This year a brand new £5 coin has been issued to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, and it features a never-seen-before effigy of the great man.
Designed by renowned sculptor and artist David Cornell FRSA, the new portrait shows a defiant Churchill in military uniform.
I’ve been given a behind the scenes look at the creation of the portrait, and had a quick chat with the artist himself.
David Cornell is perhaps more famous for sculpting members of the Royal family, (he was even commissioned to paint a birthday portrait of the Queen) so I thought I’d ask him about his inspiration behind the new design:
“Winston Churchill was a major part of my childhood growing up in London during the War, hearing his speeches and seeing photos on posters, which left an indelible impression on me.
“I realised later what a great man he was and his contribution to the War effort, inspiring the people of Great Britain.
“As a portrait artist, it has been a great honour for me to be able to portray him in this tribute to honour his legacy.”
First of all Cornell worked on a plaster engraving of the portrait, making sure it fits the very particular dimensions of a coin. You can see the fine detail in the picture above, and also the large size of the plaster, which has to be reduced when the die is created to strike the coin.
The finished £5 coin also features an inscription of one of Churchill’s famous speeches: ‘Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ Although spoken in reference to the heroes of the Battle of Britain, the quotation was chosen as it represents Churchill’s indomitable spirit during the war.
The coin has been issued on behalf of the Bailiwick of Jersey, and is available now in a range of metals – from an impressive 5oz 22 carat gold version measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, to a highly collectable cupro-nickel version available to all. I’m sure you’ll agree, it will make a fitting tribute in any collection to our greatest ever Prime Minister.
If you are interested…
The new Winston Churchill £5 Coin is available now in a special limited edition Proof version. Complete with Presentation Case and Certificate of Authenticity.
The results are in and I can now reveal your top 3 coin designs of the year!
3rd place – The Guernsey 2014 First World War Centenary £5 Coin
2nd Place – The UK 2014 Lord Kitchener £2 Coin
And the winner….
1st Place – The Jersey 2014 ‘100 Poppies’ £5 Coin
Thanks for all your votes! The striking design and the importance of the work of the Royal British Legion combined to make the ‘100 Poppies’ coin a real stand out this year.
Now it’s time to look forward to the new issues for 2015!
If you’re interested…
We still have some stock available of the UK 2014 Lord Kitchener £2 Coin. Click here
100 years on, the images of the Western Front continue to haunt us. A picture of carnage in a grey hell of barren mud. For our soldiers, life in the trenches could be a lonely experience. Just imagine being hundreds of miles away from home and in constant fear of an enemy attack.
Receiving and sending communications back home to loved ones proved a valuable morale booster and offered a brief escape from the daily horrors of war. Soldiers would send letters, souvenirs and postcards back to their family and friends and then eagerly await a reply.
Some of the most popular items to send back were embroidered postcards which have become known as WWI Silks. These colourful embroidered postcards were first produced in 1914 and continued to be produced throughout the war. Most were embroidered by French and Belgian women refugees who worked in their homes or in refugee camps. Their finished creations were then strimmed and mounted on postcards.
Their beauty and uniqueness made them popular with British soldiers serving in France and Belgium. They were often very patriotic and featured allied flags, symbols and greetings.
The embroidered panels could be quite delicate in design and many of the cards used the structure of the embroidery to create a tiny envelope which would often feature an additional greeting card.
Most cards were sent home in military mail pouches which not only protected the card and message in transit but also complied with Post Office regulations that they did not “inconvenience Post Office machinery”.
Once received back home there would often be no indication of what the soldiers were experiencing, sparing mothers and wives from the true horrors of war.