2019 Paddington Bear At St. Paul's: 60th Anniversary Silver Proof 50p
On Christmas Eve 1956, BBC cameraman and author, Michael Bond, spotted a lone plush bear in Selfridges and felt sorry for it. He purchased the toy bear for his then wife, Brenda, and named him Paddington after their nearest train station. He began writing short stories about the bear, the kind he had enjoyed as a child, and the rest is history. Bond's first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958 by William Collins & Son, now known as HarperCollins. Since 2018, The Royal Mint has immortalised Paddington Bear in coinage. Previous coins in the series include the bear's visits to Paddington Station, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London. This fourth coin in the series sees London's resident bear enjoying a trip to St Paul's Cathedral in a scrapbook-style limited edition presentation box.
"What!" exclaimed Paddington, hardly able to believe his ears. "Ten pence! I don't think that's very interesting." While a certain bear from Darkest Peru may find a 50p Silver Proof coin from The Royal Mint boring, the collector community will most certainly be excited to lay their hands on it. The special coin is one of a set celebrating the 60th anniversary of Paddington Bear, the beloved children's character created by author Michael Bond. This limited edition coin documents Paddington's visit to St Paul's Cathedral.
Shirley Clarkson's company, Gabrielle Designs, became the first licensee of plush toy Paddington Bears in 1972, after making the bears as gifts for her children Joanna and Jeremy Clarkson. Jeremy Clarkson later became a TV presenter best known for his role in BBC Top Gear and for his controversial mannerisms, in stark contrast to Paddington's polite nature. Paddington Bear has become such a staple of British culture that; the fictional character's stories were adapted for three feature films, his statue was erected at Paddington Station, and he was chosen as the first item to pass through the Channel Tunnel when it opened in 1994.
Designed by David Knapton, this coin features Paddington Bear with his hat tipped outside a depiction of St Paul's Cathedral. The coin's obverse hosts the 5th Portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark. The 2019 St Paul's coin, part of the 60th anniversary Paddington Bear series, is encased in a scrapbook presentation box with an accompanying booklet detailing a trip to the tourist attraction through the eyes of one of London's most famous residents.
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