Hard at Work - The Diary of Leonard Wyon 1853-1867 by Attwood, P. BNS SP9

Hard at Work - The Diary of Leonard Wyon 1853-1867 by Attwood, P. BNS SP9

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Hard at Work - The Diary of Leonard Wyon 1853-1867 by Attwood, P. BNS SP9
Hardcover with dust jacket, 478 pp., black & white illustrations

Leonard Wyon (1826-1891) was Victorian Britain's foremost designer of coins and medals. The diary that he kept from 1853 to 1867 throws light on many of Wyon's most important works: official commissions, including the famous 'bun' penny of Queen Victoria, coins destined for India, Australia and Canada, campaign medals awarded for service in the various mid nineteenth-century military and naval actions in which Britain was engaged, and the prize medal for the 1862 International Exhibition. Other medals were commissioned by the Queen herself, as well as by a broad range of learned societies, academic institutions, commercial concerns and private individuals. In this way Wyon came into direct personal contact with such notable figures of his time as Prince Albert and Henry Cole, the architect Joseph Paxton and the painter Daniel Maclise.

Wyon's diary also chronicles the more personal aspects of his daily life and domestic arrangements, revealing the ways in which he and his extensive family occupied their leisure hours and documenting such activities as his visits to exhibitions and his opinions on the works of art he saw, his shopping excursions in London, his holidays in Britain and abroad, and (most importantly in Wyon's view) the religious services he attended and the philanthropic ventures that, as an Evangelical Christian, he saw it as his duty to support.

This book includes a fully annotated transcription of the diary, an introduction discussing all aspects of Leonard Wyon's life, and appendices giving detailed accounts of the production of all the works by Wyon mentioned in the diary.
'The publication of Wyon's diary, meticulously annotated so that every work and contact is fully elucidated, is a real boon to everyone who wants to know more about the creation and circulation of images of Victoria as well as those with a specialist interest in the coins and medals of the period ... Philip Attwood's book is a fascinating and scholarly addition to our understanding of artistic practice in 19th century Britain ... and also affords a touching and delightful insight into Victorian family life.'
Sir Mark Jones, Master, St Cross College in The WSG Newsletter, Feb 2015  

Read the full review here.

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