William Wyon & Queen Victoria - Una & the Lion

William Wyon & Queen Victoria - Una & the Lion

Mar 23 , 2023

Wyon’s reputation as a great coin designer is forever linked to the reign of Queen Victoria, who first sat for him as a young 13-year-old princess. When Victoria was crowned Queen in 1838 Wyon created the famous ‘Young Head’ portrait, which was so well liked by Victoria that it graced the coins of her reign and Empire for nearly 50 years.

To celebrate the first anniversary of Victoria’s coronation, Wyon created one of the most iconic coins of the Victorian era. His Una & the Lion design used characters from Edmund Spencer’s epic medieval poem The Faerie Queene to represent the young Queen Victoria and the powerful nation under her control.

In 1846 Wyon was commissioned to produce another portrait of Victoria to grace a new silver crown released in 1847 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Victoria becoming Queen. It became known as the ‘Gothic Crown’, as its style was heavily influenced by the Neo-Gothic, or Gothic Revival, movement of the mid 19th Century that was particularly visible in architecture of the period.

Explore coins issued featuring Wyon’s classical Una & the Lion design HERE