American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Victor David Brenner in his studio, ca. 1910

Victor David Brenner papers, 1895-1912
0.5 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Biographical note
Victor David Brenner (1871-1924) was an artist, sculptor, medalist, and engraver who is most widely known for his design of the U.S. Lincoln cent in 1909.

Contains correspondence, including personal letters, postcards, and a Christmas card; invitations and other materials relating to conferences and exhibits, including the Pan-American Exposition (Buffalo, 1901), Universal Exposition (St. Louis, 1904), Universal Exposition (Brussels, 1910), and Paris Salon (1910); drawings, including an unsigned engraving, unsigned pen and ink sketches, and a sketch of a peace silver dollar by Brenner in pencil, possibly as part of a competition leading to the design of the 1921 Peace Dollar; catalogs from Brenner exhibitions in New York City at the Grolier Club (1907) and Arthur Hahlo & Co. (cover only, 1912); Brenner’s student certificate card from the National Academy of Design for the 1895-96 session; and a photograph of Brenner in his studio with his hand touching the bas relief of a young girl. Items relating to Lincoln and possibly used by Brenner for his designs include a 50-cent Civil War scrip note (1862) with Lincoln’s image, a carte de visite entitled “Lincoln Family,” a souvenir photographic print labeled, “House in Which Lincoln Died,” a framed shadowbox profile of Lincoln carved in ivory or other white material, and several published portraits of Lincoln. Five items from the Society of French Artists’ Paris Salon (1900) are mounted within a single frame and include two photograph portraits of Brenner and documents relating to the exhibition.

Container list


Small unsigned engraving of angel and seated person, other figures at left, seemingly a study for something else, artist not identified.

Pen and ink sketches of rear male torso, other figures, women, etc., studies on paper, standing figure on other side, holding a ball.

Sketch of Peace silver dollar by Brenner, pencil, possibly made for the competition ultimately leading to the 1921 Peace dollar


Postcard in German, Munich, October 29, 1906, address to Brenner, New York at 107 Second Avenue, discussing the meeting of the Austrian Coin and Medal Club on August, 1906, and other matters.

Double fold-out scenic postcard of Turino, Italy (Turin) in French. July 20, 1901, to Brenner, with greetings and message, addressed to the sculptor at 125 East 23rd Street, New York.

Correspondence on full letter-size stationary, October 6, 1916, to “Dear Sister,” discussing the issue of Etude for the previous month, Rosh Hosonah [sic], noting that he had recently obtained a Schleicher piano, the Municipal Art Society, and other personal matters.

Souvenir postcard, June 15, 1920., Ogunquit ,Maine, signed “Dave” to Mrs. M.F. Brenner, 107 Second Avenue, New York City. Depicted as a surf scene, “Off the Rocks, Ogunquit, ME.”

Postcard, torn corner, for the 1910 Brussels Exposition, Valentine & Sons, Ltd., signed Dave,” addressed to Mrs. M.F. Brenner, 3 Bld Monmarte, Paris.

Card from Venice, signed “David,” March 6, 1907, to Mr. Michael Brenner, 131 Norfolk Street, NYC.

“Real photo” postcard of “Brenner See gegan Sueden” [Lake Brennner] sent to Brenner, then in Paris, by H. Codman, from Innsbruck, August 1, 1906.

Letter from Ernst, Vienna, December 20, 1904, to Victor D. Brenner, acknowledging a check for 20 crowns which in turn had been given to the treasurer of “our society.”

Postcard from Quebec addressed to David Victor Brenner [sic], 147 West 23rd Street, NYC, January 3, 1904 from L. Vadi.

Postcard addressed to Victor David Brenner, 125 East 230 Street, forwarded to 131 Norfolk Street, then forwarded again to 300 5 Street, NYC from Turino, Italy, 1902, transmitting a message in French from “Joseph”.

Postcard addressed to Mrs. M.F. Brenner, 107 2nd Avenue, NYC from Avers (Antwerp), 1902, signed “Dave” and illustrating the synagogue there.

Christmas card to V.D. Brenner, 25 December 1902


Card from the Ministry of Science and Arts, Universal Exposition in Brussels in 1910, text in French, regarding Brenner’s exhibit in Group 2, Beaux Arts.

Invitation ticket to Brenner to the Royal Academy of Arts, Tuesday, June 26, London.

Permanent ticket, overprinted in green, “SEASON,” a pass issued to Victor David Brenner for the Pan-American Exposition, May 1-November 10, 1901, Buffalo, New York. Card no. A1713. (NOTE: President McKinley was assassinated at this exposition.)

Two-sided coin-form cardboard badge with Brenner’s name, Congress Internationale de Numismatique, Brussels, 1910, celebrating the art of the medal. Yellow and green ribbon attached.

Small printed card, filled in ink, torn, still in one piece from the Universal Exposition of St. Louis, 1904, informing hat formal announcement has been made that Brenner had won a silver medal on his exhibit of sculpture, catalogue nos. 2076 and 2077 in Group XI.

Exhibitor’s passcard to the Paris Salon, Brenner’s name in ink as the recipient, date not given, April 30 to June 30.

Card given to Brenner for the 1905 Paris Salon, April 29 to June 30, signed on the back by Brenner who was staying at 20 Rue Blomet.

Embossed card for an exhibit in Vienna, 1903, with ink note on the back that this card number 4 issued to Brenner.

Invitation to Brenner to attend a musical and comedy event in Paris, undated.


Four-page program for an exhibit at Casper’s Kunst Salon [art gallery], Berlin, undated, early 20th century, featuring the works of N. Aronson.

Catalogue of Medals and Plaques by Victor D. Brenner, exhibited at the Grolier Club, March 7 to March23, 1907.

Catalog of an exposition of Bronzes, Marbles, and Medallions by Victor D. Brenner, from April 15 to May 1, 1912.

Lincoln-related materials

Framed ‘shadow box’ image of Lincoln, facing right, from Brenner’s personal effects, seemingly sculpted in ivory or a related white substance, mounted on red velvet.

50-cent Civil War scrip note, Park’s House, 185 and 187 Washington Street, Boston, printed by L. Prang & Company, engravers, November 1, 1862, unused remainder, with engraved portrait of Lincoln. (Cataloger states: “No doubt a study item collected by Brenner to observe earlier depictions of Lincoln.”)

Small sepia print card, circa late 19th century, titled “Lincoln Family,” showing President Lincoln, his wife, and two sons.

Souvenir photographic print, with inscription on back, “house in which Lincoln died.”

Printed sepia portrait, half tone process, facing right, of Lincoln, mounted on cardboard, not signed closely resembling the portrait of Lincoln used on Brenner’s plaque, and then in the Lincoln cent.

Printed article on Abraham Lincoln, not identified but seemingly from a popular magazine of the early 20th century, including a printed portrait of Lincoln from an ambrioty


Printed card of O. Roty, Paris sculptor, with Roty’s new address written in ink and a notation.

Business card for Charles Dupiez, “Expert en Medailles,” Brussels.

National Academy of Design, student’s certificate, 1895-1896, issued to Victor David Brenner, number 215, small printed card with ink inscription.

Framed suite of Brenner items, in old frame, maroon mat with gilt trim, gilt inside to frame, under glass, probably for some type of exhibition. Shown at the upper left and lower right are two portraits of Brenner, together with two items in French, one signed by Brenner and indicating that his address was 20 Rue Bloumet, Paris. (The entire relates to the Salon de 1900 conducted by the Societe des Artists Francoise, Place de Breteuil.)

Photograph of Brenner in his studio, standing, right hand touching a bas relief of a young girl.

NOTE: descriptions are based on entries in Bowers & Merena Galleries auction catalog, November 6-9, 2002. (Lot 656)

Archival Collections