The story of the second coin design in the 2023 Faerie Queene Series
The East India Company Collection’s 2023 second design of the Faerie Queene coin series sees this epic medieval tale of honour, chivalry, love and virtue reimagined by one of the world’s leading coin designers, Joel Iskowitz. First published in 1590, Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene is a classic work of medieval English literature.
This beautiful story is depicted on 1oz gold and silver coins with Una and the lion resting in a meadow. The story begins with Una bereft and quite alone and she took shelter in a shaded woodland, out of sight of anyone who might be passing. Her peace was shattered when a mighty lion saw the defenceless princess and lept at her with hungry rage. But as he got closer to Una he became calmed by her beauty and innocence, and instead of attacking her he kissed her weary feet and licked her hands to soothe her. As Una rose to continue her quest the lion would not leave her side, striding proudly alongside her as her faithful guardian and protector.
“Still when she slept, he kept both watch and ward,
And when she wakt, he waited diligent,
With humble service to her will prepard: "
However, they soon encountered the knight Sansloy on a quest for vengeance for the death of his friend at the hands of Redcrosse. Sansoy attacked and the lion leapt to Una’s defense, but he was no match for a knight as skilled and powerful as Sansloy, who thrust his sword into the lion’s heart. With one final deafening roar, the lion died, and Una was alone once more.