Yeo, Richard (DNB00)

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YEO, RICHARD (d. 1779), medallist, first came into public notice in 1746, when he produced the official medal for the battle of Culloden, a badge with an effective orna- mental border (Mayo, Medals, i. pl. 13, No. 2). In the same year he issued by subscription another Culloden medal, with a rather pretentious reverse, the Duke of Cumberland as Hercules trampling upon Discord. This was sold in silver for one guinea, and in gold for ‘two guineas, for the Fashion.’ Before producing these medals Yeo had engraved a seal with the head of the Duke of Cumberland, taken from the life. In 1745 he was lodging in London at a druggist's near Craven Street, Strand, and in 1746 in Tavistock Street, Covent Garden (Numismatic Chronicle, new ser. xv. 90 f.).

In 1749 Yeo was appointed assistant engraver to the Royal Mint, and in 1775 he succeeded John Sigismund Tanner [q. v.] as chief engraver. He was a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists in 1760, and was one of the foundation members of the Royal Academy, to whose first two exhibitions he was a contributor, sending in 1770 a proof impression of his five-guinea piece. He died, while still in office as chief engraver, on 3 Dec. 1779 (Gent. Mag. 1779, p. 616). His small collection of coins and medals was sold by auction at Langford's, Covent Garden, on 2 and 3 Feb. 1780, the sale including his graving tools and colours for painting, ‘among which (says the catalogue) is a quantity of his very curious and much esteemed lake’ (crimson, scarlet, and yellow).

The signature of this medallist is R. Yeo and Yeo. Besides the medals enumerated below he made two of the prize medals for Winchester College, and two of the metallic admission tickets for Vauxhall Gardens are signed by him (Numismatic Chronicle, 1898, pl. vii. 2, 5, &c.). Several other Vauxhall tickets may also be attributed to him, and if the well-known ‘Hogarth’ ticket for Vauxhall (ib. fig. 2, cp. pl. vii. 4) is rightly assigned to him, he must have begun to work as a medallist before May 1733, the date when Jonathan Tyers [q. v.] presented Hogarth with the ticket in question (W. Chaffers, Cat. of Forman and Browne Collection, 1892, p. 175, No. 3483).

The following medals may be mentioned: 1746, Culloden Medals; 1749, Freemasons of Minorca; 1750, Academy of Ancient Music; 1752, Chancellor's Medal, Cambridge; 1760, Captain Wilson's Voyage to China (Mayo, Medals, i. 97).

[Hawkins's Medallic Illustrations, ed. Franks and Grueber; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Yeo's Sale Cat. (Dept. of Coins, Brit. Museum).]

W. W.