Irish Free State Coinage Design--Saorstat·Eireann
1927 Paul Manship Born: St. Paul, Minnesota 1885 Died: New York, New York 1966 bronze 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1965.16.70 Not currently on view
Luce Center Label
In 1926, Paul Manship was selected to participate in an international competition to design the coinage of the Irish Free State. Dublin-born poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) had proposed a general motif of animals associated with Irish life, including a hen, ram, salmon, hare, wolfhound, wood duck, harp, and bull's head. Manship lost the competition to English sculptor Percy Metcalf, but graciously acknowledged that, had he been on the jury, he would have made the same decision. Here, Manship offered his design for what would be the obverse image of all Irish coins: the harp and the phrase Saorstat Eireann, which in Irish means "Irish Free State."
Object - musical instrument - harp
Object - other - money
sculpture - medal-sample
metal - bronze