It comprises a Five Pounds, with the ‘Dirige’ wording on the edge, a Sovereign, Half-Sovereign, Crown, Halfcrown, Shilling, Sixpence, Britannia Groat, Maundy set, Penny, Halfpenny and Farthing. The set, which is being sold by a private collector, is described as being “virtually mint state and brilliant, the gold with minimal hairlines, the silver with attractive light toning”.
Una and the Lion are characters in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene written between 1590 and 1611. The reverse of the coins designed by William Wyon depicts Queen Victoria as Una guiding the British lion. The design is an unusual one which has given the coins its familiar name of the Una and the Lion series. The obverse of the coins have William Wyon’s famous Young Head portrait of Queen Victoria. There is no evidence that these coins were ever struck for circulation. All the indications are that they were only intended to be proof coins and were primarily made for inclusion in the specimen sets of the first Victorian coins.
In March this year a magnificent example of the ‘Una and the Lion’ gold Five Pounds coin left its estimate far behind when it fetched £204,000 with buyers’ commission (£170,000 hammer price) at the sale of Coins, Tokens and Historical Medals held by Dix Noonan Webb in London. Bidding began at £95,000, towards the top end of its £80,000 to £100,000 estimate, and it was bought by a private collector bidding in the room against strong competition.
Dix Noonan Webb Ltd is one of the world’s leading specialist auctioneers and valuers of coins, tokens, medals, militaria, paper money and jewellery. Established in 1990, the company boasts over 250 years' combined experience in this field and stages regular auctions throughout the year.
For further press information and images please contact:
Telephone: 07770 694254
Dix Noonan Webb
16 Bolton Street,
London W1J 8BQ