Featuring one of the most beautiful coinage portraits of Queen Victoria and inspired by 19th Century Neo-gothic design, the ‘Gothic Crown’ is a Masterpiece of artistic revivalism.
The Gothic Crown is a celebrated work of artistic revivalism, with a new royal portrait created by an engraver at the height of his powers to celebrate 10 years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Coveted by collectors, its rarity has kept it out of reach of all but a fortunate few, until now.
This Masterpiece Collection edition features a faithful remaster of William Wyon’s Gothic Victoria, its every detail carefully reproduced by using a combination of expert hand craftsmanship that Wyon himself would recognise, and the very best of modern minting techniques.
William Wyon has become synonymous with great coin designs of the Victorian era and particularly his portraits of the Queen herself, which capture her journey from a young 13-year-old princess to a dignified head of state. Victoria was without doubt his most famous subject and it seems she appreciated his work: Victoria herself is believed to have told Wyon that “you always represent me favourably”.
In 1846 Wyon was commissioned to produce a new portrait of Victoria to grace a silver crown released in 1847 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Victoria becoming Queen. It became known as the ‘Gothic Crown’, as its style was heavily influenced by the Neo-Gothic, or Gothic Revival, movement of the mid 19th Century that is particularly visible in architecture of the period. It represented a change of style for Wyon, who up until that point had been synonymous with the Neoclassical.
The Masterpiece - The 1847 ‘Gothic Crown’
The 1847 Crown immediately sparked the interest of collectors. It was a work of art, created in a popular new style, and issued as a very limited edition of just 8,000 pieces.
Wyon’s new portrait of Queen Victoria dominates the obverse in a way previous portraits had not, her crown touching the top edge while her gowned shoulders shape the bottom edge. Victoria faces left wearing the St. Edward’s crown. Her robes are embroidered with the floral symbols of the nations of the United Kingdom; roses for England and Wales, thistles for Scotland and shamrocks to represent Ireland.
The crown at the top and shoulders at the base interrupt the trefoil edge pattern and inscription, which is engraved in the ‘Blackletter’ style seen in Medieval carvings and literature. It reads 'Victoria dei gratia britanniar.reg.f:d.', an abbreviation of 'Victoria dei gratia Britanniarum Regina Fidei Defensatrix', which translates as 'Victoria by the Grace of God, Queen of the Britons, Defender of the Faith'.