Author Topic: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer  (Read 19603 times)

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Offline <k>

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Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« on: March 10, 2011, 12:40:30 AM »
Percy Metcalfe was born in Wakefield, England, in 1895. He studied art in Leeds and attended the Royal College of Art, London, in 1914. During his career he produced various coins, medals, statues, memorials, stamp and pottery designs.

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 12:42:15 AM »
Metcalfe is probably most famous for creating the obverse and reverse designs of the first coins of the Irish Free State, issued in 1928. This circulation set portrayed various Irish barnyard animals and has become known as the Barnyard Set. Royal Mint engraver George Kruger-Gray had produced an innovative set of coin designs for South Africa in 1923, some of which carried thematic designs, for instance sparrows and a sailing ship, but most of them were still rather traditional in style. Metcalfe’s Irish set, by contrast, with its unity of theme, completely broke the mould. It must have looked thoroughly modern and ahead of its time in 1928. I cannot imagine it appearing or being accepted even ten years earlier, but society had changed rapidly after the horrors of the Great War, which smashed four empires.

Ireland itself was still a rather narrow-minded and inward-looking country in the 1920s. It had been oppressed first by the British and then by its own priests, who wielded great influence in the land. It is to the credit of the committee, headed by poet W B Yeats, that they had the courage to choose such radically novel designs, which were predictably criticised as “pagan” by the Irish Catholic Church, who would have preferred religious subjects to be depicted.



































¼d.  Woodcock.
½d.  Pig and piglets.
1d.   Hen and chicks.
3d.   Hare.
6d.   Irish wolfhound.
1s.   Bull.
2s.   Salmon.
2/6.  Irish hunter (horse).

Designer: Percy Metcalfe.

 
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 02:26:32 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 12:43:27 AM »
Metcalfe produced various other commissions for the Royal Mint, including a new coin effigy for King Fuad of Egypt, issued in 1929, and one for his successor, King Farouk, which first saw the light of day in 1937. Metcalfe’s trademark initials, PM, can be seen clearly here at the bottom of the designs.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 02:17:16 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 12:45:38 AM »
Metcalfe also created coin effigies of two kings of Iraq. His portrait of King Faisal I first appeared on the coins of Iraq in 1931, whilst his portrait of King Ghazi was first seen on coins in 1936.

See also: Iraq: Three Kings on Coins.





« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 01:27:45 AM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 12:46:12 AM »
Again for the Royal Mint, Metcalfe produced a new crowned effigy of King George V, which appeared on various overseas coins of the British Empire from 1934 onwards.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 01:45:50 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 12:46:54 AM »
Also appearing in 1934 was the first coinage for Fiji. This was designed by Metcalfe, and shown here are the turtle on the sixpence and the outrigger on the shilling. The threepence was not released until 1947; it portrayed a native hut design by New Zealander James Berry.









 
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 02:35:38 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 12:47:33 AM »
In 1935 the Royal Mint issued a crown to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. Its reverse, depicting St George and the Dragon, was the work of Metcalfe. Its striking art deco style earned it the name of “The Rocking-Horse Crown”.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 02:15:16 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 12:48:14 AM »
George V died in January 1936. The new king, Edward  VIII, abdicated after only eleven months. The next king, George VI, was depicted uncrowned on his coins by Humphrey Paget, but it was Metcalfe who provided his crowned effigy for those parts of the Empire that needed it. Seen below is his portrait as it appeared on the coinage of Southern Rhodesia before 1948.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 01:50:51 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 12:48:38 AM »
Percy Metcalfe died in London on the ninth of October 1970.

See also Discarded designs from New Zealand's first independent coinage of 1933, which includes some interesting designs by Mr Metcalfe.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 02:06:23 AM by coffeetime »

constanius

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 04:59:03 PM »
He was a very talented individual.


A medal by Metcalfe, unlisted in BHM.
The Mond Nickel Company Ltd, undated, struck from pure nickel for the British Empire Exhibition 1924-1925 45mm by PM (Percy Metcalfe 1895-1970) Rare. Obv: helmeted head of warrior (Britannia) right, holding trident, below, part of a globe featuring a deer(springbok?), beaver, kangaroo and tiger,(for South Africa, Canada, Australia & India) Rev: THE/ MOND / NICKEL / COMPANY / LTD / NICKEL 99.9% plain edge.

I have a couple more of his medals for that exhibition that I still need to photograph.
Picture from the internet of one those that I need to dig out and take pictures & post.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 11:45:56 AM by Niels »

translateltd

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 12:46:59 PM by coffeetime »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 09:22:51 PM »
The medals give the best impression of Metcalfe's art. That is how it should be. Medals are art. Coins are public property and the public is conservative. It is a tribute to Metcalfe that he could restrain himself and produce the stuff the public would accept. I often marvel at how modern and powerful art deco looks today. That fantastic lion on the British empire medals to me is a predecessor of Botéro's cat.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 09:53:29 PM »
Medals are art. Coins are public property and the public is conservative.


The best coin designs are art too. Metcalfe managed to push the boundaries and produce some truly innovative coin designs, which are still admired today. True, in the area of medals, an artist has more freedom and scope to express himself.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 11:20:09 PM »
For the sake of honesty, the animals on coins was an idea of Yeats, not Metcalfe.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Percy Metcalfe, Coin Designer
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 11:24:45 PM »
Yes, Yeats' idea, but the style in which they were depicted was all Metcalfe's.