$10 Lady

Published: Friday, 11 December 2015

**UPDATE** TG4 aired a documentary about Mary Cunningham on 29 September 2021 you can view it here

In 1907 a young woman from Carrick, who had emigrated to America was at the centre of a national controversy. Mary Cunningham worked as a domestic servant for the famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudins in New Hampshire. It was claimed that Saint-Gaudins used Mary as the model for the new ten-dollar gold coin. At the time when there was still prejudice against the Irish, this caused a national uproar. The critics seemed to have ignored the fact that Saint-Gaudins was himself an Irishman. The Saint-Gaudins family refused to reveal the model's identity. Another model, Hettie Anderson has also been linked to the coin. The truth may never been known but the episode has ensured that that Mary Cunningham's name will be forever associated with American numismatics." It has since been confirmed that it was indeed Mary that was on the coins from an archive newspaper article with an interview with Augustus Saint-Gaudins.

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