Most of the pencil and watercolour designs Bawden submitted in 1962 are kept in the Royal Mint Museum collection in Llantrisant, South Wales. But not all of them.
The artist’s proposed designs for a circular 20 pence coin featuring the royal cypher is in the Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden while another on the same subject appeared for sale at the British and Continental Pictures and Prints sale at Olympia Auctions on September 22. With provenance to The Fine Art Society, London in 1994, this 8 x 8in (20 x 20cm) work on paper uses the Tudor rose as the central motif.
Decimal coins first went into production with the opening of the new Royal Mint site in South Wales in early 1968 (Decimal Day in the UK was February 16, 1971). Ultimately the idea of a 20 pence coin was scrapped and the unit was not introduced until 1982 when the familiar heptagonal shape was chosen.
Bawden’s rejected design will now be added to the Royal Mint Museum after it sold to the institution at the lower end of expectations for £400 (plus 25% buyer’s premium).