Posts Tagged ‘masterpiece’
Behind the design: The Coronation Masterpiece that’s already SOLD OUT!
The ‘Masterpiece’ is undoubtedly a flagship specification for Westminster collectors that truly lives up to the name.
Authorised to commemorate King Charles III’s Coronation, the masterpiece coin is struck from 5 ounces of Pure Silver to a pristine proof finish. The exquisite design pays tribute to the Coronation Regalia that will be used when the ceremony takes place on 6th May.
A closer look at the design…
The reverse features a beautiful heraldic design by Quentin Peacock. It takes inspiration from the regalia and Crown Jewels which are integral to the Coronation ceremony. The six windows showing each item represent the stained glass at Westminster Abbey.
The Crown Jewels are undeniably the most complete collection of royal regalia in the world. At the heart of the Crown Jewels is obviously the Coronation Regalia, sacred objects used in the coronation ceremony. So the six treasures featured on the Masterpiece Coin are:
- Sovereign’s Sceptre – This sceptre represents the sovereign’s spiritual role, with the dove symbolising the Holy Ghost. Traditionally it has been known as ‘the Rod of Equity and Mercy’.
- Sword of Offering – one of the objects with which the sovereign is invested during the coronation ceremony.
- St Edwards Crown – the crown used at the moment of coronation. A solid gold frame set with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnet, topazes and tourmalines. The crown has a velvet cap with an ermine band.
- Eagle-shaped Ampulla – used to hold the consecrated oil with which a sovereign is anointed during the coronation ceremony. It’s cast in the form of an eagle with outspread wings.
- Sovereign’s Orb – a representation of the sovereign’s power. It symbolises the Christian world with its cross mounted on a globe, and the bands of jewels dividing it up into three sections represent the three continents known in medieval times.
- Ancient Coronation Spoon – The Archbishop pours holy oil from the Ampulla into the spoon, and anoints the sovereign on the hands, breast and head. The anointing is the most sacred part of the coronation ceremony, and takes place before the investiture and crowning.
Meet the designer
Quentin Peacock has been illustrating heraldry for fifteen years. During this time, he has created many seals and medal art works. Quentin began illustrating in 1999, having studied Graphic Design and Illustration at university and has subsequently worked on many heraldic commissions over the years.
A note from the artist: “It has always been my aim to demonstrate how beautiful heraldry can be created digitally and even to look as if it has been hand painted. Digital heraldry will never (and neither should it) replace hand-created heraldic art, but we are in a digital age and the need for professional digital heraldry is growing. It is my intention to make sure that it is done well and even to serve as an inspiration to other artists.”
Striking the masterpiece
The Masterpiece Coin is struck from 5 ounces of Pure Silver and uses selective 24ct Gold-plating to enhance key elements of the design.
This stunning coin has been struck to a beautiful proof finish, the highest quality finish. Creating the mirror-like finish requires immense craftsmanship. The dies used to strike the coin are painstakingly hand finished to sharpen the design and remove any imperfections.
Additionally, the dies are regularly removed from the press and re-polished during production, ensuring every coin is minted to the highest standard.
Shop the King Charles III Coronation Range
And as I mentioned earlier, the incredible Coronation Masterpiece coin has already completely SOLD OUT. However, you can browse the full coronation range here >>
Gifting a Poppy Masterpiece
Each year, as many of you collectors may know, here at The Westminster Collection, we release a special Masterpiece coin in partnership with the Royal British Legion. A donation from the sales of our Poppy coins is made to the Royal British Legion, on your behalf.
2021 saw a special centenary year for the long-established charity, with many celebrations held, including the laying of a wreath at the Cenotaph by RBL National President Lieutenant General James Bashall CB CBE.
One such way we commemorated this important event was the gifting of our prized Remembrance Masterpiece Poppy Coin to D-Day veteran Jim Healy.
Jim is 97 and from Manchester – he was born in the Spring of 1925 and was called up to join the Armed Forces at the age of only 18. He served in the Royal Marines from May 1943 until August 1945, telling RBL he couldn’t even swim being a Manchester boy! His specific role was Coxswain of the Landing Craft Assault (LCA).
He landed on Juno Beach on D-Day 1944 and during his time in service, made several trips to land Canadian troops on the coast of Normandy. Describing one such trip he said, “I really admired these lads, I saw some wrecked craft, which must’ve copped a mine, but we were fortunate going in on a high tide, we avoided the mines in the water, going over the top of the obstacles.”
Jim is now a retired printer. He married his wife Marie at the age of 25 and they were married for 38 years, but she sadly passed 30 years ago. His brothers Tom and John also served in the Forces. Tom served in the Royal Air Force, and John worked in munitions.
With the Royal British Legion, Jim has been back to Normandy and took part in the D-Day 75 commemorations in northern France in the Summer of 2019. He has said “I’ve had a whole life before and since D-Day, and it’s only since the RBL started organising these trips that I’ve really started talking about those days.”
“…you’ve got in mind the lads you’ve lost – we lost ten of our boats and even mine was classified as lost, the family were told that I was missing in action, because our craft was disabled in the middle of the sea.”
Jim added “I still don’t know which of those soldiers we dropped off died and which ones survived, which is sad for me. I often think about them, we offer our condolences at various times each year and I know the Canadians suffered heavy losses on Juno Beach, but I never knew them really, which is quite hard.”
The Masterpiece which has been gifted to Jim is crafted from 1945 British Army Mess tins, a World War Two Spitfire and a D-Day Landing Craft, similar to the one piloted by Jim himself on June 6, 1944. Representing the three military facets of RBL, we have repurposed these important materials to create a three-dimensional ‘1921 style’ Poppy, which sits magnificently on the coin.
To find out more about how the 2021 Masterpiece Silver 5oz Poppy Coin was made and the significance of the materials used, click here >>
Jim has said “I’m very proud to receive this coin, it is a fitting reminder of my time in the Marines during World War Two and I am very grateful. I do get called a hero, but it is a word that’s over-used these days, even by my own family.”
We feel honoured that our 2021 Masterpiece Silver 5oz Poppy Coin has been gifted to Jim and what a fitting tribute that it’s one of our most historically fascinating pieces to have ever been released.
Our partnership, held since 2004, continues with the Royal British Legion who provide financial, social, and emotional support to members and veterans of the UK Armed Forces, their families and dependents.
Behind the design: The Platinum Jubilee Masterpiece that SOLD OUT in hours!
A flagship specification for Westminster collectors, ‘Masterpiece’ issues truly live up to their name and this British Isles Platinum Jubilee release was no different! Issued to mark Her Majesty’s record-breaking reign, this coin was struck from Pure Silver to a Proof finish and features a thoughtful design that pays tribute to the constant and reassuring figure. In fact, artist Neil Bromley spent 2-3 weeks on the exquisite reverse design, and we think he did an amazing job. Just ask the 285 collectors who have bought this Masterpiece, causing a complete SELL OUT!
For this particular Masterpiece, the Queen’s Virtues are the focus — and in this blog, we’ll dissect the fascinating design…
What are the Queen’s Virtues?
The Queen’s Virtues encapsulate the personifications of both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. They are widely acknowledged as principles founded by Queen Victoria in the Victorian Age, and to this day, are carried forward by Queen Elizabeth II and so remain the core virtues of the British nation. The virtues are Victory, Charity, Justice, Courage, Truth and Constancy.
The Queen holds the position of Head of the Armed Forces and as such, victory as a virtue, represents the end of conflict and celebration of peace.
The virtue Charity expresses the Sovereigns responsibility to make charitable efforts to take care of the suffering.
Sovereigns have established legal systems throughout the UK and from the beginning, have become important figures in the enforcement of law. Therefore, one of the Queens virtues is ‘Justice’ — as monarchs have been known as the ‘Fount of Justice’. The Platinum Jubilee Silver Masterpiece features a winged Angel representing justice for the people on earth, ensuring harmony and orderly manner within society.
Courage helps the Sovereign perform tasks that need to be carried out, and it is said the virtue courage makes all others possible.
Truthfulness is important to the Sovereign — Our Queen Elizabeth II is known to be the searcher and seeker of truth.
As the longest reigning monarch, Her Majesty has shown great constancy over her 70-year reign, maintaining commitments and Royal duties.
The masterpiece carries each of these virtues in segments, with the seventh segment at the bottom displaying ‘70’ in Roman numerals and ‘Platinum Jubilee’ written in Latin.
Meet the Designer
Neil Bromley who studied art for six years at college and graduated with a H.N.D in Calligraphy and Heraldry at Reigate School of Art in 1995, spent 2-3 weeks designing the reverse. Having designed and drawn over 30 coin designs to date, his work includes the painting of family crests, shields and full coats of arms.
Bromley took inspiration from the Queen Victoria Monument in London, situated in front of Buckingham Palace, which commemorates the death of Queen Victoria in 1902.
Using 2,300 tons of white Carrara marble, the central monument is 25 metres high and was created between 1906 and 1924 by Sir Thomas Brock. It features Victoria, as well as statues representing courage, constancy, victory, charity, truth, and motherhood.
Creating a Masterpiece
Bromley spent many hours researching the Victoria Monument — alternative images of the six virtue statues from different angles were found to define a balance within the coin. He also took inspiration from some of the original drawings by Thomas Brock and old photographs.
Once Neil had suitable images, they were drawn by hand to form a pencil sketch on trace.
Each virtue was then re-drawn on hot press paper as separate single artworks. Each drawing taking around 2-3 days. Given the amount of detail in each statue, it was important to capture as much as possible and to create depth.
The coin design was created separately and took into account the directions of the images that related to the Latin text in each segment. The Latin for each segment was discussed through a medieval forum to gain the correct spelling and to advise on a suitable Latin inscription for Platinum Jubilee. This was discussed and agreed upon by several medieval historians and calligraphers.
The final Masterpiece design was then struck from .999 Pure Silver to a Proof finish, with selective 24 Carat Gold-plating added to enhance elements of the design. The Proof finish requires immense craftsmanship and as such a mirror-like result sharpens the design.
And as I mentioned earlier, this incredible piece SOLD OUT in a matter of hours…
If this disappoints you, then I have what you need…
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