Description

When Her Majesty The Queen was crowned in 1953, the entrance to Westminster Abbey was guarded by 10 fantastical creatures – The Queen’s Beasts – created by sculptor James Woodford RA. First sculpted in plaster, the Queen's Beasts have had several homes since their debut, now residing in the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec. However, James Woodford RA also sculpted replicas of the beasts in Portland stone that now sit outside the Kew Gardens in London.

The Queen’s Beasts are issued since 2016 in commemorative coin form, launched one beast at a time. The coins are available in a range of finishes, from mint-condition Brilliant Uncirculated cupro-nickel to Proof editions in silver and gold, struck from 1-ounce to 1-kilo sizes.

The Black Bull of Clarence is the fourth creature to appear on the Royal Mint’s commemorative “Queen’s Beasts” range following the launch of the Lion of England, Unicorn of Scotland and Red Dragon of Wales.

The entire series' designs are created by engraver Jody Clark.

Obverse

The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.

The George IV State Diadem, officially the Diamond Diadem, is a type of crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV. The diadem is worn by queens and queens consort in procession to coronations and State Openings of Parliament. The piece of jewelry has been featured in paintings and on stamps and currency. It can be seen in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·FID·DEF·5 POUNDS·
JC

Reverse

A dynamic depiction of the Black Bull of Clarence leaping over the shield shows the Royal Arms as they were borne by Edward IV and his brother Richard III as well as all the Sovereigns of the Houses of Lancaster and Tudor.

The Black Bull of Clarence is a ‘Yorkist’ beast which came to The Queen through Edward IV, the first king of England from the House of York and one of the key players in the ‘Wars of the Roses’. Assisted by the Earl of Warwick who was known as the ‘kingmaker’, Edward took power from Henry VI, overturning a troubled Lancastrian rule. Henry VI fled to Scotland, but later briefly returned to the throne before he was finally defeated in battle by Edward in 1461. His execution at the Tower left no doubt over the new king’s reign. Edward IV is said to have often used the bull as a symbol, as did his brother, Richard III, the last York king. Edward’s original claim to the throne was as the great-grandson of Roger Mortimer, descendent of the Duke of Clarence, who Richard II had named as his successor but who was usurped by his nephew, Henry IV.

At The Queen’s coronation the Black Bull of Clarence held a shield with the Royal Arms as they were borne for more than 200 years, not only by the Yorkist kings but by the Lancastrians that went before and the Tudors who came after. The shield has two quarters with the gold lions of England, adopted by Richard I, and two with the golden lilies of France, added by Edward III to support his claim to the French throne.

· 2018 ·
JC
BLACK BULL OF CLARENCE

Edge

5 Pounds (Crown)

5th portrait

Queen's Beasts
Black Bull of Clarence

Subscribe series
KM#
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 28.2 g
Diameter 38.6 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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Cupronickel, 28.2 g, ⌀ 38.6 mm
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Queen's Beasts

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5th portrait, Red Dragon of Wales

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Cupronickel, 28.2 g, ⌀ 38.6 mm