Author Topic: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers  (Read 4844 times)

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Online <k>

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The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Maori chiefs. For some reason, the New Zealanders chose to commemorate this event on a crown dated 1935. The reverse design for the crown was created by James Berry, who went on to design the reverses of New Zealand's first decimal circulation coins of 1967.

Found among Mr Berry's papers after he died was this sketch of an alternative design. Curiously it is dated 1933. This suggests that the eventual design was a long time in the planning.

 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 12:14:25 PM by <k> »
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2011, 01:05:24 AM »
A very busy design for a small coin. I like the final result much better: strong symbolism and bold lines, yet enough interesting detail (e.g. look at the leg and arm muscles.) I can't afford a Waitangi crown, but if I could, it would be at the top of my want list. As it is, I'll enjoy this pretty picture.

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

Austrokiwi

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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 09:17:51 AM »
Well I am going to horrify some people......I don't like the reverse of the final version of the Waitangi crown. I have one and every time I look at it I find the reverse flat and uninspiring( of course that's purely personal aesthetics).  The obverse on the other hand is to my eye spectacular.

To me the earlier planned version is more appealing however it is not so culturally appropriate.     By culturally inappropriate I refer to the reason( As I understand it) that earlier design was rejected; that being it gave the impression the Maori were subservient to the, largely, British colonists.

Online <k>

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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 12:21:44 PM »
I must admit that I find the reverse rather stiff and static. Did you dislike the coin when you bought it? Were you aiming to acquire one coin of every type from your country of birth? Owning such an expensive coin and disliking it is horrifying enough.  :o
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Austrokiwi

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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2011, 01:01:52 PM »
I didn't actually dislike the coin until after I purchased it.   I assume like many NZ collectors the mystique of the coin was such that I saw it as a must have. That said I have no plans to get rid of it for now ( unless some one wants to swap it for an original 1780 Prague mint MTT).

My coin, a proof, I found in Germany a few years ago it was being sold at the  current Krause valuation which was considerably below the NZ Catalogue value.   Given it was a good price I purchased it......once it was in my hands for a while I became quite disenchanted with the reverse...... the obverse especially on a proof is well defined and sculpted. The reverse just doesn't match up to the same quality. I think the James Berry's 10 cent reverse design is more attractive.

A little more info on the crown,as far as I understand it;  it was initially planned for release in 1933 but delays didn't see it being issued till 1935.  Some of the delays were due to dissatisfaction with the submitted designs. It's selling price was at a significant ( especially in consideration of a depression) premium over the face value and the coin was not popular.

 It's issue price was 7/- 6d  which was 2/-6d above the face value. Sutherland (numismatic history of NZ) suggested had the NZ Government followed the Australian model and sold the coin at face value  it would have reaped a greater profit from the coin as the Australian experience had been such face value sold commemorative crowns disappeared from circulation quickly.

The difficulty in selling the crown was such that they even tried to sell it in local pubs.   I suspect its initial unpopularity was the reason for its final rarity and that then attracted the attention of the collecting community. 

It seems the 1935 3d is linked to the Waitangi crown: There was apparently no requirement to mint 3d in 1935 but, so as to ensure full 1935 sets could be produced, a small number ( 40,000) were produced.  Many people regard that 3d as a rarity and it can command high prices...... but IMHO it is at best only scarce.  If one really wants one it only takes a week or two of looking( at the most) to find one for sale. In the last couple of weeks approximately ten 35 3ds were up for sale on Ebay in Aussi.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 09:25:05 PM by translateltd »

Online <k>

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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2011, 01:27:01 PM »
The difficulty in selling the crown was such that they even tried to sell it in local pubs. 

If IKEA ever do a flat-pack Tardis, I'll be straight down the pubs of 1930s New Zealand.

Its issue price was 7/- 6d  which was 1/-6d above the face value.

A minor point, and our oldies will correct me if I'm wrong, but I've only ever seen 7 shillings and sixpence written as EITHER 7s 6d OR 7/6
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translateltd

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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 09:31:33 PM »
I would agree on the typography :-)   As an aside, the 1935 3d was one of the RNSNZ's contributions to NZ numismatics - after 2 million 3ds were produced in each of 1933 and 1934, there were no plans to make any for circulation dated 1935.   The Society made representations to the Treasury through its contacts to get 500 pounds' worth (40,000) produced so collectors could obtain examples and the authorities agreed.  They may not actually have been struck in 1935, though - the minutes dated 25/5/1936 state that the coins had arrived and were available from the Reserve Bank.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 12:57:12 AM by translateltd »

Online <k>

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George Kruger-Gray hurriedly modelled an early design by James Berry for the crown. He misspelled Waitangi. The initials of Berry and Kruger-Gray appear on the design.
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Online <k>

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Percy Metcalfe produced three initial plaster models of James Berry's final Waitangi design. The New Zealand authorities gave instructions about the length of the Maori chief's cloak and of the position of the crown.
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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2020, 12:14:33 AM »


Here once more is the final design for comparison.
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Online <k>

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Re: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2020, 01:35:04 PM »


A reminder of James Berry's initial idea for the Waitangi design.





Berry's first design idea was based on a panel on a statue of Queen Victoria in Wellington, showing the signing of the treaty.





New Zealand's 1990 $1 design by Horst Hahne also depicted the same scene.
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Online <k>

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