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parrot_knight [userpic]

New UK coinage

April 2nd, 2008 (02:41 pm)
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I am unenthusiastic - the design scheme is more Anglocentric than any other in the past century (the royal arms change when the monarch is in Scotland, but there is no 'Scottish' set, as in the days when there were 'English' and 'Scottish' shillings in circulation throughout the UK) and Welsh and Northern Irish symbols are also absent. In their attempt to be inclusive, the Royal Mint have given an impression of ignorance of the multiple strands of 'traditional' - their justification, as explained by an unimpressive Sir Christopher Frayling, chairman of the mint's advisory committee, just now on BBC News 24 - identity within the United Kingdom.

The new designs can be seen here at The Times.

Edit: Perhaps I'm overreacting. The shield has been cut in a way that tries not to overrepresent England and complements the harp of the kingdom of Ireland (breaking with recent coinage tradition which has attempted to develop emblems specifically connected to Northern Ireland, such as the flax plant); but I'm still not greatly happy.

Comments

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)

Bah. Might as well be the Euro. It's worst of all for the Welsh, as they can't even console themselves with their own banknotes...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)

Wales is ignored completely, indeed. It isn't even going to get dragons on pound coins every few years; just the three lions of that well-known lover of Wales and Welshness, Edward I.

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)

The dragons were always my favourites!

The three lions shows a total lack of sensitivity; worst for the Welsh, but not particularly great for the Scots, either, though at least we get a bit of the lion rampant (though no unicorns). I suppose given my college affiliations I ought to be pleased about the three lions , but it's surprising what a difference a difference makes...

Posted by: Gramarye (gramarye1971)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)

Ugh. Just ugh.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
George_III_at_Kew

Hear hear!

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
Tower Bridge

I'm not sure what my patriotism thinks, but my aesthetic sense is not pleased. In particular, the 'collect the whole set' idea behind it is silly. Why not a series of complete images?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
Fredcello

Christopher Frayling argued that these designs are, for the first time, a 'family' of designs. This was stunning in its neglect of the coherence of the 1968 decimal coinage scheme. Additions to the set, such as the 20p and the £1 and £2, didn't seek to fit in because they couldn't, but complementary designs were sought and achieved. These don't work; I wish we could see the alternatives.

Posted by: tigerfort (tigerfort)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)

The five p is particularly awful, from an aesthetic point of view.

Posted by: helflaed (helflaed)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)

Posted by: helflaed (helflaed)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)

Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Susan (lil_shepherd)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)

Why the Royal Arms? Where does it leave us republicans?

Come to think of it, where has the design sense at the Royal Mint gone? (It occurs to me belatedly that missing Wales off is even more sinister because that is where the Mint is.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Horace Walpole

Precisely, actually. While I'm not a republican, the British state has historically been aware that it's based on a series of compromises between ideas often difficult to reconcile; hence the intermingling of royal symbolism on coinage, or its overshadowing by, non-royal emblems such as Britannia, or more recently emblems of parliament such as the portcullis, or national flowers, or bridges or cogs to represent engineering or more broadly engineering. This design could be portrayed as an attempt to appeal to a monolithic idea of Britishness, defining it in Anglo-monarchist terms, and without regard to historic pluralism.

Posted by: Gramarye (gramarye1971)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Queen and Crossbow

Very well said.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Wrexham club shield

Looks like I'm the only one that really quite likes them then.

And speaking as a Welshman, the reason that there are no Welsh symbols on the coins is that the Welsh lost! Seriously, if you want your own coinage, don't let yourself be invaded!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)

It's many centuries though, constitutionally and practically, since Wales has been treated as a conquered country; and this is Wales's coinage; Welsh identity contributes to that of the composite United Kingdom.

Edited at 2008-04-02 04:18 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Royal

As an artwork the coins are interesting looking.

As coinage the design is crap and as someone commenting on the Times pages says how are non-Anglophones supposed to know the denominations.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)

The use of words exclusively is a step backwards in design terms, certainly. I'll be surprised if this design is being used in forty years.