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William Wyon

William Wyon, from a sketch
by his son Leonard



Wyon’s famous Una and the Lion
five-pound piece of 1839

William Wyon

If the many thousands of coin collectors in the United Kingdom were asked to nominate the three finest engravers ever to produce designs for the coinage of Britain it is likely that William Wyon would find a place in everyone’s list.

Prolific output

In his prolific output between 1816 and 1851 there is much to admire: the Three Graces pattern crown of 1817, the seated Britannia of the 1820s, the Lion sixpences and shillings of George IV, and a regal Una and the lion on the famous five-pound piece of 1839. These are, all of them, designs of charm and distinction, but they do not by themselves explain why Wyon’s contemporaries, who elected him to the Royal Academy, held him in high regard nor why modern numismatists cherish his memory with such affection.

Wyon’s famous Una and the Lion  five-pound piece of 1839
Very popular with collectors today is Wyon’s pattern crown of 1817 showing the Three Graces












Very popular with collectors today is Wyon’s pattern crown of 1817 showing the Three Graces