle, and the date 1907. 9 1/2 ” x 7″ (approx).
About Victor David Brenner
Victor David Brenner was born in Lithuania and immigrated to the United States in 1890. He settled in the New York City area, worked during the day and attended art classes at Cooper Union at night.
In the years that followed Brenner became one of the country’s premiere medallists. Theodore Roosevelt saw a copy of this Lincoln plaque and chose him to design the artwork on the Lincoln penny. To date his design is believed to be the longest running coin design in US mint history.