King of Coins

King of Coins from Anecdotes Tarot, based on the dancer Lola Montez

Miss Gilbert,
called to Castlemaine
by the silver dollar and the gold glitter!

Joanna Newsom, “Have One On Me” (Have One On Me, 2010)

Image Description

A woman sits at the edge of her chair seat, her legs crossed and her head tilted. With her left hand she holds onto her wide striped skirts and in her right hand she casually holds a golden coin, resting it against her leg. Another gold coin is behind her in the pale gray sky. Her hair is styled in tight waves under a long white lace veil. She also has a gold earring with a cross on it. She wears a black off-the-shoulder top with large puffed sleeves and a red band across its middle with a pattern of black spiders. Her forearms are covered in black lace with a spiderweb pattern and she wears small red gloves. Her skirts are striped horizontally in brown, red, green, and black, and a piece of deep blue fabric with gold stars on it hangs down behind her. She wears tall pink striped socks topped with lace and pointy high-heeled shoes with oval medallions in the middle featuring a spider. Her legs and the visible side of her chair are decorated with diamonds and four-petaled flowers.


The King of Coins is modeled after the dancer Lola Montez, whose story is woven into “Have One on Me.” More remarkable for her determination than for her dancing skills, she rose from courtesan to countess and exerted some political influence before being exiled and traveling to gold rush sites in the United States and Australia. She holds her coin casually, showing it off.

The King’s positive qualities are great ambition and charisma. Her negative qualities are avarice and lack of principles.