Eyvind Earle was one of America’s great modernist painters, but is best known for his stint at Disney, being the only artist that Walt Disney ever gave total creative control of an animated movie to. Sleeping Beauty turned out to be an iconic masterpiece of creativity, but Earle also produced countless other pieces of work over his 70 year career. One of his most successful enterprises became his more than 800 Christmas greeting cards, silkscreened from oil paintings, and portraying a wide variety of seasonal themes. Selling by the million at upscale stores, original hand-screened and signed cards sell for very large sums at auction.

Swiss mint PAMP have released their first set of three coins showcasing Earle’s work, and the theme is the Birth of Christ. The coins depict (left to right below), Evangelists Matthew and Luke with an Angel, Madonna and Child, and The Magi. All are classic examples of this Earle’s very distinctive style, and as you’d expect from this very highly regarded company, quality is first class. The set has been available for some time to be honest, and we thought the time had past to report on it, but recently the Royal Canadian Mint has started selling it, so here we are. At $494.95 CND ($358 US, £242, €328), it seems to be a far keener price than we’ve seen before as well.

An unusual, beautifully produced set of coins, the Icons of Faith set is a niche affair, but one that hits its target bang on. For those who admire his work but wish to spend less, the Madonna and Child coin pendant sells for far less and is just as well presented. That one is available from regular PAMP dealers like World Ancient, and JVP-Coins.

EYVIND EARLE

Considered one of America’s leading modernists, Eyvind Earle enjoyed a prolific career spanning 70-years and a multitude of genres, placing his reputation, influence and collectability on par with the likes of Norman Rockwell, with whom Earle’s work was frequently exhinited. Today, Eyvind Earle’s paintings, serigraphs and sculptures distinguish private collections and the permanent collections of leading museums, including the Metroploitan Museum of Art in New York.

Though widely collected for his colour-drenched and graphic landscapes of a style he defined as ‘designed realism’, Earle is perhaps best known as the only artist to whom Walt Disney entrusted total creative direction of a feature animated film – the groundbreaking 1959 masterpiece Sleeping Beauty. In fact, during his 10-years at the Disney studios, Earle lent his inimitable talents to several films, including Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp,  and the Oscar-winning animated short Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom.

But it is his role as the artist whose innovative vision transformed Sleeping Beauty not only into a landmark film but also a stunning testament to animation-as-art that made Eyvind Earle a legend.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Icons of Faith is an exclusive collection of legal tender coins in a continuing series of 3-coin sets featuring the distinctive Modernist artwork of renowned American painter, illustrator, designer and animator Eyvind Earle (1916-2000). Officially authorized by The Estate of Eyvind Earle, the Icons of Faith collection presents some of Earle’s most sublime artwork, adapted from his luxurious and successful Christmas card series that spanned nearly his entire professional lifetime.

Defined by Earle’s pioneering, mid-century Modernist approach, each coin is in fact a modern-day religious icon that reinterprets Gothic and Renaissance art in breathtaking jewel-tone colors and patterned combinations that are hallmarks of Earle’s signature style. Characterised by a unique, rectilinear shape, each coin of this exclusive edition perfectly frames an iconicEyvind Earle design. Faithful to the last detail of the original artwork, the coins are finely minted in sharp, two-dimensional relief, allowing designs to remain true to Earle’s signature use of flat, graphic forms.

Critics and fans of Earle’s artwork unanimously praise his unconventional use of vivid colour, including brilliant shades of azure, scarlet and chartreuse. To authentically reproduce these extraordinary shades, PAMP perfected and employed a high-definition colouring technique so accurate that even Earle’s beloved gilt tones are impeccably matched in ‘virtual gold’. The use of rich, illuminated colours and intricate, textile-like patterns recall ancient religious icons.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$10 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 50.0 g x3 35.40 x 65.0 mm PROOFLIKE 3,000 YES / YES

MADONNA AND CHILD COIN PENDANT

Also available is this differently themed coin pendant depicting Earles vision of the Madonna and Child. Limited to 2,000 pieces, it’s packaged almost identically to the single coin versions of the Icons of Faith series above. This one seems to retail around the $99.00 USD mark and has been available for a while now.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: Adapted from one of Earle’s Christmas cards similar to the collection’s central coin and also titled Madonna and Child, this exquisite circular pendant in fine silver offers collectors an inspiring keepsake opportunity, whether for the self, or as a gift to others. A wave-like border surrounds the pendant-coin, calling to mind the Madonna’s ancient epithet of Stella Maris – Star of the Sea.

A fine silver bale is included, as is a detailed Certificate of Authenticity. Beautifully presented within a gallery box designed exclusively for the Eyvind Earle Icons of Faith collection.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 10.0 g 25.0 mm PROOFLIKE 2,000 YES / YES

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