Saturday, April 5, 2008

Souvenirs Save Stature of Liberty

The people of France and Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi were prepared to give the U.S. a grand and colossal statue in recognition of their friendship established during the American Revolution. However, Miss Liberty had no place to stand and welcome those arriving in NY harbor. America was responsible for building a granite pedestal, but little money had been raised for the project. In 1885, Publisher Joseph Pulitzer spearheaded an effort to raise money by selling…you guessed it, souvenir buildings. The American Committee of the Statue of Liberty sold what they called "miniature statuettes” in both 6 and 12 inch sizes which sold for $1and $5 respectively. Described as "a perfect facsimile of the model furnished by the artist," at least fifty thousand of the six-inch were produced. Even though so many were produced, this souvenir replica of the statue of Liberty is still somewhat scarce due to its age. Standing 7.25 inches tall, the liberty figure is bronze, the base I believe is lead and the platform is sheet steel inscribed with "LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD"


Anonymous said...

I just tried to get one of these but it got away

Dave said...

You must mean on eBay? Yes, she is an elusive old girl, isn't she. I must confess that I got mine a few years ago and at first I passed it by. I saw it at an antique store hours from my home and first thought…oh no, not another SOL. A few weeks later I realized what it was and the history around it and thought it was gone for sure. I was astounded when I got back to the shop months (yes, MONTHS) later, that it was STILL THERE. The cashier never rang up a quicker sale.

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