Author Topic: Belgium's African possessions  (Read 1944 times)

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Offline <k>

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Belgium's African possessions
« on: February 01, 2015, 02:11:14 AM »
The Independent State of Congo, 50 centimes, 1891.

An unexpected early name for this state, given that I've read the Belgians were particularly brutal colonists.

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2015, 02:12:57 AM »
The Independent State of Congo, 50 centimes, 1897.

Three stars, three stars, and a large hairy starfish. All very interesting. Significance?

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2015, 02:16:22 AM »
Belgian Congo, 50 centimes 1929.  New name for that state.

Dutch language version first, French version last.  And the king is wearing a laurel wreath in 1929. Didn't he know that the First World War was supposed to have swept all this nonsense away?

Offline malj1

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2015, 10:40:05 AM »
From A NUMISMATIC HISTORY OF THE BIRMINGHAM MINT By James 0. Sweeny

Belgian Congo (Now ZAIRE) During World War I the Belgian Government functioned from a base at Le Havre, and while there ordered coins from THE MINT for use in the Belgian Congo. At that time the Brussels Mint was in German hands. The great scarcity of these issues suggests that many were never placed in circulation.
Malcolm
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2015, 02:53:17 PM »
The Independent State of Congo, 50 centimes, 1891.

An unexpected early name for this state, given that I've read the Belgians were particularly brutal colonists.

The objective of the legend is not to imply that the Congo is independent but to ascertain that the Belgian government has no power in the Congo. It is ruled as the private property of Leopold II, who is also king of the Belgians (not king of Belgium) by personal union. It was therefore not the Belgian government who were the brutes, but the king's servants, many of whom happened to be Belgian (or Congolese themselves). The king was personally responsible for the atrocities. The legal situation changed in 1908, after the scandal, when the independent state of the Congo was succeeded by the colony of the Belgian Congo and the king lost all power there. This is reflected in the legends on the 1929 dated coins you show.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 07:53:07 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2015, 03:42:59 PM »
And still the Congo is virtually a failed state.

As for laurel wreaths, QEII was portrayed wearing one on her first coins. Was that the fate of any other post-WW1 monarch?

What was the extent of the circulation of the coin below: Belgian Congo / Ruanda-Urundi?

Offline Afrasi

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 02:52:06 PM »
These coins circulated in Belgish Congo AND Ruanda-Urundi, the last belongig earlier to German East Africa.

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 03:07:56 PM »
Thanks, afrasi.  It's amazing that the flyspeck known as Belgium managed to hold onto such a massive amount of territory.

Offline Afrasi

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 04:05:16 PM »
Comparing the area of the homeland with that one of the colonial empire the UK is much more "amazing".  :)

Also the Netherlands and Denmark and even Brandenburg (later part of Prussia) and Kurland (today part of Latvija) had their colonial areas.

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2015, 06:18:49 PM »
Belgian Congo, 2 francs, 1943.

This coin, with its charming elephant design, is one of my favourites. The coin was minted at the Philadelphia Mint in the USA, because Belgium itself was occupied by the Nazis at that time. The coin is famous because of the spelling mistake, "BELGISH", which should in fact be "BELGISCH". English-speakers are rarely good linguists, however.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 07:06:14 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2015, 06:19:59 PM »


Belgian Congo, 50 francs, 1944.  This time the Dutch legend is correct.

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 06:43:47 PM »
Belgian Congo, 5 francs, 1936.  Lion.

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 06:47:49 PM »
Rwanda-Burundi, 1 franc, 1961.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 05:21:12 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2015, 07:07:04 PM »


After independence: The Democratic Republic of the Congo, 10 francs coin, 1965.  Another lion. Later, the leopard became the emblem of the country under President Mobutu.

See also:

1. The Congolese Republic: Unadopted coin designs from the Royal Mint.

2. Zaire, and the many faces of Mobutu.

Offline Siberian Man

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Re: Belgium's African possessions
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2015, 09:33:51 AM »
10 and 20 centimes of Belgian Congo. Ruler: king Albert I.