login

Author Topic: Designs by Norman Sillman  (Read 6154 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Designs by Norman Sillman
« on: November 19, 2013, 12:53:37 PM »
Norman Sillman, the British artist, sculptor and coin designer, died in July 2013. I am very grateful to his grandson, Will Coles, who lives in Australia and has been kind enough to send me some images of his work. These include sketches and plasters, illustrated below.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 05:52:06 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2013, 12:55:54 PM »


Here is Mr Sillman's majestic version of Britannia with lion. It looks as though he entered the competition to provide a design for the gold bullion Britannia coin. In the event, Philip Nathan, another fine designer, won the competition.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 12:59:50 PM »


Cayman Islands, 5 dollars, 1996.  The Queen's 70th birthday.





Mr Sillman's initial sketch of his design.





Mr Sillman's plaster for the design.




 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2014, 02:52:02 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 01:02:57 PM »






Mr Sillman was a superb portraitist, and his effigy of the Queen is instantly recognisable. This design is dated for the year 2000. To my knowledge no such portrait was ever issued, so again I must assume that this was a competition entry.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 07:22:50 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 01:05:11 PM »


Now we have the design for a medal, commemorating America's role in the Second World War. I am no expert on medals, so I do not know whether this one was ever issued.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 01:06:09 PM »


Another plaster depicting the same subject.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 01:08:35 PM »


The plaster for a British-themed medal, commemorating the Napoleonic wars. Again, I do not know whether the design was ever issued.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 01:12:49 PM »


UK one pound coin, reverse design, 1994.





The initial design in plaster.





Mr Sillman won the competition to design the UK pound series of 1994 to 1997. Each design represented one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Above you can see his initial sketch and the issued coin.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 07:25:00 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 01:14:38 PM »


UK one pound coin, reverse design, 1995.





Mr Sillman's initial sketch of the Welsh dragon, a magnificent rendition.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 01:25:13 PM »


UK one pound coin, reverse design, 1996.





Mr Sillman's preliminary sketch of the design for Northern Ireland. Whereas the other designs in the series were taken from traditional heraldic elements, this design was entirely Mr Sillman's creation. Given the political and cultural tensions in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics, he had to choose carefully, but he did his work superbly, producing a highly attractive, beautifully balanced design, that offended nobody.

What many people do not realise is that the design consists of two main elements: a Celtic cross, as seen in Mr Sillman's sketch above, overlaid with a Celtic gold torque. This is how Mr Sillman described the design, which was his own favourite of the series:

"The Northern Ireland pound was part of a national competition set, with elaborate prohibitions for party reasons. I was in Northern Ireland for a short time near Limavaday, where people were fond of the gold Celtic torque found there. From art history I knew of the pre-Catholic Celtic crosses, and my Irish plant books told me of the Yellow Pimpernel flowers around Loch Neagh. I couldn’t lose! No politics."

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 01:27:38 PM »


UK one pound coin, reverse design, 1997.





Finally we see Mr Sillman's sketch of the famous English three lions.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 25 090
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 09:06:49 PM »
Great insights into the designer's intention. These pictures richly deserve publication. A big thank you to <k> and Will Coles.

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

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 08:22:53 PM »
Will Coles has very kindly sent me some more scans. These are scans of the photographs that Mr Sillman took of his own coin designs before sending each one off to The Mint. Each is a plaster cast (of the plasticine design) and would have been the size of a small dinner plate.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 08:26:07 PM »


This design commemorates the UK presidency of the EU, 1992-3. Sadly it was not adopted, as it is very lively, and preferable to the adopted design by Mary Milner Dickens.  To be fair to Ms Dickens, it was not one of her best designs, and she produced some very lively coin and medal designs in later years.

Offline <k>

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15 409
Re: Designs by Norman Sillman
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2014, 08:28:35 PM »


Here is a design by Mr Sillman that commemorates the end of the Second World War. My guess is that it would have been intended as the 1995 UK 2 pounds commemorative issue. Unfortunately another design, a rather banal-looking peace dove, won the competition.