Estimate: 400 000 USD
Price realized: 350 000 USD
Victoria gold Proof "Una and the Lion" 5 Pounds 1839 PR63 Deep Cameo PCGS, KM742, S-3851, W&R-279 (R2). DIRIGE legend, medal alignment. Small lettered edge with 5 scrolls. By William Wyon. Likely the most celebrated type in British numismatics and Wyon's undisputed masterpiece, the Una and the Lion 5 Pounds easily ranks as one of the most desirable rarities collectors can hope to achieve. Made exclusively for inclusion in Victoria's 1839 Proof set, it is supposed that only around 400 of these magnificent coins were originally produced, though contemporary demand made it necessary for the Royal Mint to produce examples to-order for almost 50 years until 1886. Bathed in a prominent reflectivity, Victoria's youthful portrait and the iconic motif of her aside a lion--in the guise of Una from Edmund Spencer's "The Faerie Queen"--stand in stark cameo contrast to the fields surrounding, which contain only mild wisps to bound the designation. A few small contact marks are noted above the queen's head for accuracy, though these do markedly little to distract the eye. Although Wilson and Rasmussen note a total of 9 varieties for the issue, ranging in rarity from R2 to R7, these are essentially irrelevant given the rarity of the type as a whole, with examples in this state or finer proving notably difficult to locate.
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Estimate: 400000-500000 USD