CANADIAN SILVER DOLLARS

Dollar Designers

 

SIR EDGAR BERTRAM MACKENNAL

Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal was born in Melbourne, Australia, on June 12. 1863. A sculptor, so also was his father before him. He studied art in Melbourne, London, Paris and Rome. Although not regarded as an outstanding artist, he nevertheless did excellent work. Formal recognition of his ability came in 1821 when he was knighted by His Majesty King George V.

He executed the obverse of the 1911 dollar (see page 4) which was never minted and the same obverse was later used for the 1936 Voyageur (see page 8). He never lived to see it as he died on October 10, 1931. No other coin work was done by him.

PERCY METCALFE

Percy Metcalfe was borne January 14, 1895, at Wakefield, Yorkshire, England. He is a sculptor and a well known designer of coins. A good deal of work has been done by him in the field of medals. Some of his designing ability is to be seen in the coins of Ireland.

He designed the obverse of the 1935 Voyageur dollar, (see illustration page 6) and although his initials usually appear on coin designs executed by him, they do not appear in this instance. He lives in England at the present time and has retired from the field of coin design.

EMANUEL HAHN

Emanuel Hahn was born in Reutlingen, Germany, on May 30, 1881. Coming to Canada very early in life, he spent practically all of his days in the Dominion and made Toronto his home. As a sculptor, his best work is considered to be the statue of Vilhjalmar Stefansson.

   

In common with most Germans he was a meticulous and careful worker and was gifted with the poetic imagination which enabled him to design the Voyageur reverse (see page 6). His initials as "E. H." appear on the left hand side of the piece. His Parliamentary reverse has less popular appeal and his initials do not appear on it. He further designed the schooner dime and the caribou quarter. In these instances, his initials are to be seen as a very inconspicuous small "H" on each coin. His death occurred in Toronto on February 14, 1957.  

His widow, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, is a lady of considerable ability in the field of art and she is interested in coins. A native born Canadian has yet to design a coin for the Dominion, but if and when it is ever done, she has at least a fair chance of being the person.

HENRY PAGET

Henry Paget was born in England in 1893. In common with many other coin designers, he is a sculptor and has specialized in the field of medals. 

He designed the Edward VIII obverse which was never used and followed it up with the obverse of His Majesty King George VI which was used. His initials appear on most of his coins as "H. P." in very small letters and may be seen immediately below the head on the Canadian coins beginning with 1937.  

THOMAS SHINGLES

Thomas Shingles was born in Birmingham, England, 1904, and he attended the Victoria School of Art in the same city. He came to Canada in 1922 and was employed by several different concerns as a die sinker. In 1939 he became the Mint Engraver for the Royal Canadian Mint, a post which he held in excess of 10 years.

His outstanding coin design is to be seen in the beautiful dollar reverse of the Newfoundland commemorative and his initials appear on it. Strictly speaking, the Victory nickel is not quite all of his work because the coin was a Mint Staff idea. However, he executed the design and his initials appear on it also. Further, he made the master die for the commemorative nickel of Stephen Trenka. The latest example of his work is evidenced in the new reverse of the 1959 fifty cent piece. In this case, his initials appear on each side at the base of the shield.  

Designer's Initials T. S. on reverse of 1959 50c piece

Now a free lance artist, he is living in England. Few designers of coins can equal him in ability and we may expect him to do further work in the same field.  

MARY GILLICK

Mary Gillick was born in Nottingham, England, in 1881. She is a sculptress and studied this subject at the Royal College of Art. She has executed numerous medals, for example, the Royal Tour Medal, and quite a few private memorials.

Her first attempt to do anything in the coin field was rewarded with success and her design was the one out of 17 submitted that was chose. The 1953 laureated head of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth shows classical influence and is beautifully executed. Her first coin design, she says that it will be her last. Although her initials do appear on the coins, they are very nearly so small as to defy detection, and as seen on the dime, they practically vanish.  

STEPHEN TRENKA

Stephen Trenka was born in Hungary on July 24, 1909, and received his earlier education at the Royal Hungarian Industrial School in Budapest. He came to Canada in 1929, pursued further study at the Ontario College of Art, and was naturalized in 1937. He enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1940 and saw three years of overseas service.  

Enlargement of Designer's initial on obverse of
1953 Dollar. It is just below the bust
and is so
small it can scarcely be seen.

In common with Emanuel Hahn, he has two Canadian commemorative coin designs to his credit. His first, the commemorative nickel of 1951, features a nickel smelter, and his initials appear on the coin. The second commemorative, the 1958 Totem Pole dollar of British Columbia, shows his initials in the bottom part of the design. He may very well do further work in coin design as he is quite young and has plenty of ability. His present home is in Thornhill, Ontario.  

 

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