2023 Una & Lion Faerie Queene Collection
Strictly low limited edition
‘The Faerie Queene’ collection, a new series of precious metal coins inspired by Edmund Spenser’s epic medieval poem, telling stories of knights, princesses, mythical beasts, magical villains, honour, betrayal, love and loss, all brought to life by one of the world’s most celebrated coin designers, Joel Iskowitz.
This second coin, 2023 Una & the Lion, is the final coin in the Faerie Queene Collection to bear the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Faerie Queene, an epic journey of illustrative storytelling.
Our exclusive ‘The Faerie Queene’ series continues with our second coin release in this four coin series, Una and the Lion - Having become separated from Redcrosse, Una is attacked by a mighty lion! But the beast is becalmed by her beauty and becomes her faithful guard and companion.
The legendary meeting of Una and the Lion, captured once again in timeless gold and silver
Inspired by Edmund Spenser’s epic 16th Century poem, our series continues with the moment that Una meets the mighty lion, and an eternal legend is born.
Book One tells the story of The Redcrosse Knight and the quest he is given by Queen Gloriana on behalf of the lady Una; to rescue her parents from the captivity of an evil dragon. Redcrosse and Una set out on their journey together but soon became separated when a sorcerer’s spell bewitched Redcrosse and he left Una behind.
When she awoke to find Redcrosse gone Una was bereft, and quite alone. She wandered into a shaded woodland to rest, out of sight of anyone who might be passing
“As the great eye of heaven shyned bright,
And made a sunshine in the shadie place;
Did never mortall eye behold such heavenly grace.”
Suddenly Una’s peace was shattered, as a mighty lion entered the clearing. His eyes lit up when he saw the defenceless princess, and he lept at her with hungry rage. But as he got closer to Una he became calmed by her beauty, overawed by her innocence. His anger abated, and instead of attacking Una he kissed her weary feet and licked her hands to soothe her.
This change affected both the lion and his intended prey; Una was initially frozen with fearful dread, but on seeing the lion’s proud submission to her charms she became overcome with affection, and cried tears of joy at her new companion.
As Una rose to leave the wood and continue her quest the lion would not leave her side. Instead, he strode proudly alongside her and became 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:
From her faire eyes he tooke commaundement,
And ever by her lookes conceived her intent.”
Sadly, their loyal partnership was all too brief. They soon encountered the enraged knight Sansloy, on a quest for vengeance for the death of his friend Sansfoy at the hands of Redcrosse. Sansloy wrenched Una from her donkey and the lion leapt to her defence. 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.