Author Topic: James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!  (Read 4935 times)

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Offline <k>

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James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!
« on: March 10, 2011, 08:06:42 PM »
These sketches were for his private enjoyment only, but they show that he was an early proponent of the decimal system. You see that his ideal system has 100 cents to the CROWN. This suggests that he wanted to link the value of his New Zealand crown to the US dollar, rather than ten New Zealand shillings, as eventually happened.

There was a time when the UK pound sterling was equal roughly to four US dollars, therefore the nickname for a crown, in the UK anyway, was a "dollar", and the half crown was also sometimes referred to colloquially as "a half a dollar". Whether this was the case in New Zealand also, I can't say.

James Berry, of course, won the competition to design the reverses of New Zealand's actual decimal coins, which were released in 1967.



Related links:

1] James Berry, Coin Designer.

2] The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers.

3] James Berry's designs for NZ's first decimals that DIDN'T make it.

4] Unadopted UK Decimal Designs by New Zealander James Berry.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 07:19:30 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 08:45:05 PM »
It occurs to me that Berry made something of an error in including both a 20c and a 25c coin in his imaginary set. Few coinage systems contain both denominations. Most follow either a 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 units system, as in the UK, or a 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 units system, as in the USA.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 07:19:58 PM by <k> »
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translateltd

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Re: James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011, 10:24:47 PM »

These sketches were for his private enjoyment only, but they show that he was an early proponent of the decimal system. You see that his ideal system has 100 cents to the CROWN.

No - his crown is 50c, which was the actual rate of exchange applied in 1967.  His 20c and 25c coins are simply cross-overs from the florin and half-crown that were then in circulation.  I think Jamaica was the only place to use both following decimalisation.

There are some hints of designs to come in those sketches, though: the 1949 crown from the "10c", and the 1971 "Berry Medal" and the 1980 Fantail dollar (NCLT), both from the "½c".


translateltd

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Re: James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011, 10:46:02 PM »
Couple of fantails from Mr Berry:


translateltd

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Re: James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 10:54:32 PM »
And the 1949 crown - a slightly shorter wait for this one.  The 1980 dollar was a posthumous issue, as he died in 1979.  I never met him but remember hearing on the news that he'd boarded a plane and died in his seat before takeoff.

He was a key player in the early to mid years of the RNSNZ, serving in numerous offices, and indeed our post office box at the time (GPO Box 23, Wellington) was actually his, which we borrowed ...

Privately packaged sets of coins from the early 1960s still occasionally turn up with a typed label marked "JAYBEE Coins" and his PO Box number.  He was apparently quite a dealer in his own way, and rubbed up a few of the older guard, who weren't too keen on all this buying and selling business.




Offline Figleaf

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Re: James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 11:16:22 PM »
I hadn't concentrated on the NZ coat of arms before and was surprised to see it includes a golden fleece, a heraldic device, referring to Jason and the argonauts, used by the Burgundian order of the golden fleece. The original recipients of the order and their descendants often used the device in their arms, but I am not aware of any Englishman legally receiving the order. None of this connects in any way with New Zealand.

Some research on the net brought to light the original design. It does not show a fleece (sheepskin), but a sheep in tackles. Since all but one of the other divisions symbolize sectors of the economy (transport, agriculture, mining), the sheep (animal husbandry) makes sense, the golden fleece doesn't.

A more minor point is that both the original design and the current arms show Cog vessels. This is a European medieval ship type that could not possibly have reached New Zealand. Since all the symbols are modern (for around 1900), it would have been appropriate to show a steamship instead.

Since the order of the golden fleece is also medieval, I am beginning to suspect that a "Walter Scott" type of anachronistic romanticism won from consistency. Maybe it should, once in a while.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 11:27:32 PM by Figleaf »
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Offline Splock

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Re: James Berry's 1947 NZ decimal sketches - 20 years too early!
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 01:32:34 AM »
I do know that they're representative of Captain Cook's three voyages. Following my acquisition of a "Jaybee" set I set about researching James Berry, which included a wonderful book called The Image Maker: The Art of James Berry by J.R.Tye, which includes a lots of images of both his coin and stamp designs. Well worth a read.
For I dipt into the future,
far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world,
and all the wonder that would be