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Malawi: pre-decimal variations

Started by <k>, November 23, 2011, 05:19:46 PM

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<k>

In 1964 the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, a British colony, was broken up into its constituent parts of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Malawi. Southern Rhodesia changed its name to simply Rhodesia, then illegally declared independence under continued white rule, against the wishes of the British government. Northern Rhodesia became independent Zambia, while Nyasaland changed its name to Malawi upon independence.

Both Malawi and Zambia initially, if briefly, adopted a national currency denominated in pounds, shillings and pence, though both later adopted a decimal system. The Royal Mint assigned Hungarian-born artist and engraver Paul Vincze to create the reverse designs for Malawi's pre-decimal currency. Curiously, neither Malawi nor Zambia included a threepence denomination in their pre-decimal coinages.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#1
Malawi 6d-alt.jpg


The photos in this topic come from the Royal Mint documents to be found in the National Archives, London. They are entitled: "Malawi: Coinage Policy 1964-65", and the document reference is MINT 20/3101.

Paul Vincze's charming depiction of a mother elephant and baby elephant, which was later much imitated, eventually found its way onto the florin (two shillings), but originally it seems to have been intended for the sixpence. Here you see a photo of Mr Vincze's plaster model.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#2
Malawi crown-alt.jpg



Mr Vincze's splendid strutting cockerel ended up on the sixpence.

Here you see that it had started off on the half crown.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#3
Malawi florin-alt.jpg


Mr Vincze's original model for the florin portrays the head, in profile, of a fierce, snarling leopard with bared teeth. If this most striking design had been adopted, I am sure it would now be regarded as a classic. Though I am also very fond of the elephant design that eventually graced the reverse of the florin, I find this leopard to be an absolutely superb design, and I am very disappointed that it was never adopted.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#4
Malawi alt.jpg


Malawi-alt.jpg


It seems that originally a design of a cheetah was going to grace the reverse of one of the coins. It was not until 1994 that a head of a cheetah appeared on a circulation coin, namely the 50 meticais of Mozambique, and a running cheetah also featured on Mozambique's 5 centavos coin of 2006. Elephants and lions are common enough on coins, but cheetahs and leopards are less so. Again, it is a pity that this design never found its way onto a coin.

I include two photos of this design, one of them edited to reduce the glare, as its position in the middle of the file meant it was difficult to photograph properly under the static camera.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.