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Philip Nathan's Britannia


RDHC

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I am very taken with the original Britannia figure by Phillip Nathan, the classic, standing one with billowy robes. I think that it is a wonderful and rather lovely creation, and much better than some of the rather 'butch' female figures that appear on coins (exception made for 'Vreneli' on the Swiss 20 francs gold coin). I prefer it to the other modern versions of Britannia, though they may be rarer.  So, today I phoned him up to congratulate him on his achievement. (He has a small website with his other designs on display, all excellent in their different ways as it seems to me.) I think he was pleased, if a little surprised. He was very modest and said it was all a long time ago, which is true enough i.e. 1987 for the first actual coin. I asked if he had used a model for the figure, but he said that it was entirely his own imagining. I would guess from his voice that, like me, he is the wrong side of 70. We did not talk for long, especially as I had managed  to mistime my call for what was probably his lunch break. Talking to him in person adds a dimension to my necessarily very modest collection of the one ounce gold Britannias. Incidentally, I prefer the pre-2021 coins (especially the ones after 2015 with the new royal head) as I feel that the new security feature of a lock/trident fork detracts from the overall aesthetic appeal and may even be something of a gimmick since I have never heard of fake gold Britannias.

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32 minutes ago, RDHC said:

I am very taken with the original Britannia figure by Phillip Nathan, the classic, standing one with billowy robes. I think that it is a wonderful and rather lovely creation, and much better than some of the rather 'butch' female figures that appear on coins (exception made for 'Vreneli' on the Swiss 20 francs gold coin). I prefer it to the other modern versions of Britannia, though they may be rarer.  So, today I phoned him up to congratulate him on his achievement. (He has a small website with his other designs on display, all excellent in their different ways as it seems to me.) I think he was pleased, if a little surprised. He was very modest and said it was all a long time ago, which is true enough i.e. 1987 for the first actual coin. I asked if he had used a model for the figure, but he said that it was entirely his own imagining. I would guess from his voice that, like me, he is the wrong side of 70. We did not talk for long, especially as I had managed  to mistime my call for what was probably his lunch break. Talking to him in person adds a dimension to my necessarily very modest collection of the one ounce gold Britannias. Incidentally, I prefer the pre-2021 coins (especially the ones after 2015 with the new royal head) as I feel that the new security feature of a lock/trident fork detracts from the overall aesthetic appeal and may even be something of a gimmick since I have never heard of fake gold Britannias.

Well done for calling Mr N and expressing your admiration of his design. I bet he really appreciated it¬†ūüėä

I agree with everything else, apart from... ...I have 1oz gold Britannias from 1987, 2007, 2013, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, and while they're all beautiful in their own way, I have to say that the new '21 and '22 coins are simply stunning in the hand. The best ever¬†ūüėä

Edited by noddycoder
sp.
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Well done indeed for offering him your personal admiration of his design.


I'm also with you on preferring the pre-2021 coin design, other than that the shield is more sharply engraved on the newer design compared to the older design.  But as noddycoder above shows - each to their own!

My personal favourite is the 2018 Oriental Border Britannia.  That'd be the last one I'd part with.

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2 hours ago, RDHC said:

... much better than some of the rather 'butch' female figures that appear on coins (exception made for 'Vreneli' on the Swiss 20 francs gold coin). ...

Incidentally, when my girlfriend saw a Vreneli the first time she wasn't really sure if it was a woman or a man...

 

Sorry, I couldn't help myself to share this - not wanting to derail your thread.

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12 minutes ago, Stuntman said:

Well done indeed for offering him your personal admiration of his design.


I'm also with you on preferring the pre-2021 coin design, other than that the shield is more sharply engraved on the newer design compared to the older design.  But as noddycoder above shows - each to their own!

My personal favourite is the 2018 Oriental Border Britannia.  That'd be the last one I'd part with.

Thank you. (And many belated thanks to noddycoder as well, with apologies for earlier omitting to say so, though I did give a 'star' straightaway.) Yes, the new shield is better; and yes indeed, each to his own. As for the oriental border, I wish I could afford the premium - if one were available, which does not seem to be the case.

Roger

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5 minutes ago, KevinFlynn said:

Incidentally, when my girlfriend saw a Vreneli the first time she wasn't really sure if it was a woman or a man...

 

Sorry, I couldn't help myself to share this - not wanting to derail your thread.

I don't know what to say in these transgender days! I always thought the face was female, and still do. However, clean cut features can be deceptive, I suppose, either way. Isn't the hair a bit of a giveaway, however?

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57 minutes ago, Britannia47 said:

I agree. Nathans image is actually bordering on the ‚Äėnaughty‚Äô side IMO! ¬†Lady Liberty is also similarly attired.

Enjoy the image.
 

46D5C700-D960-4D43-9DC7-36B400048DD3.jpeg

Yes, it is a delightful depiction in every way. And, at least in my opinion, much more feminine than, say, the Gaudens lady of Liberty for the high value dollar coins.

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When you say the 'Philip Nathan Britannia', I believe you are referring to the original 1987 design which I agree is wonderful but for the benefit of other members, may I respectfully refer you to his other designs which , personally, I think are equals, the 1997 superlative.

In quarter ounce form:

22k (916.7)

 

1997.thumb.jpg.bf09bf687ae0a313fd94db666c8c8ea1.jpg

2001.thumb.jpg.2002a036e62d1345b7766492dc5c8402.jpg

2003.thumb.jpg.9215a0898b97062e74324d3e41e28354.jpg

2005*.thumb.jpg.e8229b9dce829d4560458a52d9bebdbc.jpg

 

Mr. Nathan is clearly an talented fellow who appreciates history, and this is reflected in his designs. 

https://www.chards.co.uk/gold-proof-britannia-set-philip-nathan/13782

 

Edited by Roy

Technically, alcohol is a solution..

'It [socialism] poses a growing threat, however unintentional, to the freedom of this country, for there is no freedom where the State totally controls the economy. Personal freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t lose one without losing the other.'

"There is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayers' money"

"Lenin is certainly right. There is no subtler or more severe means of overturning the existing basis of society (destroy capitalism) than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and it does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

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3 hours ago, Roy said:

When you say the 'Philip Nathan Britannia', I believe you are referring to the original 1987 design which I agree is wonderful but for the benefit of other members, may I respectfully refer you to his other designs which , personally, I think are equals, the 1997 superlative.

In quarter ounce form:

22k (916.7)

 

1997.thumb.jpg.bf09bf687ae0a313fd94db666c8c8ea1.jpg

2001.thumb.jpg.2002a036e62d1345b7766492dc5c8402.jpg

2003.thumb.jpg.9215a0898b97062e74324d3e41e28354.jpg

2005*.thumb.jpg.e8229b9dce829d4560458a52d9bebdbc.jpg

 

Mr. Nathan is clearly an talented fellow who appreciates history, and this is reflected in his designs. 

https://www.chards.co.uk/gold-proof-britannia-set-philip-nathan/13782

 

Yes, all are fine designs. I think I like the last, the 2005, the best. She has a contemplative look that is rather appealing. 

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I like, prefer and own all 5 of Philip Nathan’s Britannia designs with the signature crenellated borders. My two favorite RM coin designs (which I use as my other gif avatar) are:

Classic - Benedetto Pistrucci’s St. George slaying a dragon 

Modern - Philip Nathan’s Standing Britannia 

BE50E6EC-B18B-428F-B3B9-446BEDDE59CC.gif.27b66a5a965e5a8c5c62a9df71b047fa.gif

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22 minutes ago, Britannia47 said:

Don’t forget the de Saulles image on the Edward VII Florin. Perhaps Nathan got his inspiration from it?

Just had my sovereign delivered - Whoop-ee!

 

1549D4D4-2332-4DC6-BECE-5080DC9F3977.jpeg

Yes, could be. There is a definite similarity in the pose and the robes, but the 1902 lady falls into the 'butch' class, at least for me. There is something almost girl-like and slightly fragile about Philip Nathan's creation, resolute and defiant as she also is. Again, only how I see it. Others will see things differently.

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On 19/11/2021 at 06:00, Roy said:

When you say the 'Philip Nathan Britannia', I believe you are referring to the original 1987 design which I agree is wonderful but for the benefit of other members, may I respectfully refer you to his other designs which , personally, I think are equals, the 1997 superlative.

In quarter ounce form:

22k (916.7)

 

1997.thumb.jpg.bf09bf687ae0a313fd94db666c8c8ea1.jpg

2001.thumb.jpg.2002a036e62d1345b7766492dc5c8402.jpg

2003.thumb.jpg.9215a0898b97062e74324d3e41e28354.jpg

2005*.thumb.jpg.e8229b9dce829d4560458a52d9bebdbc.jpg

 

Mr. Nathan is clearly an talented fellow who appreciates history, and this is reflected in his designs. 

https://www.chards.co.uk/gold-proof-britannia-set-philip-nathan/13782

 

Very clever indeed, as I have only just noticed in the 2005 coin her breastplate concealed at bottom right, almost part of her robes.

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Like Roy I was also captivated by PNs first Britannia variant, the 1997 chariot version, and bought the 4 coin set when it was issued, together with the same design silver set made from Britannia silver .958. However PNs first design will always be the iconic classic one for me, although I have many of the other Brit designs. RDHC, you appear to have a great artistic appreciation of what you are looking at - perhaps I should pay more attention to the detail as well!  I really appreciate yours and Roys views on the Britannia. Cheers.

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On 19/11/2021 at 06:00, Roy said:

When you say the 'Philip Nathan Britannia', I believe you are referring to the original 1987 design which I agree is wonderful but for the benefit of other members, may I respectfully refer you to his other designs which , personally, I think are equals, the 1997 superlative.

In quarter ounce form:

22k (916.7)

 

1997.thumb.jpg.bf09bf687ae0a313fd94db666c8c8ea1.jpg

2001.thumb.jpg.2002a036e62d1345b7766492dc5c8402.jpg

2003.thumb.jpg.9215a0898b97062e74324d3e41e28354.jpg

2005*.thumb.jpg.e8229b9dce829d4560458a52d9bebdbc.jpg

 

Mr. Nathan is clearly an talented fellow who appreciates history, and this is reflected in his designs. 

https://www.chards.co.uk/gold-proof-britannia-set-philip-nathan/13782

 

Many thanks to Roy for putting me onto the 2005 design, of which I was ignorant. It has led me to purchase a quarter ounce coin. The  2005 Britannias  seem to be very, very scarce, apart from one or two in the US (on ebay). The proof coins (and are there any bullion ones for this year?) always  existed in limited numbers, I understand.

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5 hours ago, Britannia47 said:

Like Roy I was also captivated by PNs first Britannia variant, the 1997 chariot version, and bought the 4 coin set when it was issued, together with the same design silver set made from Britannia silver .958. However PNs first design will always be the iconic classic one for me, although I have many of the other Brit designs. RDHC, you appear to have a great artistic appreciation of what you are looking at - perhaps I should pay more attention to the detail as well!  I really appreciate yours and Roys views on the Britannia. Cheers.

Thank you for your kind words. So glad that we agree about the merits of the PN Britannia depictions.

Roger

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1 hour ago, RDHC said:

The  2005 Britannias  seem to be very, very scarce, apart from one or two in the US (on ebay). The proof coins (and are there any bullion ones for this year?) always  existed in limited numbers, I understand.

Well spotted, the 2005 was only produced in proof, not bullion.

I only collect Britannias in 1/10oz and 1/4oz weights so I can tell you the mintages for these but not other weights I'm afraid! 

There were many years with mintages of less than 1000, the 2005 quarter proof was only 750.

Technically, alcohol is a solution..

'It [socialism] poses a growing threat, however unintentional, to the freedom of this country, for there is no freedom where the State totally controls the economy. Personal freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t lose one without losing the other.'

"There is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayers' money"

"Lenin is certainly right. There is no subtler or more severe means of overturning the existing basis of society (destroy capitalism) than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and it does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."

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