- Collector coin celebrating renowned Irish designer and architect Eileen Gray
- First collector coin issued by the Central Bank commemorating the achievements of an Irish woman
- Coin will be on sale from 30 November 2017
The Central Bank of Ireland has issued a €10 limited edition silver proof collector coin, celebrating renowned Irish designer and architect Eileen Gray [1878 – 1976].
Deputy Governor, Sharon Donnery said: “On behalf of the Central Bank of Ireland, I am delighted to present our new €10 silver proof coin commemorating the life and work of designer Eileen Gray to the National Museum and its permanent Eileen Gray exhibition. We are honoured to commemorate Gray’s work, achievements and her contribution to modern movements in architecture and design. Gray was a pre-eminent figure within the Modernist movement and it is very fitting that she was chosen as the first woman to feature on a collector coin issued by the Central Bank of Ireland.”
Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director of the National Museum of Ireland said: “The Museum has had a long-standing relationship with the Central Bank of Ireland and our exhibition Airgead traces one thousand years of Irish coinage. Eileen Gray’s place as one of the world’s greatest modernists is at last being recognised both here and abroad and is reflected in our exhibition gallery devoted to her work. We are delighted to be associated with this special commemorative coin honouring her achievements in architecture, furniture and interior design.”
The coin features a portrait of Gray in front of a representative image of one of her most iconic modernist designs ‘Screen’. This silver proof coin was designed by Italian artist Sandra Deiana. Ms Deiana said she was “immediately struck by the idea of designing a coin to pay tribute to a female artist who worked in a period when it was still difficult to succeed in the world of work, especially in the arts”.
Forming part of the European Silver Coin Programme, this coin also features a re-designed obverse incorporating the Irish harp and year-date with the Europa Star symbol.
The Eileen Gray coin is available to the public from today, at a cost of €60, and has an issue limit of 6,000 pieces. Coins can be purchased by phoning 1890 307 607 (within Ireland) or +353 1 248 3605 (international). Phone lines are open between 09:30 and 17:00, Monday to Friday. You can also download an order form from www.centralbank.ie/coinsets, or purchase the coin directly from the Central Bank on Dame Street in Dublin.
Screen is one of Eileen Gray’s most iconic pieces of furniture and is indicative of her modernist design tendencies. Utilising the ancient Japanese technique of lacquer, Screen came to embody the way in which Gray’s work managed to combine everyday functionality with aesthetic charm.
Eileen Gray at the National Museum of Ireland
A permanent exhibition gallery devoted to Eileen Gray’s work can be seen at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Art and History, Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. See more here.
European Silver Coin Programme
The Europa Star Silver Coin Programme is a voluntary collector coin programme between European monetary institutions, which issues commemorative coins annually under a shared theme. Ireland has participated in this programme since 2006, having most recently issued coins featuring James Joyce (European Writers, 2013), John McCormack (European Composers, 2014) and last year’s ‘70th Anniversary of Peace in Europe’.
For the next five years, the theme of the programme is the ‘Ages of Europe’ and is inspired by the architectural and design eras as depicted on the Euro banknotes. The programme begins in 2016 with the era depicted on the €500 note, ‘Modern 20th Century Europe’, and will work its way in reverse order through the eras as depicted on the €200 note (Age of Iron and Glass), €100 note (Baroque and Rococo), €50 note (Renaissance) and €20 note (Gothic).
Proof coins are collectable coins and are not intended for general circulation. They are minted using specially polished dies and blanks that give them a mirror-like finish. These coins are struck at least twice during the minting process. They are individually handled and protectively stored in order to prevent tarnishing. This is in comparison to general circulating coins, which are struck once during the minting process and are handled in bulk. The defined, intricate and shiny appearance of proof coins gives them their collectable quality.