Thomas Humphrey Paget
Paget was first approached by the Royal Mint in 1936 after the accession of King Edward VIII. Paget's recommendation had come via his earlier design for the obverse of a medal featuring the then-Prince of Wales. After some controversy regarding the direction the monarch was to face on the coinage (it had been tradition for each successive monarch to face in the opposite direction to the predecessor; Edward felt that the features of his left were better than his right), Paget's work was approved in two slightly differing designs: one for silver and another for non-silver. However Edward's abdication meant that, apart from a few trial dies, Paget's designs never reached the minting stage.
A measure of the success of the Edward portrait can be seen in the fact that Paget alone was commissioned to design George VI's effigy in 1937. He remains the only recorded artist to have a second obverse design approved for use in sterling coinage. The portrait of George VI has since been described as "the classic coinage head of the 20th century".
He was awarded the O.B.E. (Civil) in the King's Birthday Honours of 1948. His O.B.E. was gazetted in the Supplement to The London Gazette, Number 38311 , Page 3377, published on 4 June 1948.
Paget's later work included an effigy of King Faisal II of Iraq in 1955 and the 1970 Commonwealth Games medal which featured the Duke of Edinburgh. He also produced an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II for a commemorative Isle of Man issue in 1965.
- 1951 Australian 2 Shilling piece "struck" with Paget's initials at the Museum of Victoria
- History of Paget and his work
- Thomas Humphrey Paget in: World of coins
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