Una and the Lion impression
The reverse impression pictured here of William Wyon’s Una and the Lion five pounds of 1839 is the sort of item that is very much part of the Mint collection. As well as the finished struck coin or medal, the collection contains pieces that reveal how particular designs evolved, either as impressions in relatively soft material from unfinished dies or in the form of trial or experimental coins.
In this instance, the impression is in pewter and on closer examination it is evident that Wyon’s name, which on the actual coins is to be found under the date in the exergue, is not present. Although it has suffered some damage over the years, this piece remains important and is one of a series of similar Una and the Lion items that have been acquired in recent years to assist in our understanding of the development of this beautiful coin.