JOHN PINCHES MEDALLISTS, LTD.
Dick Johnson writes: "For most of its 19th century existence,
John Pinches Medallists (founded 1840), was under the
shadow of the Wyon family of English engravers. While
Wyons were engravers (and chief engravers) at the Royal Mint,
family members ran a medal business outside the Mint. Pinches
was founded by John Pinches (1825-1905), who had learned
steel engraving from his mother's cousin, medallist William
Joseph Taylor (beginning when John was 15 years old in 1840,
and that's the year the firm determined as its founding).
Four Pinches were associated with the firm after the first John
Pinches: John Harvey Pinches (1852-1941), his son; then John
Robert Pinches (1884-1968), a grandson. A second John
Harvey Pinches and a cousin, Leslie Pinches, headed the firm
after World War II, and it is this John Harvey Pinches who
wrote the book: Medals by John Pinches; A Catalog of
Works Struck by the Company from 1840 to 1969. Published
Infrequently Pinches struck medals engraved by a Wyon, but
in 1932 Pinches acquired the J.S. & A.B. Wyon firm and all its
dies. But its most historical moment came in 1969, when it
sold out to the Franklin Mint, of Media, Pennsylvania, as part
of a European expansion.
Franklin Mint had Pinches reduce the famed Waterloo Medal
-- still in its archives -- which had only been issued before in
galvano form, and prepare dies to strike this in 1972. Franklin
Mint sold 5,000 of these medals worldwide.
The book records the notable productions of Pinches for the
129-year history of the firm. Interestingly, the author records
the height of the relief of most items -- as coin, shallow, bold,
high or very high -- in addition to usual data as size, composition
Of greatest interest to collectors, however, are the
Commemorative Medals in the next to last chapter. (These
are not detailed, and we yearn for more data about these.)
The last chapter recounts a handful of coins struck by Pinches,
including the famed Puffin coins of Lundy Island.
I have observed PINCHES name on medals of their
manufacture, but have never observed a Pinches mint mark.
Perhaps an E-Sylum reader can enlighten me if such exists."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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