Charles forwarded an extract from Leonard Forrer's "Biographical Dictionary of Medallists" concerning Joseph Moore. Thanks! Here's an excerpt.
MOORE, JOSEPH (Brit.). Medallist of the second half of the nineteenth century, born at Birmingham, 17 February 18 17, died
there in 1892.
His father had served in the Peninsular War and met with a
serious accident when the future Engraver was yet a child. At ten
years of age he persuaded his parents to allow him to try to earn
his own living; he entered the office of a then well-known silver-
smith, and while there he learned drawing under Henry Follet
His next step in life was when he was apprenticed tor eight-and-
a-half years to Thomas Halliday, a die-sinker, of Newhall Street,
nearly opposite to Little Charles Street. His training with Halliday
was most valuable to him. In starting business for himself he
began with dies for button making, which at that time was one of
the chief, if not the greatest, industry of the town.
Joseph Moore, at the Exhibition of 1851, was awarded the prize
for excellent workmanship in the manufacture of buttons.
Before the term of his apprenticeship drew to a close he had a
strong desire to become a medallist. He obtained the requisite
tools, fitted up a bench in the attic of the house in which he then
lived, and, rising every morning at four o'clock he would copy some of the designs he had brought from his shop on the previous
When eighteen years of age he for a short time was under the
tuition of Samuel Lines, in whose school have been taught so many
talented engravers and die-sinkers.
In 1844, it was suggested to Moore that he might make a coin
which would be an improvement on the heavy and cumbersome
penny-piece which was then in currency. He designed a model
penny — absolutely his own idea — of about the size of a farthing,
inside the raised rim of which was a small piece of silver which
brought its value up to the proper standard. The rim was ingeniously devised with the object of making the penny distinguish-
able from other coins of a similar size in the pocket merely by feeling it. There was an enormous demand for these tokens; so
great, indeed, that Wyon, the coin die-sinker to the Mint, when
he came to consult Moore about his system of making dies so that
they would not break, good-humouredly explained that they had
met with such favour with the public that he had been compelled
to advertise the fact that they were the result of private enterprise
and not a Government issue.
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