Information about Thomas Wyon the Younger

Thomas Wyon the Younger (1792 - 23 September 1817)

Thomas Wyon the Younger, or Thomas Wyon Jr., was an English medallist and chief engraver at the Royal Mint.

Wyon was born in Birmingham. He was apprenticed to his father, Thomas Wyon (1767 - 1830), the chief engraver of the King's seals, who taught him the art of engraving on steel; subsequently he studied at the sculpture school of the Royal Academy in London, where he earned silver medals in both the antique and the life class. In 1809, he struck his first medal, presented to Lieutenant Pearce, R.N. In 1810, he won the gold medal of the Society of Arts for medal engraving; the die, representing a head of Isis, was purchased by the society and used for striking its prize medals. From this period he produced many medals for schools, societies, Pitt clubs, and other institutions.

On 20 November 1811, Wyon was appointed probationary engraver to the Royal Mint, and was employed in making the bank tokens (eighteen pence) for England and Ireland, and coins for the British colonies and for Hanover. He also engraved his medal commemorative of the peace and his Manchester Pitt medal. On 13 Oct. 1815 he was appointed chief engraver to the mint, being then only twenty-three. The next year he brought out the new silver coinage for the United Kingdom (half-crown, shilling, and sixpence), designing the reverses himself. In 1817 he struck the Maundy money, and began to make his pattern crown-piece in rivalry of Thomas Simon.

Coins designed by him include:
Three Shillings and Eighteen Pence for the years from 1812 to 1816, the obverse design being by Marchant but the dies cut by Thomas Wyon Jr., who both designed and cut the reverses of the Eighteen pence.

Half Crown, Shilling and Sixpence for various years from 1816 to 1820, his dies being used after his death. The obverses of these pieces were designed by Pistrucci but Thomas Wyon Jr. engraved them and designed and engraved the reverses.

In 1813 and 1816 he engraved the dies for the coinage issued for British Guiana in silver and copper, and in 1813, 1814 and 1815 the dies for the gold and silver Pistoles and Gulden (the kings of England from George I to William IV inclusive - the House of Hanover - were also Dukes of Brunswick and Luneburg, Arch-Treasurers of the Holy Roman Empire and Electors).

Thomas Wyon Jr. also cut dies for coins for Ceylon, Ireland and Jersey and for an unexpected piece, the gold Twenty Francs of 1815. This showed the bust of Louis XVIII on the obverse and the arms of France on the reverse. These pieces, 871,581 of which Council dated 10 May 1815, were used to pay the troops serving under the Duke of Wellington.

Wyon also engraved numerous dies for patterns for both the British Imperial and British Colonial coins.

Wyon - a modest and talented artist - died on 23 (or 22) September 1817 at the Priory Farmhouse, near Hastings. He was buried in the graveyard attached to Christ Church, Southwark.

His younger brother, Benjamin Wyon (1802 - 1858), his nephews, Joseph Shepherd Wyon (1836 - 1873) and Alfred Benjamin Wyon (1837 - 1884), and his cousin, William Wyon (1795 - 1851) were also distinguished medallists.

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