Poll

Whose UNCROWNED effigy of QEII do you prefer?

The uncrowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Mary Gillick
1 (16.7%)
The uncrowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Thomas
4 (66.7%)
I like both equally
1 (16.7%)
I do not like either portrait
0 (0%)
Don't know
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Voting closed: July 16, 2021, 11:24:44 AM

Author Topic: The UK 1952 Mary Gillick and Cecil Thomas UNCROWNED effigies of QEII  (Read 536 times)

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Offline <k>

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Mary Gillick's uncrowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.





Model of the unadopted uncrowned effigy by Cecil Thomas.

Image copyright the Royal Mint Museum.





The uncrowned effigy by Cecil Thomas was initially preferred: See The unseen, unadopted, predecimal numismatic portraits of QEII.

His crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II was ultimately adopted for the colonies, but he was bitterly disappointed that he did not win the competition for the more prestigious uncrowned effigy, which was used by the UK and the Commonwealth realms.
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Offline <k>

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Here you see the issued versions of the crowned and uncrowned effigy.

Cecil Thomas designed the uncrowned portrait, which was used by the British colonies.

Remember though that this topic is about the UNCROWNED effigies.
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Offline <k>

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I prefer the uncrowned effigy that was designed by Cecil Thomas.

Mary Gillick's version includes a laurel wreath, which I think was distinctly anachronistic in 1952. Highly outdated!

The laurel wreath fell out of fashion directly after the First World War.


I also find the version by Cecil Thomas to be distinctly more realistic than Mary Gillick's more stylised version.


Incidentally, I am letting the poll run for two months, so that late-comers have a chance to vote.

See also: Post-WW1: modern portraits of real people wearing a laurel wreath.
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Offline <k>

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My thanks to Martin Purdy of New Zealand, who sent me the attached scan.

It comes from the book "The Designers & Engravers of the English Milled Coinage 1662-1953" (P.A. Rayner, pub. Seaby, 1954).

Martin adds, "You might be amused by the 2nd paragraph".
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Offline FosseWay

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Am I imagining it, or do the differences between Thomas' crowned and uncrowned portraits extend to more than the presence or absence of the crown (and obviously related changes to the hair)? It's hard to be sure, but the mouth seems to be different, and the face in general seems to be a better likeness of the Queen on the crowned version than the uncrowned.

Edit to respond to the point about wear: It's true that the Gillick portrait doesn't wear as well as the Machin or Rank-Broadley ones, IMV. But I don't think it wears much worse than that of George VI, which also wears rather a lot.

Offline <k>

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Am I imagining it, or do the differences between Thomas' crowned and uncrowned portraits extend to more than the presence or absence of the crown (and obviously related changes to the hair)? It's hard to be sure, but the mouth seems to be different, and the face in general seems to be a better likeness of the Queen on the crowned version than the uncrowned.

You need to look more closely. The outline of the head and shoulders on the plaster model is distinctly different, and the facial features are also more detailed on the plaster portrait.
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Offline FosseWay

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That's what I thought, but I was coming from a starting position where I was expecting them to be the same (apart from the crown) so wasn't certain. Also I was looking specifically at the head, rather than the shoulders, which are clearly different.

I agree that the laurel wreath is anachronistic, but despite that, I prefer the Gillick portrait over the uncrowned Thomas portrait. But I am not sure I would say the same if I were comparing the Gillick portrait with the crowned Thomas portrait, but without the crown.

Offline <k>

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Well, now you must vote, or I will have the Swedes return you to England, as a punishment.  :o
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Offline <k>

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Here is a larger image of the Cecil Thomas crowned effigy, which is not strictly speaking germane to this topic, yet members have mentioned it, nevertheless.
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Offline <k>

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I am re-showing here his uncrowned effigy, so that you can compare the two effigies more easily.
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Offline agoodall

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Re: The UK 1952 Mary Gillick and Cecil Thomas UNCROWNED effigies of QEII
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2021, 01:47:09 PM »
I've always liked the Gillick portrait but I do find both the Cecil Thomas portraits more realistic. I think it's the hair style - the laurels on the Gillick head flatten out the hair and aren't that distinctive in themselves. A tiara might have looked better. The part of the uncrowned Thomas portrait I don't like is the neck - the way the shoulders are cropped makes the neck look too thick to me. I think adding shoulders as in the crowned Thomas or Gillick portraits would have been an improvement.

Offline <k>

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Re: The UK 1952 Mary Gillick and Cecil Thomas UNCROWNED effigies of QEII
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2021, 02:02:08 PM »
Yes, the neck is slightly too thick, but only slightly. I didn't notice it until you mentioned it.
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