Posts Tagged ‘Royal British Legion’
The 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece – Creating a Masterpiece
Here at The Westminster Collection, we’ve had the privilege of working in partnership with the Royal British Legion for over a decade.
Each year, we issue bespoke coins and commemoratives for the RBL Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day.
And we’re incredibly proud to have so far raised over £1 million for the Royal British Legion.
Unboxing the 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece
The Masterpiece is a remarkable coin and this year, creating the Masterpiece has more of a personal touch than ever before.
Each coin has been meticulously painted by hand, making each one unique.
Never has the name “Masterpiece” been more appropriate. Each coin is a work of art, but how do you go about creating 350 pieces of unique artwork?
“The 2022 Masterpiece Poppy Coin is a timeless token of Remembrance. Not only is this coin a poignant reminder of all those who have served and sacrificed, but it also helps the Royal British Legion continue to be there for today’s Armed Forces community, no matter what.”
Charles Byrne , Director General of the Royal British Legion
One of a Kind – Creating a Masterpiece
This year’s Masterpiece coin has been expertly designed by Beata Kulesza-Damaziak. Beata has a studio in Warsaw, Poland, designing sculptures, book covers and has produced many coin designs.
Beata’s design has been struck in high relief on 5oz Pure Silver blanks, with different heights of relief applied to give a real depth to the design.
Keen-eyed observers will see a map of the Falklands on the very bottom layer, with a total of 40 poppies poignantly sitting on top to mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.
The largest and 40th poppy sits proudly in the middle of the coin. It’s that poppy that elevates the coin to status of “Masterpiece”.
Every single coin has had that poppy hand-painted by artist Adam Taylor, making each one unique.
Most colour on coins these days is printed using high-speed pad-printing machines or using modern UV printing techniques. Adam has used traditional model-painting techniques on the coins, which means each one has unique brush-strokes and subtle differences in the colours.
Adding acrylic paint to the high relief poppy gives it that iconic red colour and further enhances the coin design. The time, care and attention required on a project such as this, truly does make each one of the 350 a one-off.
Adam dedicated hour upon hour to these coins, adding the personal touches to make each one a true Masterpiece.
Secure your hand-painted, one of a kind RBL Poppy Masterpiece Coin here>>
The 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece – Gifting a Masterpiece
Each year, we work in partnership with the Royal British Legion to create bespoke coins and commemoratives, including a Poppy Masterpiece coin.
This year’s official Royal British Legion Poppy Masterpiece coin has just been released. And this 2022 issue is especially important as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict. The 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece features 39 stylised poppies surrounding one central, hand-painted, red poppy.
Every 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpiece coin is individually hand-painted by our in-house artist Adam Taylor. He used traditional model painting techniques, which means each one has unique brush strokes and subtle differences in colour.
Gifting a Masterpiece
We met with Falklands Veteran Chris Caroe to learn about his experience during the conflict and his subsequent support of the Royal British Legion.
To thank Chris for his service and for sharing his story with us, we gifted him one of the 2022 RBL Poppy Masterpieces. You can watch his reaction below.
If you’re interested…
We’re now taking commissions for this year’s Masterpiece (just like the one we gifted to Chris Caroe!) so you have a limited opportunity to own one for yourself. Click here to find out more about this impressive release and reserve yours >>
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.