Culture

Welsh artist designs Royal Mint’s new Through the Looking Glass coin

02 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
The Royal Mint designer Ffion Gwillim shows the Through the Looking-Glass commemorative coin design

The Royal Mint has launched a commemorative £5 crown designed by a Welsh artist to celebrate 150 years of Through the Looking-Glass.

The 24-year-old designer, Ffion Gwillim, originally from Abercynon, has immortalised Alice and her friends in Wonderland for the first time on an official UK coin.

The youngest in-house designer at The Royal Mint, Ffion joined the Original Makers, based in Llantrisant, in 2020 following three-years at University of South Wales studying Graphic Communication.

Taking inspiration from John Tenniel’s illustrations of the Through the Looking-Glass tale, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was first published 150 years ago, the new coin features the iconic characters Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

The Royal Mint reveals commemorative Through the Looking Glass coin against Sir John Tenniels original illustrations

Ffion also designed the official Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland coin, featuring Alice and the Cheshire Cat, which launched last month alongside the original illustrations at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

‘Innovative’ 

The latest design, which is available in gold, silver and uncirculated, as well as a special colour edition, uses traditional minting techniques and innovative design technology to capture Alice’s meeting with Tweedledum and Tweedledee alongside the inscription ‘Through the Looking-Glass’.

Based on the intricate detail of Tenniel’s illustrations, the design is one of the most detailed coins produced by the 1,100-year-old Makers.

Ffion said: “It is such a huge honour to design the official Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass commemorative coin. As a designer at the Royal Mint, it is the ultimate achievement, and this project was particularly exciting for me as I grew up with these stories – they evoke fantastic childhood memories for me and so many others – and I’ve loved every minute.”

The Royal Mint’s Product Design Lead Lee Jones said: “Making something original when using existing illustrations is a task, however Ffion provided us with great compositions and a fantastically inventive logotype that breaths fresh air into Alice’s Wonderland.”

From today, collectors can purchase the second coin, celebrating Through the Looking Glass, on a commemorative £5 crown from The Royal Mint.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

What a lovely thing Ffion, there are many Alice collectors around the world who will have to have both of them.

Mandi A
Mandi A
2 months ago

I hope Ffion will be enabled to go out and talk to kids in Wales about their potential and how to realise it. This is a wonderful success story, some much needed good news.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

Will there be coins with the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts on to make up the set I wonder?

Penderyn
Penderyn
2 months ago

There is nothing Welsh about the mint. It is English colonialist money. I was born and raised in England but lets be real here. Also where is the Welsh language on coins if they care so much about the original British culture?

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