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Tanner, John Sigismund (DNB00)


TANNER, JOHN SIGISMUND (d. 1775), medallist, was a native of Saxe-Gotha, and in early life practised carving and engraving for snuff-boxes, gun-locks, &c. He came to England about 1728, and in that year obtained, through John Conduit, employment as an engraver at the Royal Mint. He engraved dies for the gold coins of 1739, for the copper coinage of 1740, and for the silver coins, with the ‘old head,’ from 1743. He also engraved for Richard Arundell, master of the mint, dies in imitation of Thomas Simon's pattern-coins made for Oliver Cromwell (Henfrey, Numismata Cromwelliana, pp. 137 sq.), partly utilising the old punches. He retained his post at the mint for nearly forty years, and died in David Street, London, on 14 March 1775 (Gent. Mag. 1775, p. 151).

Among Tanner's medals may be mentioned: 1732, George II and the royal family (obverse by Croker); 1736, Jernegan's lottery medal, from Gravelot's design; 1736? Copley medal of the Royal Society; 1737, John Conduit, master of the mint (designed by Gravelot); 1737, Milton's monument medal, for William Benson. His signature is ‘T.’ and ‘Tanner.’ Walpole calls him John Christopher Tanner, and Nagler and Bolzenthal (Skizzen, p. 265), who have been probably misled by Walpole, distinguish between John Sigismund Tanner and John Christopher Tanner.

Tanner's puncheons and dies for medals, as well as those made by John Croker [q. v.], the medallist, were sold at auction by Gerard in Soho, London, on 18 June 1783 (Sale Catalogue in dept. of coins, Brit. Mus.)

[Hawkins's Medallic Illustrations, ed. Franks and Grueber; Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting; Ruding's Annals, i. 45; numismatic works of Hawkins, Kenyon, and Montagu; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists.]

W. W.