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UK pattern 3d and 2 shillings of 1926

Started by Galapagos, August 20, 2009, 07:49:36 PM

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Galapagos

UK Two shillings 1926.jpg

UK 2 shillings pattern of 1926.


The image above and the text below are taken from Coin News (UK), December 2002 edition:

This uniface pattern florin of 1926 owes its origins to the search in the mid 1920s for new reverse designs for the silver coins of George V.  As well as the traditional heraldic approach, serious consideration was also given to a series of designs showing floral emblems. The strong and beautifully composed rose on the florin of this series was modelled by Humphrey Paget, then at the start of his brilliant career, from designs supplied by Francis Derwent Wood, Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. The Royal Mint Advisory Committee thought it a promising alternative to heraldry and requested that pattern pieces be struck. Support eventually faded but the survival of this delightful rose florin shows what a series of designs based on flowers could have looked like.


So there you see it, time and again in the UK in modern times there have been suggestions for more modern thematic designs,.

Yet time and again heraldry has won out.

The most recent occasion was in 2008,.

Then the Royal Mint - yet again - chose a new set of heraldic designs to represent the UK.

Figleaf

It's not just in coins. It never ceases to amaze me that all British pubs (as well as quite a few private houses) must be fake-Elizabethan or Georgian on the outside, all London city buses and most London taxis must be in 1940's style and how some trucks are decked out in a fake dad's army lettering. Even the warning signs for road cameras show a 1940's type box camera with a collapsable lens and those were not designed in the misty past! I always wanted to take a pub, a double-decker bus and a DLR train in one picture for the fun contrast.

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

Figleaf

#2
From your posts, I have learned that it's often the Mint and its advisors (the experts) who want to modernize and the politicians and the public (the users) who don't accept it.

If you perceive yourself as a dominating power, you have an interest in the status quo and distrust change. I think that explains quite well British conservatism from the Victorian era to the end of the second world war. Afterwards, it made no sense for the British, but it was a comfortable harking back to the "good old days", until Tony Blair took issue with it in public, which explains much of the London skyline, as well as Prince Charles' opposition to it.

In fact, you can see the American's remarks in the same light. There's the T-Ford in an otherwise practically empty street on the 10-dollar banknote, the fake Greek style of banks and government buildings, the many places called Rome, Athens, Paris or Amsterdam, even the Roman construction of American names (praenomen - nomen - cognomen). Some of this is probably wanting to be a new classical empire (which also explains the name of the Senate), other parts are harking back to the US as an industrial powerhouse around 1900. I had an interesting conversation about this with one of the previous ANA museum curators. He deplored the lack of modernization of the coinage at least as much as your British experts and said the US public would not accept change any more than the British users. Note also that when Americans name their favorite coin, it is invariably issued between 1900 and 1940.

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

Galapagos

#3
UK Pattern Threepence - Royal Mint.jpg

UK Pattern Threepence - Royal Mint.


This pattern threepence appears in the October 2009 edition of Coin News (UK). Once again we see the battle between heraldry and a more modern design. It depicts a rather stylised thistle, whereas I prefer more realistic portrayals, but it was meant to be symbolic of Scotland and is quite a lively design in itself.

From Coin News:

The introduction of new designs for the silver coinage in 1927 marked the end of a long selection process. A number of prominent artists took part in the competition, including Francis Derwent Wood, Eric Gill, and Edward Carter Preston. Derwent Wood, a Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, and a founding member of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, died before the competition reached its conclusion, but his designs, which were well received, continued on.

The pattern threepence, depicting a thistle, is part of a floral series he prepared and which was modelled for him by Humphrey Paget. Given the popularity of the threepence in Scotland, it would have been particularly appropriate for this design to have been used. Along with one or two other designs by him, the thistle reached a late stage of the competition, but in the end the Committee selected an heraldic series by George Kruger-Gray.

Figleaf

A minor "innovation" is to have parts of the titles on the reverse, something considered normal in the 16th to 18th century, when titles were as long as your arm. It would have helped to make the legend on the obverse more readable.

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

Galapagos

Amazingly we still use these Latin abbreviations in the UK, though on the obverse, even now that English is more or less the world's second language.

Figleaf

That's because you are against the French revolution because it's against upstairs - downstairs. Before the French revolution, most legends on coins (ironically not in France) were in latin. After, only Britain retained latin legends. You may think that the French revolution is not much of an issue today, but your government (or in any case the Conservative party) doesn't agree. In 1998, France threw a big party for its 1798 revolution and Margaret Thatcher had the gall to declare that the French revolution wasn't really as important as all that. ::)

I think the proper attitude was found by the wife of the American ambassador to Grand Fenwick. As she reviewed the troops in harness that had conquered the United States, she said: "O, I love history. It's so ... uhhh ... historic". :)

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