2020 Alderney The Three Graces Gold Proof Ten Pounds PR70 DCAM

Remastered for 2020, the iconic Three Graces pattern, first struck in 1817, shines on this Gold Proof addition to the Royal Mint’s landmark Great Engraver’s series. The three exquisitely engraved female figures represent England, Scotland and Ireland, ascendant on the world stage in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the beginning of British military and industrial dominance. The elegant, classically-inspired design – an early masterpiece of Royal Mint engraver, William Wyon – is accompanied in this 2020 reissue by Jody Clark’s portrait of Elizabeth II.

Price

£8,500.00

2 in stock

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Description

Obverse
The obverse shows a right-facing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. It was designed by Jody Clark.

The legend reads: 2020 · ELIZABETH II · D · G · REG · F · D · 200 POUNDS ·

Reverse
The reverse features the iconic ‘Three Graces’ design, by William Wyon. It shows Britannia, Hibernia and Scotia. It features the Latin words “FOEDUS INVIOLABILE” meaning ‘An Unbreakable Treaty’.

Crowned portrait of Queen Elizabeth II facing right; ELIZABETH II TWENTY FIVE POUNDS ALDERNEY C.I. 2020. / Three female figures in classical attire stand embracing each other, with a harp, a St. George Cross shield, and a thistle near each of their feet, signifying that the women personify Ireland, England, and Scotland; FOEDUS INVIOABILE. Original design by William Wyon. Edge milled.

William Wyon
The original Three Graces is the work of renown Royal Mint engraver William Wyon (1795 – 1851). Born into a family of engravers, he demonstrated his talent from a young age, winning Royal Academy competitions and attracting considerable attention on the London Art scene.

In 1816, William Wyon was appointed to the post of Second Engraver to the Royal Mint, working under his cousin, Thomas Wyon Junior, then Chief Engraver. Though busy with official commissions, William engraved the Three Graces in his spare time, minting it as a pattern coin in 1817.

William Wyon would himself be appointed Chief Engraver to the Royal Mint in 1828. He is remembered for his impressive output including the ‘Young Head’ of Queen Victoria – much loved by the monarch – and the gorgeous Una and the Lion. The Three Graces is an early masterpiece.

Neoclassical Style
The Three Graces shows the influence of a trend that dominated European visual and decorative arts in the early nineteenth century: Neoclassicism. Influenced by the culture, stories and style of Ancient Greece and Rome, proponents of Neoclassicism favoured simple, symmetrical, clean-lined designs.

Neoclassicism had an impact on everything from fashion to architecture. Famous proponents included painters Jacques-Louis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and the sculptor, Antonio Canova. The Three Graces coin has similarities to a sculpture by the same name, crafted by Canova.

Depicting the three charities of ancient mythology – Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia – Canova’s work tackled a subject that was popular at the time. Wyon’s 1817 coin evokes the same Greek stories but cleverly uses the trio to symbolise England, Scotland and Ireland too.

Royal Connections
The original nineteenth-century Three Graces coin featured on its obverse a remarkable, high-relief effigy of George III, quite different from that which appeared on contemporary circulating coinage. This design, also the work of William Wyon expressed his dislike of the portrait then in use.

For its reissue as part of the Great Engravers series, the Three Graces design has been paired with the current coin portrait of Elizabeth II. The effigy, the fifth such to appear on British coins, is the work of Jody Clark, a Royal Mint designer like William Wyon.

Created using computer-aided design software, without an in-person sitting, Clark’s portrait is the product of twenty-first century technology. Matched with William Wyon’s hand engraved Three Graces design, the 2020 Great Engravers reissue charts 200 years of Royal Mint excellence.

Collectors Appeal
Original nineteenth-century strikings of the Three Graces were pattern coins, only around 50 of which survive. When they come to the market they achieve significant prices. In January 2020, for instance, a silver proof pattern example sold for $156,000 (approximately £120,000).

The Royal Mint 2020 Great Engravers reissue of the Three Graces will allow more collectors to own this piece of coinage history. Available in a range of denominations and metals, there is a 2020 Three Graces coin or set for every budget though all are available in limited numbers.

Additional information

Metal type

Gold

Diameter

45mm

Denomination

£10

Fineness

.9999

Mintage Limit

200

Weight

77.70 g

Obverse designer

Jody Clark

Reverse designer

William Wyon