The Unicorn has always been a mysterious beast of fable, however, unlike so many creatures of myth it was not a creature that inspired terror in mankind, but instead represented strength, goodness and selflessness. It originated in Scotland and is known today as a symbol of purity, chastity and innocence. The unicorn has the head, body and mane of a horse, a goat-like beard, the cloven hoofs of a deer, the tail of a lion and a prominent long spiraling horn which is set in its forehead.
In partnership with the Royal Lion of England as supporters on the Royal Coat of Arms, the unicorn being a lunar emblem is thus balanced with the Royal Lion which has long been considered a symbol of the sun. Both creatures representing balancing day and night in the supporting role on the Royal Arms. The unicorn on the arms is chained because in medieval times a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast and only a virgin could tame a unicorn.
Having originally featured in heraldry in the arms of Scotland the unicorn was also combined in the arms of the British Crown after the accession of James I. In the Middle Ages it was thought of as being a strong and fierce animal associated with chastity and virginity (and could only be captured by a virgin) and also with Christís love of mankind. Legend holds that the Unicorn's horn contained a liquid that would give protection against disease and that the powdered horn if it were added to food or drink, neutralise poison.
The Royal Unicorn limited edition bronze shown both coloured and with the bronze patina
37 inches long ( 94cm)
please click to enlarge
for further photographs of the Unicorn please click here.