The Tudor Beasts Series
The highly successful Queen's Beasts series of proof and bullion coins brought together the 10 heraldic beasts whose statues stood guard at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Here we look at the coins of The Royal Mint's Tudor Beasts and contrast them with those of the previous series.
The Queen's Beasts
The Queen’s Beasts series of coins ran from 2016 to 2021 and was well received by many collectors, particularly the final coin in the series, the “completer” coin which featured all 10 creatures on the reverse.
The Queen’s Beasts celebrate the heraldic ancestry of HM Queen Elizabeth II.
The Tudor Beasts
Following on from the successful Queen’s Beasts range, the Royal Mint announced the release of The Tudor Beasts series. The Tudor Beasts, sometimes called the King's Beasts, are the 10 heraldic statues that represent the ancestry of King Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. They comprise of:
- The Seymour Panther - (released 7/10/2021)
- The Lion of England - (released 21/02/2022)
- The Yale of Beaufort
- The Greyhound of Richmond
- The Tudor Dragon
- The Seymour Unicorn
- The Royal Dragon
- The Queen's Lion
- The Black Bull of Clarence
- The Queen's Panther
Originally a medieval tradition, King Henry VII began to use heraldic symbols as a way to reinforce his position on the throne. His son Henry VIII continued this tradition and many of these Tudor Beasts, are on display at one of Henry VIII’s favourite residences, Hampton Court Palace.
The Tudor Beasts Coins
Over the next 5 years, the Royal Mint will issue coins for each of the Tudor Beasts, which according to the Privy Council, will be issued in the following sizes:
Gold: £2,000 (2kg), £1,000 (1kg), £500 piedfort (10 oz), £500 (5 oz), £200 (2 oz), £100 (1 oz), £25 (0.25 oz)
Silver: £1,000 (2 kg), £500 (1kg), £10 piedfort (10 oz), £10 (5 oz), £5 (2 oz), £2 (1 oz),
Platinum: £100 (1 oz)
Base Metal: £5
Gold £100 (1 oz), gold £25 (0.25 oz), silver £10 (10 oz), silver £5 (2 oz)
The designer for the entire Tudor Beasts series is English surrealist artist and coin designer David Lawrence.
The Seymour Panther
The first in the series brings us The Seymour Panther. The symbol of the panther was first given to Catherine of Aragon, then Anne Boleyn and finally Jane Seymour.
The panther is depicted as ferocious with flames coming from its mouth but actually came to symbolize the peaceful union between the King and his consort who would bear him the male heir he was so desperate for.
The coin features the Panther clutching a shield bearing the Seymour Wings. The wings are conjoined in lure meaning that the wing tips are pointing downwards.
The panther is one beast that didn't appear in the Queen's Beasts series.
The Lion of England
For centuries the lion has been used as a heraldic symbol. Its origins can be traced back to 1128, when King Henry I presented a shield of golden lions to one of his courtiers.
The design features a crowned lion holding a shield, with the words “LION OF ENGLAND” at the top. The shield features the combined arms of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. Showing both arms together symbolises the strength of the couple.
Epitomising strength, bravery and courage, the lion has continued to appear on royal coats of arms and heraldic shields.
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