Launch of Victoria 200 at V&A

The Royal Mint hosted an event at the iconic V&A to celebrate the launch of the most recent coin range, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth and life of Queen Victoria.

Even 200 years after her birth, the effect of Queen Victoria’s reign and the era to which she lends her name can be felt strongly in everyday life. The event welcomed guests to the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity.

Abigail Kenvyn, Exhibition Manager at The Royal Mint Museum spoke at the event.  She spoke to guests about the coins of Queen Victoria and the Mint’s Chief Engraver, William Wyon, who was prolific during her reign.

Abigail said “Given the length of Victoria’s reign, from 1837 to 1901, her coinage is of course very extensive and our records show that during her reign some 2.3 billion coins were issued in the United Kingdom and those parts of the Empire that then used British coins. It was a huge figure, 2.3 billion, that dwarfed those of previous reigns but has of course now itself been completely surpassed by the coins of our present Queen.

Looking specifically at the coins of Queen Victoria’s era, Abigail continued: “In June 1837 Victoria would receive the news that her uncle, William IV, had died and that she now was Queen.  The Royal Mint would set about creating the coins for the new queen and its Chief engraver, William Wyon, would be responsible for the portrait.

“William Wyon, is without question, one of the most talented engravers ever to work at The Royal Mint.  Wyon had produced work of outstanding quality for many years but his enduring reputation rests on his coin and medal portraits of Queen Victoria.

“Victoria is said to have remarked to Wyon that ‘You always represent me favourably’.  It seemed that, time and again, the Queen brought out the best in Wyon and the early Victorian era is marked by enduring numismatic masterpieces.”

Anne Haworth, Guide at the V&A also spoke to guests about the links to Victoria and Albert, and the Great Exhibition, which was organised in part by Prince Albert himself.

Its iconic history and beautiful interior made it the perfect place to launch such an important range.

To learn more about the range, click here.

To read more about Victoria and Albert’s love story, click here.

Photography by fergusburnett.com

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