James Butler MBE RA is the designer of the obverse portrait of The Queen that appears for one year on Proof coins in The Sovereign 2016 Collection. Born in London in 1931, James is a widely respected sculptor with a prolific portfolio.
While renowned for his towering bronze sculptures, the artist has also earned a notable reputation in the numismatic world, creating several prestigious pieces for The Royal Mint. One such creation was the Great Seal of the Realm adopted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001, who granted a sitting with James to perfect his design. Undeniably worthy of the official and regal insignia, the design is respected worldwide as a numismatic work of art.
"I have been privileged to meet The Queen on a few occasions through various works I have created, including the Royal Seal of the Realm and more recently, a statue of Her Majesty as a young woman. You have an idea of how a person looks in your mind, but it is important to have actual images to work from, so The Royal Mint provided official photographs of The Queen’s profile. I wanted to show a likeness of her, an affectionate image, as this was a celebration rather than a circulating coinage portrait."