The Battle of Waterloo 2015 UK £5 – precious metal

08 May 2015

The Royal Mint is to commemorate one of the most decisive battles in history with precious metal editions of The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo 2015 UK £5 coin in Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort, and Gold Proof finishes.

Two centuries on and the Battle of Waterloo still captivates, not only because of its great historical importance, but also because of the bold tactics employed by Wellington and Napoleon during the battle.

This commemorative coin features a design by artist and sculptor David Lawrence, recording a ‘moment of accord’ between Wellington and Blücher, leader of the allied Prussian army, inspired by the painting by Daniel Maclise – ‘The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher after the Battle of Waterloo’.

While the culmination of the Battle of Waterloo didn’t bring peace for ever, it did set a significant precedent. Battle awards had previously only usually been given to military leaders, but after Waterloo, all men who fought left alive received the Waterloo Campaign Medal produced by The Royal Mint, overseen by Master of the Mint William Wellesley-Pole, brother of the Duke of Wellington.

Director of Commemorative Coin and Medals, Shane Bissett, said, “The Battle of Waterloo has captured our interest for two centuries, and has left us with a lasting legacy, marking the start of named military campaign medal awards to ordinary servicemen and women.”

Bearing the fifth portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by Jody Clark on the obverse, each coin is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity and an absorbing booklet that reveals details of the battle, the characters involved and the lesser-known implications for The Royal Mint and the world we live in today.

David Lawrence – and the designer’s inspiration

Sculptor, designer, artist and illustrator David Lawrence has, since graduating with a degree in Scientific Illustration, created a broad portfolio of work in varied media. This is his second coin design for The Royal Mint. His first was selected to feature in the a six-coin set, the first in a five-year programme of commemoration that will tell the story of the First World War from Outbreak to Armistice.

For this reverse design commemorating the Battle of Waterloo, David took inspiration from existing artwork on the battle, adapting a painting by Daniel Maclise: The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher after the Battle of Waterloo was painted in 1861, a commission for the new Palace of Westminster that still hangs in the House of Lords today. The design depicts Wellington and Blücher’s moment of accord, recognising the united efforts of their Allied force that overcame Napoleon.

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