Wyon, Joseph Shepherd (DNB00)

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WYON, JOSEPH SHEPHERD (1836–1873), chief engraver of the seals, born on 28 July 1836, was the eldest son of Benjamin Wyon [q. v.] He was educated by his father, and studied in the schools of the Royal Academy, where he gained two silver medals. His first important work was a medal of James Watt, which, on Robert Stephenson's recommendation, was adopted as the prize medal of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

On 2 Dec. 1858 Wyon was appointed chief engraver of the seals, a post previously held by his father and grandfather. He died at Winchester on 12 Aug. 1873. In his work as a medallist he was aided by his brother, Alfred Benjamin (see below), and also by his brother Allan. The medals are often signed ‘J. S. and A. B. Wyon.’

The following specimens may be mentioned: 1861, Steevens's Hospital medals, Dublin (Cusack prize); 1863, entry of Princess Alexandra into London; 1846–65, New Zealand war medal; 1867, confederation of provinces of Canada; the great seal of the dominion of Canada; reception of the sultan of Turkey in London; 1867–8, Abyssinian war medal; and 1872, Prince of Wales's recovery.

Alfred Benjamin Wyon (1837–1884), born on 28 Sept. 1837, was associated with his brother, Joseph Shepherd Wyon, as chief engraver of the seals from 31 July 1865, and was sole engraver from 23 Oct. 1873 till his death on 4 June 1884. He compiled a work on the ‘Great Seals of England,’ completed and published in 1887 by his younger brother, Allan Wyon, who was appointed chief engraver of her majesty's seals on 20 June 1884.

[Wyon's Great Seals, p. 191; Times, 4 Sept. 1873; Daily News, 6 Sept. 1873; Welch's Numismata Londinensia; Frazer's Medallists of Ireland; Redgrave's Dictionary; Journal of Brit. Arch. Assoc. 30 June 1884, p. 253; Numismatic Chronicle, 1885, Proceedings, p. 26.]

W. W.