Sir Walter Scott 250th Anniversary: The Royal Mint celebrates renowned Scottish writer with official UK £2 coin

The Royal Mint, the original maker of UK coins, has today launched its first ever commemorative £2 coin in honour of the late Sir Walter Scott including a feature of the iconic Edinburgh landmark, 250 years after the great writer’s birth.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:55 am
Matthew Maxwell Scott, the great, great, great, great grandson of Sir Walter Scott and trustee at Abbotsford with the new coin (Photo: Royal Mint).
Matthew Maxwell Scott, the great, great, great, great grandson of Sir Walter Scott and trustee at Abbotsford with the new coin (Photo: Royal Mint).

One of the most influential Scots in history, Sir Walter Scott is renowned for his contribution to literature with his novels and poems, many of which remain literary classics to this day.

Marking the 250th anniversary since his birth, Scott’s legacy has been celebrated for the first time on official UK coin.

Available in gold, silver and brilliant uncirculated, the commemorative keepsake was first unveiled in the 2021 Annual Set and today launches as an individual collectors’ item at The Royal Mint.

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Available in gold, silver and brilliant uncirculated, the coin launches as an individual collectors’ item at The Royal Mint.

Designed by textual artist Stephen Raw, the coin was inspired by the artist’s visit to Abbotsford, the famous home of Sir Walter Scott.

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On the canvas of a £2 coin, the words Sir Walter Scott and Novelist, Historian and Poet are inscribed in the same calligraphy seen at Abbotsford’s grand entrance and chapel.

The design also includes Scott’s portrait modelled on the Scott Monument – one of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks.

To celebrate the launch, the Original Maker collaborated with Scott’s Abbotsford home and Trustee and direct descendant, Matthew Maxwell Scott – the great, great, great, great grandson of the famous writer.

Mr Maxwell Scott, Trustee at Abbotsford, said: “I’m extremely proud to see my ancestor recognised on a very special coin from The Royal Mint – a fitting tribute during a year of 250th birthday celebrations. It is a beautiful coin. Sir Walter was a collector of beautiful things and I think he would have loved to have this coin in his collection among the many treasures at Abbotsford.”

Speaking of the design, Stephen Raw, who also designed the Sherlock Holmes coin in 2019 and the First World War Armistice coin in 2018, said:

“Sir Walter Scott was such a fascinating character, there were so many routes that you could explore. Being a textual artist, I’m fascinated by lettering and I chose a combination of distinctive Gothic lettering from the chapel at Abbotsford alongside some lettering used by Scott in the magnificent entrance to his home.

“As for the portrait, I used the wonderful sculpture of Scott that sits within his monument on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. I hope that collectors enjoy the design and that when people see the coin, they might be encouraged to visit Abbotsford and the Scott Monument – the second largest such memorial to a writer in the world they say.”

Clare Maclennan The Royal Mint’s Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin said: “Sir Walter Scott’s status as one of Great Britain’s greatest writers endures 250 years after his birth and the anniversary celebration is a wonderful occasion to commemorate his legacy on a £2 coin.

“The exquisite design, with the inscription Novelist, Historian and Poet, reminds us of the wide-reaching influence of his work. What a treat is has been to reveal this collectable piece of art in collaboration with his great, great, great, great grandson Matthew Maxwell Scott and the fantastic team at Abbotsford, the famous home of Walter Scott, as part of their Anniversary celebrations.”

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