Christopher Ironside (British, 1913-1992)
oil on canvas, signed and dated '55
unframed H:50 W:60 cm
Christopher Ironside was one of those artists who never receive the full recognition which they deserve. A brilliant draughtsman in a period when draughtsmanship is not appreciated, he brought to his work, whether it was painting or designing or modelling, a polished certainty which reflected the charm of his own character.
His commissions were in fact very varied, ranging from oil-paintings and water-colours to the memorial for the Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma in Westminster Abbey.
His great success, which established his reputation, was the design of the new decimal coinage in 1971 and was justly proud of his achievement. It led to a series of commissions for new national coinages from Tanzania, Brunei, Qatar, Dubai and Singapore, causing him to lament, 'No sooner have I sent off a series of drawings for approval than either the head of state is assassinated or there's a coup d'etat and I've got to start all over again.'