Author Topic: Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth  (Read 17414 times)

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Galapagos

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Parent topic: Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth


You'll notice on the predecimal coins of the British Commonwealth that each monarch has two standard effigies. One is crowned, the other is uncrowned, and they are often designed by different artists. I understand that this is some kind of hierarchical thing. Does anybody have any precise information on this aspect? When did the crowned/uncrowned tradition start, and what was the reasoning behind it? And does anybody have a list of the split, i.e. which countries used only the crowned effigy, and which used both (at various times)?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 07:24:09 PM by <k> »

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Phil,
  The Union of South Africa was most definitely a Dominion.

Both Rhodesia & The Gambia were the only countries that used Arnold Machin's portrait design on pre-decimal coins.

Belize still uses the same portrait that was on the coins of British Honduras.Since 1981,Belize has been a Dominion.

Aidan.

Online Figleaf

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Many and good questions for British Commonwealth collectors. I only have some answers. At the time of the Saxon conquest, both Saxons and Celts had a whole collection of kings, some controlling just a town and its immediate surroundings. In theory, these were loyal to a high king. In practice, even ealdormen (earls) were often autonomous, sometimes fighting the high king. So it was in Wales. Clans fought each other and Wales was united for only seven years under Gruffydd ap Llywelyn (1039-1063), the first king of the Britons (Welshmen were known as Britons until the high middle ages). It was only through a complicated political compromise among the barons drawing up the Magna Charta that the title "Prince of Wales" came about. If Wales had not been conquered by Edward I Longshanks shortly after, it is likely that the princely title would have been changed to king.

Meanwhile, Longshanks famously failed to subdue Scotland, giving rise to a Scottish kingdom under Robert the Bruce. Such fine distinctions were probably lost on Victorian historians and romanticists, who just knew that prince was a lower title than king.

Province is another historical misunderstanding. The word was invented by the Romans and denoted an administrative unit of conquered territory. The conquest aspect was slowly lost, making a province no different from an English county.

Parliament is another word whose meaning has changed. Even the English version of Wikipedia treats it as a legislative assembly (the French version does better), but in the middle ages and renaissance, a parliament was simply an administrative council, implementing the orders of the ruler and a court of justice. Thus, the parliament of Burgundy was the address the French king used for raising taxes and the French king was the address the parliament of Burgundy would use to get a budget for their wishes (cahier de doléances, another term badly explained in the English version of Wikipedia). The role of the parliament in the Magna Charta was not to introduce democracy, but to introduce local government.

Traditional parliaments' only legislative role was to check the laws of the king against the local rights, prerogatives and customs. This right was exploited at the time of Charles I, effectively giving the English parliament the power of the purse. Further developments, such as the Hanoverian succession, secured the power of the English parliament and further eroded the power of the king to the point where it caught up and overtook the Dutch Estates General as an instrument of "democracy". The French revolution laid down a new parliamentary standard of power, not shared by the UK parliament, whose role is still determined by evolution from the parliaments of the middle ages, e.g. when it functions as a court in the highest instance.

While the role of parliaments in legislation was traditionally marginal, the role of assemblies in Roman times was purely legislative. Assemblies may have been the most democratic institutions of Rome. Here also, the original meaning of words has been turned around, as in UK usage, assembly is most probably meant as a lower ranking body than parliament.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 04:54:03 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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I've commented on this before somewhere hereabouts.  The crowned effigy was essentially used in "colonies" while the uncrowned was used in self-governing dominions.  The change must have occurred after the 1931 Statute of Westminster, because Australia and Canada used the crowned effigy of George V (as did NZ from 1933 to 36, for some odd reason), but a distinction started being made from 1937 with the coins of George VI.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think only the UK used the bare-head effigy of Geo V and *all* the colonies/dominions got the crowned version.

The few coins that used royal effigies in Jersey pre-1971 also used the "colonial" effigy of the Queen, if I remember correctly, which is rather interesting in this context.


Offline africancoins

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I had been viewing as a guest earlier.....

Anyway - Gibraltar 50p 2008 - made by Tower Mint. Portrait by Raphael Maklouf - his not so famous portrait of the Queen - only use by Tower Mint.

The TDC pieces are not by Tower Mint, so they use a different portrait of the Queen.

For commemorative/collector coins....  both Turks & Caicos and New Zealand have one or two other slightly different portraits of the Queen.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

Galapagos

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I am surprised that at various times, according to your posts, Ceylon and India were allowed to use uncrowned effigies of QEII and EVII. I thought that an unspoken apartheid would have been maintained between First World and Third World. In other words, it just ain't pukka.

andyg

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I am surprised that at various times, according to your posts, Ceylon and India were allowed to use uncrowned effigies of QEII and EVII. I thought that an unspoken apartheid would have been maintained between First World and Third World. In other words, it just ain't pukka.

Sailana is an Indian State - Ceylon used the crowned portrait.

BC Numismatics

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Sailana is an Indian State - Ceylon used the crowned portrait.

Andy,
  A few of the Indian Princely States were allowed to use portraits of the British monarch on their coins.

These states included the following;
Alwar.
Bindraban.
Dewas Junior Branch.
Dewas Senior Branch.
Sailana.

Ceylon used the Mary Gillick portrait design,albeit,modified to include the shoulder strap,for the 1955 & 1957 2 Cents.

Aidan.

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King William IV - India (1835),Demerary & Essequibo (1831-35),& British Guiana (1836).

Queen Victoria - British Guiana,& British Guiana & West Indies (1891-1900).

King Edward VII - British Guiana & West Indies.

King George V - British Guiana & West Indies,& British Guiana.

Queen Elizabeth II - Gough Island,Nightingale Island,Alderney,Ascension,St. Helena,Stoltenhoff Island,Tristan da Cunha.

Queen Elizabeth II's portrait has appeared on Ghanaian & Zambian medal-coins.

Aidan.

andyg

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Yes I forgot Alwar,
I'd add it in but I don't seem to be able to edit my posts.
The Bindraban portrait is excessively crude, one wonders if they actually had permission for this 'home made' job.

Hong Kong makes an interesting study,
They used the Victoria 'Gothic' type portrait on the 1 and 10 Cents (first struck in 1863), yet the standard colonial 'Crowned'; portrait on the 5, 20, 50 Cents and 1 Dollar (first struck in 1866).
One would imagine that this portrait is therefore slightly later in age.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 01:02:50 PM by andyg »

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Re: Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2009, 11:46:31 PM »
So that was  a faux pas, then, because the Gillick effigy is uncrowned. Ceylon was a colony, not a dominion, so should have used the Cecil Thomas crowned effigy.

 Sri Lanka became independent in 1948 as the Dominion of Ceylon.

Rhodesia & Nyasaland also used Mary Gillick's obverse design as well.Rhodesia & Nyasaland was effectively a Dominion,due to the viceregal representative being a Governor-General,but legally,Rhodesia & Nyasaland was a federal colony,albeit,one with its own High Commission in London.

Aidan.

 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 09:58:47 PM by <k> »

translateltd

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Re: Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2009, 08:15:07 PM »
Note that Geo II effigies are technically divided into "young" and "old" head varieties - I think I can dig up a YH halfpenny if an image is needed.


translateltd

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Re: Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2009, 01:48:20 AM »
Re George II: here's a YH halfpenny of 1735 alongside an OH farthing of 1754.  Sorry I couldn't get matching denominations!  There are enough distinctions in the effigies once you start looking.

If this isn't the appropriate location for the images I'm happy for them to be moved.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 09:49:04 PM by translateltd »

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Re: Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2009, 07:28:55 AM »
Both New Brunswick & Nova Scotia also issued coins inscribed 'TOKEN' as well.

These are commonly known as 'semi-regal' issues,as they were approved by the colonies' governments,but not the Imperial Government at Westminster.

Aidan.

Offline tonyclayton

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Re: Comments on Use of the Crowned and Uncrowned Effigies in the Commonwealth
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2009, 12:04:01 AM »
Re George II: here's a YH halfpenny of 1735 alongside an OH farthing of 1754.  Sorry I couldn't get matching denominations!  There are enough distinctions in the effigies once you start looking.

If this isn't the appropriate location for the images I'm happy for them to be moved.



As always, you can find images of both heads on my website at http://www.ukcoinpics.co.uk