Author Topic: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series  (Read 1058 times)

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Offline <k>

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Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« on: November 25, 2018, 01:15:34 PM »


Here I will start with the obverse of the highest circulating coin denomination, the 50 escudos, which was first issued in 1986.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 01:17:00 PM »


Here you see the reverse of the 50 escudos coin, which features a cog ship.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 01:20:46 PM »
The design on the 50 escudos upthread is taken from a ceramic bowl in the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

This spectacular bowl is made of earthenware covered with an opaque tin glaze and painted in lustre, a metallic pigment. It is decorated with a ship that has the arms of Portugal on its sail, and it may well have been commissioned by a Portuguese maritime merchant. It was long presumed that this bowl came from the famous lustre potteries around Valencia on the east coast of Spain. They were active from around 1300, when this region was under Christian rule, although the techniques employed (notably the tin glaze and lustre decoration) were of Islamic origin. It is thought that these techniques were introduced to Valencia by potters from Málaga, a port on the south coast of Spain that remained in Muslim hands until 1487.

Ceramics were produced at Málaga for export as well as local consumption: the famous Arab traveller Ibn Battutah recorded in about 1350 that the city produced, ‘wonderful gilded pottery that is exported to the remotest countries’. By around 1400, however, Valencia was rapidly overtaking Málaga as a supplier of fine pottery to the wealthy, and production in Málaga appears to have ceased abruptly by about 1450.

In 1983 scientific analysis of the clay body of the bowl showed that it contained schistose inclusions characteristic of the wares from Málaga itself. The bowl, which can be dated to the mid 15th century, therefore demonstrates that the lustre workshops of Málaga were still producing ceramics of outstanding quality during the last decades of their existence. It stands at the end of one great tradition and at the beginning of another.



The image below is © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 01:24:01 PM »


Here you see the obverse of the 1 escudo coin issued in 1986. It includes a nautical rope at top, since Portugal is a maritime nation.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 01:24:39 PM »


The reverse features ornamental embroidery.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 01:26:32 PM »


The 5 escudos featured a stained glass window.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2018, 01:30:31 PM »


The 10 escudos featured gold filigree work.

The 1, 5 and 10 escudos coins all had the same obverse design.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2018, 01:36:25 PM »
The 20 escudos featured a nautical compass on the reverse. Like the 50 escudos coin, it had a polygonal inner rim.

Like the reverse of the 50 escudos coin, the design does not include any text.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2018, 01:37:02 PM »
The obverse of the 20 escudos coin.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2018, 01:39:10 PM »
Of all these coins, the 50 escudos was the highest denomination of circulating coin before the adoption of the euro.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2018, 03:08:27 PM »
Bravo, <k>. You put life into these (for coin collectors) everyday items. I highly appreciate the story of where the ship design came from. At the same time, I wonder why Portugal's past is so important for coin design - a characteristic maintained on the euro coins. Portugal has more to offer than a rich past.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2018, 04:14:47 PM »
Well, the past begins only a moment ago, but I know what you mean. I do find Portugal's euro designs rather backward-looking for a republic, yet our member chrisild says he likes them. As an Englishman I also would level the same charge at the UK's coin designs.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2018, 04:28:08 PM »


Portugal, 5 escudos, 1966.  A carrack, possibly meant to represent the São Gabriel, Vasco da Gama's flagship.





Portugal, 10 escudos, 1942.  Another carrack: the Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai, flag ship of Vasco da Gama.



From the 1930s until its adoption of the euro, Portugal always included a ship design among its standard circulation designs.
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2018, 08:29:06 PM »
Yes, I do like the country specific sides of the Portuguese euro and cent coins ;) but of course a little more variety would have been welcome. As for the coins you show us here, the 1, 5 and 10 escudos coins I find interesting because of the ornaments. And I do like the reverse of the first one, not just because of the ship but also because the designers added many details from the bowl. (Hope those squiggly lines are not supposed to be jellyfish, hehe.)

What I also noticed is the absence of the dollar. ;D  Many Portuguese coins did not have the word "escudo" but used the cifrão instead: a divider that looked like a dollar symbol and would appear between the escudo and centavo digits. The more recent coins, like the ones here, do not have it any more.

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Portugal's final pre-euro coin series
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2018, 08:40:17 PM »
Many Portuguese coins did not have the word "escudo" but used the cifrão instead: a divider that looked like a dollar symbol and would appear between the escudo and centavo digits.

cifrão - well, I learn something new every Sunday. Just for you, then:
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