Mary Gaskell Gillick OBE (1881 Nottingham – 27 January 1965 London, England) was a sculptor best known for her effigy of Elizabeth II used on coinage in the United Kingdom and elsewhere from 1953 to 1970.
Born Mary Tutin in Nottingham, she was educated at the Nottingham School of Art and at the Royal College of Art from 1902 to 1904. After making her first exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1911, she designed several medals to be used as awards, and several other, larger relief sculptures in stone and bronze.
Mary Gillick was married (1905) to another noteworthy sculptor, Ernest Gillick, who is believed to have influenced her work.
She was appointed OBE in the 1953 Coronation Honours.
Effigy of Elizabeth II
In 1952, Gillick's effigy design was selected from a field of seventeen to be used on general-circulation coinage for the new Queen Elizabeth, first issued in 1953. Gillick's design was notable for portraying the Queen uncrowned, and was the last to be used on the pre-decimal coinage.
Gillick's die master had insufficient relief, and the striking was too weak. Facial features and the dress folds in the shoulder disappeared. The problem was solved by re-cutting the dies. This remastering was performed by Cecil Thomas, an experienced medallist who had already crafted overseas currencies featuring Elizabeth II, but who had initially been turned down for the British coinage in preference to Gillick.
- Mrs Mary Gaskell Gillick OBE in: Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, accessed 12 Dec 2013
- Thomas, Cecil Walter (1885–1976), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Sept 2004
Thomas Humphrey Paget
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