Looking for more info. on this carved Stone Mountain commemorative
I've owned this Stone Mountain for many years.
I recently pulled it out and examined it again.
Thanks to a board member here who PM'ed me, it has been determined to have been
carved by Gutzon Borglum.
He is an interesting fellow. Here is some additional information about him for those, like me, who
were not aware of his history:
John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was an American sculptor best known for his work on Mount Rushmore. He is also associated with various other public works of art across the U.S., including Stone Mountain in Georgia, the statue of Union General Philip Sheridan in Washington, D.C., as well as a bust of Abraham Lincoln which was exhibited in the White House by Theodore Roosevelt and which is now held in the United States Capitol crypt in Washington, D.C.
Stone Mountain § Confederate Memorial Carving, and Stone Mountain Memorial half dollar.
Borglum was initially involved in the carving of Stone Mountain in Georgia. Borglum's nativist stances made him seem an ideologically sympathetic choice to carve a memorial to heroes of the Confederate States of America, planned for Stone Mountain, Georgia. In 1915, coinciding with the Klan-glorifying, highly successful The Birth of a Nation, he was approached by the United Daughters of the Confederacy with a project for sculpting a 20-foot high bust of General Robert E. Lee on the mountain's 800-foot rockface. Borglum accepted, but told the committee, "Ladies, a twenty-foot head of Lee on that mountainside would look like a postage stamp on a barn door."
Borglum's ideas eventually evolved into a high-relief frieze of Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson riding around the mountain, followed by a legion of artillery troops. Borglum agreed to include a Ku Klux Klan altar in his plans for the memorial to acknowledge a request of Helen Plane in 1915, who wrote to him: "I feel it is due to the KKK that saved us from Negro domination and carpetbag rule, that it be immortalized on Stone Mountain".
After a delay caused by World War I, Borglum and the newly chartered Stone Mountain Confederate Monumental Association set to work on this monument, the largest ever attempted. Many difficulties slowed progress, some because of the sheer scale involved. After finishing the detailed model of the carving, Borglum was unable to trace the figures onto the massive area on which he was working, until he developed a gigantic magic lantern to project the image onto the side of the mountain.
Carving officially began on June 23, 1923, with Borglum making the first cut. At Stone Mountain he developed sympathetic connections with the reorganized Ku Klux Klan, who were major financial backers of the monument. Lee's head was unveiled on Lee's birthday January 19, 1924, to a large crowd, but soon thereafter Borglum was increasingly at odds with the officials of the organization. His domineering, perfectionist, authoritarian manner brought tensions to such a point that in March 1925 Borglum smashed his clay and plaster models. He left Georgia permanently, his tenure with the organization over. None of his work remains, as it was all blasted off the mountain's face for the work of Borglum's replacement Henry Augustus Lukeman. In his abortive attempt, however, Borglum had developed the necessary techniques for sculpting on a gigantic scale that made Mount Rushmore possible.
Main article: Mount Rushmore
His Mount Rushmore project, 1927–1941, was the brainchild of South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson. His first attempt with the face of Thomas Jefferson had to be redone when it was determined that there was not enough stone to complete it. Dynamite was used to remove large areas of rock from under Washington's brow. The initial pair of presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, was soon joined by Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
Ivan Houser, father of John Sherrill Houser, was assistant sculptor to Gutzon Borglum in the early years of carving; he began working with Borglum shortly after the inception of the monument and was with Borglum for a total of seven years. When Houser left Gutzon to devote his talents to his own work, Gutzon's son, Lincoln, took over as Assistant-Sculptor to his father.
Borglum alternated exhausting on-site supervising with world tours, raising money, polishing his personal legend, sculpting a Thomas Paine memorial for Paris and a Woodrow Wilson memorial for Poznań, Poland (1931). In his absence, work at Mount Rushmore was overseen by Bill Tallman and later his son, Lincoln Borglum. During the Rushmore project, father and son were residents of Beeville, Texas. When he died in Chicago, following complications of surgery, his son finished another season at Rushmore, but left the monument largely in the state of completion it had reached under his father's direction.
Here is the coin in question:
My questions include is this a one-off? A coin Borglum carved on a whimsy?
Was he commissioned to carve a few of these?
I know the above is a long read and I do appreciate any additional information or areas you could lead
me to so as to dive even deeper into this carved coin's past.