Author Topic: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer  (Read 6818 times)

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Galapagos

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Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« on: September 12, 2009, 04:07:58 PM »
Here is a piece I have transcribed from a 1990 Royal Mint bulletin. Most people throw these away once they've ordered their coins, so I hope the Royal Mint doesn't mind me reproducing this.




THOMAS HUMPHREY PAGET (1893-1974).

One of the best remembered designs of the last pre-decimal coins was the old sailing ship on the halfpenny. Based on Drakeís Golden Hind, it was the work of one of the most prolific designers of the twentieth century.

Thomas Humphrey Paget was born in London in 1893 to a family already well established in the art world. Little wonder then that the young Paget should have been interested in art and that he should have studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and at the Royal Academy Schools, where he won a Landseer Scholarship. Following naval service during the First World War, he returned to the Central School as a visiting teacher, and it was around this time that he first came to the notice of the Royal Mint.

Among the most energetic of the original members of the newly formed Royal Mint Advisory Committee was Professor Derwent Wood of the Royal College of Art; and it was Derwent wood who, in 1923, included Pagetís name in a list of young artists asked to submit designs for a medal to be awarded to nurses at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. This he did with great success, producing in the process the first in a long and distinguished series of medallic portraits.

However, it was through one of his small private commissions, rather than his early work for the Mint, that Paget made his reputation. In 1935 he was aksed to design a medal for the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, and for the obverse he produced a fine portrait of the Prince of Wales, who was Master of the Company. This portrait was widely admired, and the Deputy Master of the Mint considered it so successful that he asked Paget to prepare a low relief version as a possible coin effigy. Soon afterwards the Prince became King Edward VIII and it was indeed a model by Paget that was eventually approved for use on coins and medals of the new King.

The abdication in December 1936, however, meant that most of this work had to be scrapped, and the urgency of the situation was such that Paget alone was commissioned to prepare the uncrowned effigy required for coins and medals of George VI. If there were doubts about this course of action, Paget dispelled them brilliantly, for in little more than a month he produced what Michael Rizzello has described as the classic coinage head of the twentieth century.

Simple, unaffected, well balanced, it was as near perfect from a technical point of view as the Mint could have hoped for. More than any other design, it may be said to typify Pagetís work and is almost certainly the design that he himself regarded as his best. His reputation was assured.

Pagetís most productive period followed the Second World War: his many commissions included seals for the Central African Federation, the South Arabian Currency Authority and the National Coal Board; medals for the Victoria Numismatic Society, the Society of Chemical Industry and the Royal Society of Medicine; coins for Bolivia, the British Caribbean Territories, Burma, the Central African Federation, Iraq, the Isle of Man, Jordan, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Arabia, Southern Rhodesia, Uruguay and Western Samoa. Particular mention deserves to be made of his head of Feisal II for the Iraq coinage, for which the schoolboy King gave sittings at Harrow, and of the reverse design for the Southern Rhodesia crown of 1953, which incorporated so many diverse elements in a space of only one and a half inches that it must be considered a numismatic triumph. Another that should be counted among his best must be a medallic portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh, his last major commission.

Undoubtedly Thomas Humphrey Paget ranks as one of the most prolific and outstanding members of the Royal Mintís panel of artists during the first half of the twentieth century. Few can have been so technically successful and so totally reliable as he, and it is with pleasure that we pay tribute to this large, shy, kindly man who, for the greater part of fifty years, served the Mint so well.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 07:03:31 PM by <k> »

Galapagos

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 04:09:51 PM »
Illustrations from the Royal Mint's article:-

1] Pagetís first successful design for the Royal Mint.
2] His work is easily recognised by the initials H.P., which are to be found on most of his coin and medal designs.
3] The famous ship design was originally intended for the half crown.
4] The Southern Rhodesia Crown is one of Pagetís finest overseas coin designs.

















« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 06:51:16 PM by <k> »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 06:25:58 PM »
A whole series of excellent portraits and the Golden Hind (I am not too fond of the Rhodes design, but the portrait is fine). I like that Paget got the sails on the Golden Hind right. One thing that struck me is that on the patterns, Edward VIII and George VI look practically like twins...

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

translateltd

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 09:03:41 PM »
A whole series of excellent portraits and the Golden Hind (I am not too fond of the Rhodes design, but the portrait is fine). I like that Paget got the sails on the Golden Hind right. One thing that struck me is that on the patterns, Edward VIII and George VI look practically like twins...

Peter

They were only a year or so apart in age.  Ed VIII should technically have faced right to continue the tradition of alternating directions, but thought his left side the better one (vain fellow) and insisted on breaking with tradition.  When Geo VI also faced left, this sort of restored the balance again.

Galapagos

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 02:09:38 PM »
Ed VIII should technically have faced right to continue the tradition of alternating directions, but thought his left side the better one (vain fellow) and insisted on breaking with tradition.

Wasn't it something to do with which side the parting in his hair was on?

My favourite Paget design is his fish eagle for Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1955). Unusually for the Royal Mint, that set is designed by three different artists:

Ĺd.Stylised giraffes.D: Bernard Sindall.
1d.Stylised elephants.  D: Bernard Sindall.
3d.Flame lily.D: Paul Vincze.
6d.Lioness.D: Paul Vincze.
1s.Sable antelope.D: Paul Vincze.
2s.African fish eagle.D: Humphrey Paget.
2/6.Coat of arms.D: Humphrey Paget.

D=Designer.



Another set partly designed by Paget is the Nigeria 1959 set:

3d.  Cotton plant.D: Paul Vincze.
6d.  Cocoa beans.D: Humphrey Paget.
1s.  Palm branches.  D: Humphrey Paget.
2s.  Peanut plant.D: Paul Vincze.

I don't know who designed the Ĺd and 1d for this set. They are simple, non-thematic designs that just show the denomination.

Paul Vincze also designed the Guernsey pre-decimal set and first decimal set; and ditto for Malawi.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 02:12:08 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 10:33:32 PM »
Here are Paget's reverse designs for the Nigeria 1959 set. The other designs for the set were created by Paul Vincze.



Above: Six 6 pence. Cocoa beans.

Below: 1 shilling.  Palm branches.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 02:05:27 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2011, 10:37:09 PM »
Here are Paget's designs for Rhodesia and Nyasland. The other designs for the set were created by Bernard Sindall and Paul Vincze.





Two shillings.





Half crown.
 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 06:43:36 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 10:40:29 PM »
Here are Paget's designs for the reverses of the coins of the British Caribbean Territories.





The 1 and 2 cents feature a pair of sprigs.





The 50 cents shows a stylised Queen Elizabeth II with symbolic seahorses.





The Golden Hind appeared on the 5, 10 and 20 cent coins.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 06:40:55 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 10:41:26 PM »
And here is his design for the South Arabia 50 fils.


 
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 06:53:51 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 04:03:05 AM »


Here is Paget's magnificent portrait of King Faisal II of Iraq, as it appears on the 100 fils coin of 1955.

See also: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins.
 
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 07:04:20 PM by <k> »
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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2011, 04:08:46 PM »


Here is another design from Humphrey Paget. Once again, you can see his initials, H.P. The obverse of this 10 centesimos piece from Uruguay, dated 1960, depicts Josť Artigas (1764-1850), who is regarded as the father of Uruguayan independence.
 
 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 04:21:35 PM by <k> »
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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 12:54:31 PM »


Here is another Paget design I found, again distinguishable by his initials: a Dominican Republic 1963 half peso.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 07:20:49 PM by <k> »
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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 11:06:29 PM »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 05:36:01 PM »
In 1965 the Isle of Man issued a set of gold coins to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Revestment Act, when Mann became a dependency of the British Crown. You can see from the initials HP on the obverse that this effigy of Queen Elizabeth II was another design by Humphrey Paget. Mr Paget had also created the classic uncrowned effigy of King George VI that adorned the coins the UK and the Dominions during his reign.


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Re: Humphrey Paget, Coin Designer
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 01:08:26 AM »


Humphrey Paget designed this medal commemorating the British Commnwealth Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1970. Nowadays they are called simply the Commonwealth Games.


Compare the reverse of the medal to the reverse of the UK's first collector two pound coin, issued in 1986. It was designed by Norman Sillman and again commemorates the fact that the Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh.

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