In 1998, Past Prime Warden Lt. Colonel Delwyn Dennis, presented the Tonypandy Cup to the Company. It was given in memory of Lord Tonypandy (George Thomas, Speaker of the House of Commons) who was an Honorary Member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths. The Cup may be awarded annually for a piece which is considered to be an outstanding example of the skill of a blacksmith or blacksmiths. A special Committee is established every year to assess the nominated works.
At the recent Midsummer Court meeting, the Company’s Court of Assistants approved the recommendation to award the Tonypandy Cup for 2017 to professional Blacksmith David Tucker FWCB. David is an artist blacksmith based at a forge in Derbyshire. In 2012, David was awarded the Silver Medal and Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, in recognition of consistently high standards of work.
This sculptural piece was commissioned by the Buxton Museum as a piece of public artwork to display and interpret a hoard of 24, tiny 13th century coins. The coins have been deconstructed and enlarged into key visual elements to form large decorative discs. Interaction with the piece is encouraged through a large magnifying glass, which can be positioned over each of the actual coins.
David has resolved the problem of visitor interaction with a museum exhibit. It is so far away from the usual museum glass cabinet. To meet all the museum standards and requirements in such an impressive and accomplished way is outstanding. He has succeeded in producing a well-designed piece of work with strong attention to detail along with well-chosen techniques and methods of construction. The thought process for the design is excellent and it is wonderfully original, making a great deal out of some tiny coins. It is a clever and imaginative answer to presenting the viewing public with an exciting, sculptural display case. The quality of making is impeccable. The workmanship is very precise and clean throughout, showing modern blacksmithing techniques mixed with traditional. It is a worthy winner of the Tonypandy Cup.