The Pinnacle of Achievement: Mary Gillick's Portrait of the Queen

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2020 by The Royal Mint Museum

Mary Gillick

Mary Gillick
Mary Gillick found fame late in life by designing the first portrait for the coinage of Queen Elizabeth II. A 71-year-old widow, recently having lost her husband in 1952, who had never designed a coin before was an unlikely candidate to produce the first coinage portrait of the Queen. Fighting off stiff competition from the likes of seasoned numismatic artists such as Humphrey Paget and Cecil Thomas, Gillick’s graceful Italian Renaissance-style portrait was a marked contrast to what Humphrey Sutherland, described as the ‘looming heads of Edward VII and George V’. ..

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Welcome to the Royal Mint Museum Blog. Here you’ll get to meet the faces behind the Museum and find out how our hard-working team cares for this exceptional and varied collection. You’ll find entries on our favourite objects, how we’re looking after the objects, and the work being done to interpret and research the collection. You may also from time to time get a sneak preview of exciting projects and future exhibitions.


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