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Paget’s coinage portrait of George VI  The initials HP are to be found on most of Paget’s coin and medal designs

Paget’s coinage portrait of George VI

The initials HP are to be found on most of Paget’s coin and medal designs




Medallic portrait of the Duke  of Edinburgh
Medallic portrait of the Duke
of Edinburgh

The portrait of George VI

Following the abdication in December 1936, Paget alone was commissioned to prepare the uncrowned effigy urgently required for coins and medals of George VI. If there were doubts about this course of action, Paget dispelled them brilliantly, for in a little more than a month he produced what has been described as the classic coinage head of the 20th century.

Simple, unaffected, well-balanced, it was as near perfect from a technical point of view as the Royal Mint could have hoped for. More than any other design it may be said to typify Paget’s work and is almost certainly the design which he himself regarded as his best.

Later commissions

Paget’s most productive period followed the Second World War. Some of his many commissions are detailed below.

  • Coins for Bolivia, British Caribbean Territories, Central African Federation, Iraq, Isle of Man, Jordan, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Arabia, Southern Rhodesia, Uruguay and Western Samoa

  • Seals for the Central African Federation, the South Arabian Currency Authority and the National Coal Board

  • Medals for the Victoria Numismatic Society, the Society of Chemical Industry and the Royal Society of Medicine


Particular mention deserves to be made of his head of Faisal II for the Iraq coinage, for which the schoolboy king gave sittings at Harrow, and of the reverse design for the Southern Rhodesia crown of 1953 which incorporated so many diverse elements in a space of only 35mm that it must be considered a design triumph. Another that should be counted among his best is a medallic portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh, his last major commission.

Undoubtedly Paget ranks as one of the most prolific and outstanding of the Royal Mint’s panel of artists during the first half of the 20th century.






The Southern Rhodesia crown is one  of Paget’s finest overseas coins

The Southern Rhodesia crown is one
of Paget’s finest overseas coins