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Cecil Thomas

Started by <k>, November 23, 2011, 10:01:38 PM

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<k>



Cecil Thomas in 1925.


Cecil Thomas was an English sculptor and medallist. He was born in London in 1885 and died in 1976.

From artfacts.com:

Thomas trained under his father and at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where he specialised in gem engraving, first exhibiting at the Royal Academy, London, in 1909. His use of portraiture in his cameos led to an interest in medals. He also produced larger bronze and stone sculptures in stone as well as in bronze, many with religious themes.

He produced a number of seals but is best known for his medals and plaquettes, both cast and struck. His early training ensured that he was one of the few 20th-century British medallists capable of engraving directly into the die, but most of his medals were modelled on a larger scale and were subsequently reduced by mechanical means. His early romanticism, as displayed in the obverse of the silver and bronze medal commemorating the millennium of Oxford (1912), quickly gave way to a more robust realism, which won him official acceptance. His royal portraits made frequent appearances on official medals, and in 1958 he was awarded the OBE.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#1


Cecil Thomas is best known in the numismatic world for designing the crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. This portrait appeared on the obverse of the coins of Britain's colonies and dependencies (including Jersey), while only Britain and the Dominions (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa) were allowed to use the uncrowned effigy.

With the creation in 1964 of the Machin portrait, first used by Rhodesia, the Queen decreed that any country who wanted to should be able to use it. This put an end to the crowned/uncrowned hierarchy, and Jersey and the other dependencies no longer had to use a different portrait from the UK.

To read about the crowned and uncrowned effigies in the British Empire and Commonwealth, click on the links below:

Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth 

Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#2



Cecil Thomas was also responsible for the design of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation medal.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#3









Thomas teamed up with fellow artist Edgar Fuller to produce the reverse designs for the sixpence, two shillings and half crown of Elizabeth's reign.

Their initials, "EF" and "CT", can be seen on the coins.

NOTE: These images are NOT to scale.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#4



Cecil Thomas designed the portrait of President Kwame Nkrumah that appeared on Ghana's gold two pound coin of 1960.

It which commemorated Independence Day. His initials appear at bottom left.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#5



The same portrait was used on Ghana's 1965 circulation coins.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#6


Thomas also designed the Seal of the Government of Palestine in 1922.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#8


Image copyright the Royal Mint Museum.


Cecil Thomas designed the portrait above of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.

Unfortunately his portrait was not adopted for the coinage.

I find it to be superior to Mary Gillick's issued portrait, which included an anachronistic laurel wreath.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Figleaf

Looking at the coronation medal and the crowned portrait designs you posted upthread, I can't help thinking the portrait was recycled.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

<k>

Only the hair, but not the facial features or general outline of the head and neck. And after all, it is the same person, you know.  ;)
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

eurocoin

From a recent article by Philip Attwood:

"As is well-known, losing the commission for the uncrowned head for the new UK coinage was a blow from which Thomas never recovered - a blow made particularly severe by his having been told that he had won the commission only to be informed later that this was not the case. The use of his crowned portrait on medals and overseas coinage was not regarded by him as sufficient compensation for his disappointment and he remained embittered about the episode for the rest of his life".