The Royal Mint Museum contains an extensive collection of drawings for coins and medals prepared as part of the design process. Most have been acquired over the last 50 years but two of the earliest to survive, dating from the 1870s, are by the respected painter Edward Poynter, one for the Best Shot Medal and the other for the medal awarded in connection with the Ashantee War. Both were subsequently adopted and his exquisite draughtsmanship provided the basis for two extremely handsome medals.
Poynter was a Royal Academician who exhibited regularly at the Summer Exhibition but, although not known as a sculptor or engraver, he was far from an obscure choice as a coin and medal designer. He had taken a real interest in the design work of the Royal Mint and his involvement extended over 20 years. Amongst his best-known designs in the numismatic arena are his florin and shilling for Victoria's Old Head coinage, demonstrating that his confidence with heraldry was as assured as with complex figurative compositions.