Wyon, Allan (DNB12)

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WYON, ALLAN (1843–1907), medallist and seal-engraver, born in 1843, was the son of Benjamin Wyon [q. v.], chief engraver of the royal seals, and the younger brother of Joseph Shepherd Wyon [q. v.] and Alfred Benjamin Wyon [q. v.] He was early taught the arts hereditary in his family, and for a time aided his brother Joseph in his medal-work. From 1884 till his death he carried on in London the business of the Wyon firm of medallists and engravers founded by his grandfather, Thomas Wyon the elder [q. v.] From 1884 to 1901 he held the post of engraver of the royal seals, a post that had been successively held by his father and his two elder brothers. He made the episcopal seals for the archbishops of Canterbury and York; the seal for the secretary of Scotland in 1889, and the great seal of Ireland in 1890. The great seal of Queen Victoria of 1899 was the work of George William De Saulles. Among Wyon's medals may be mentioned: Sir Joseph Whitworth (commemorating the Whitworth scholarships founded 1868); the Royal Jubilee medal of 1887; Charles Darwin (Royal Society medal, first awarded 1890); Professor Max Müller, circ. 1902. He signed in full ‘Allan Wyon.’

Wyon was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (elected 1889) and of the Numismatic Society of London (elected 1885), and was at one time treasurer and vice-president of the British Archæological Association. He compiled and published ‘The Great Seals of England’ (1887, with 55 plates), a work begun by his brother Alfed. Wyon died at Hampstead on 25 Jan. 1907. He married in 1880 Harriet, daughter of G. W. Gairdner of Hampstead, and had three daughters and two sons; the elder son is Mr. Allan G. Wyon, the medallist, seal engraver, and sculptor.

[Numismatic Chronicle, 1907, p. 32; Proc. Soc. Antiquaries, April 1907, p. 439; Manchester Courier, 26 Jan. 1907; Hocking, Catal. of Coins, etc., in Royal Mint, vol. ii.; information from Mr. Allan G. Wyon.]

W. W.