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Greenhill, Peter Henry
Image of Peter’s arms from his book “Heraldic Miniature Knights”

Arms: Per Chevron Gules and Vert, three oval buckles two and one their double tongues upwards Argent.

Crest: Between two grassy hillocks Proper a garb Or banded of a strap Gules garnished and the buckle double tongue Argent.

Motto: Unus et Idem

Badge: On a Pomeis ( a roundel Vert) fimbriated Argent an oval Buckle with double tongues upwards Argent.

Grant: College of Arms, from Garter and Clarenceux Kings of Arms 30 Dec 1987.

SOURCE, NOTES & CREDITS: Primarily images from the armiger’s own books and text adapted from the same, the armiger’s letters Patent, the armiger’s matriculation from Lyon court (14 Aug 2018) and from the Online funeral notice.

Peter Henry Greenhill a well-known author of books on, and manufacturer of, miniature knights and a friend was born on 3 Oct 1935 at Ewell, Surrey, England to William Greenhill, a banker and Jessie Boyce from Lambeth. Peter the youngest of three was educated at Seaforth College in Surrey.

For National service he spent two years in the Intelligence Corps 1954-1956, then joined a commercial art studio and became a sales representative. He studied sculpture in the evenings under Dame Elizabeth Frink. From 1960 on he spent ten years in the photographic business. His photos are collectables today. In 1962 he married ( Gilly ) Gillian Barclay and in 1970 they opened a craft store in Wimbledon Village selling especially hand-made toys.

By 1975 they got into miniature knights. In Feb 1978 They bought the 175 brass molds of the late Richard Courtney (1892-1963) a famous maker of miniature knights, from Hummel Assoc. After sorting them out for several months and learning to cast in a special pewter, Peter and Gilly Greenhill were in business. A real partnership this was: Gilly would cast, polish and do the basic painting; then Peter would finish out the models with accurate and finely detailed heraldic decoration.

On 30 Dec 1987, Peter Greenhill received a Grant of arms from the College of Arms from Sir Alexander Colin Cole, Garter King of Arms, and Sir Anthony Richard Wagner, Clarenceux King of Arms. Sir Anthony Wagner is considered the leading English herald of the 20th century.

Peter and Gilly’s works quickly became well known as among the finest of miniature knights and apparently have done well in the auction market. Greenhill knights were not cheap to begin with but if you wanted the very best… Greenhills one might say are as good as gold !

In addition to being a miniaturist, Peter became an author: “Heraldic Miniature Knights” 1991, pp 176; “Creating Miniature Knights” of which he was co-author with Mario Venturi with the book in English and Italian, 2005 pp182; and Peter’s opus magnus, “Heraldic Sketchbook” 2009, pp 272. Superb wonderful invaluable books if you like knights, miniature knight figures, heraldry and mediaeval history. The colour illustrations are out of this world !

Peter and Gilly produced miniature knights for over forty years, a bit unreal if you think about it. Anyone lucky enough to own a Courtney-Greenhill today is extremely fortunate. They are all serial numbered, and sorted as to type of casting.

Peter and Gilly were married for over 49 years not quite 50 ! Unfortunately, Peter died on 27 December 2021 age 86. We exchanged Christmas cards for years … until Dec 2021… Even the cards were filled with correct heraldically decorated knights ! Peter is survived by Gilly, their sons Simon, Seth and Sam and the grandchildren.

The artwork is a rendering by John Ferguson in 1988.

2022 0513
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