Author Topic: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins  (Read 11509 times)

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Offline <k>

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Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« on: March 25, 2011, 07:03:04 PM »
This topic is part of a developing series on the numismatic heritage of the former Yugoslavia and its constituent parts. To see other topics in this series, click on the links below:

1] Croatia of the 1930s: Official unrealised designs and a terrorist fantasy.

2] Croatia: Nazi Satellite State, 1941-5.

3] Croatia: Rare wartime patterns from the Nazi satellite state.

4] Serbia under Nazi occupation.



Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins.

Before the First World War, most of the territory of modern-day Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia was part of the multi-national Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Balkan Wars and the First World War itself saw a rise in Slav nationalism. After the First World War and the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the southern Slavs of that former empire came together with the Kingdom of Montenegro and the Kingdom of Serbia to form a new unified state. The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was proclaimed on 1st December 1918 with the support of the victorious Allies. The crown of the new kingdom went to King Peter I of Serbia, as head of the most populous nation and a pre-existent independent Serbian state. Though coins of the new kingdom were issued dated 1920, King Peter’s effigy never appeared on them, and he died in 1921 aged 77.

Images: Obverse and reverse of the 25 para coin of 1920.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 04:03:24 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 07:04:27 PM »
The crown now passed to Peter's younger son, who became King Alexander I. His portrait first appears on coins dated 1925. The portrait, which was created by French engraver Henri Auguste Jules Patey, can be seen on the 50 para and on the 1 and 2 dinar coins. Despite the multi-national population of the Kingdom, the legends on the coins still appeared in Cyrillic script only, even though the Croats and Slovenes traditionally used the Latin alphabet.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 04:04:07 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 07:05:09 PM »
The Kingdom was centralist in nature and allowed no autonomy to the various nationalities within it. This caused resentment among many nationalist-minded Croats in particular, who felt it created a bias in favour of the Serbs, the most populous ethnicity of the Kingdom. Events came to a head in June 1928 when a Montenegrin politician shot various members of the Croat Peasant Party while parliament was sitting. As a result of the political crisis that ensued, King Alexander declared a royal dictatorship  in January 1929 and officially changed the name of the country to Yugoslavia. Thereafter separatist nationalist elements were suppressed.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 06:37:40 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 07:08:15 PM »
From Wikipedia:

In 1931, Alexander decreed a new Constitution which transferred executive power to the King. Elections were to be by universal male suffrage. The provision for a secret ballot was dropped and pressure on public employees to vote for the governing party was to be a feature of all elections held under Alexander's constitution. Furthermore, the King would appoint half the upper house directly, and legislation could become law with the approval of one of the houses alone if it were also approved by the King.

Coincidentally, 1931 also saw a new portrait of the King on the country 10 and 20 dinar coins. It was created by English numismatic artist and designer Percy Metcalfe, who was also responsible for the reverse designs. On this occasion the Latin alphabet is used for the first time; the Cyrillic script does not appear on any coins of this date. Usually the name of the designer appears beneath the neck of the portrait, but in this case the words “KOVNICA A.D” can be seen, which I understand is the name of the mint. The reverse of the coin is found both with and without wing and cornucopia mintmarks in the exergue.

The same reverse and obverse designs appear on a 50 dinar coin of 1932, but this time the legends are in the Cyrillic script only. The obverse design exists both with and without the “KOVNICA A.D” legend.



20 dinar, 1931 and 50 dinar, 1932.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 04:05:39 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 07:11:06 PM »
On the 9th October 1934, Alexander began a state visit to France. While being chauffeured through Marseilles, he was assassinated, along with his chauffeur, by gunman Vlado Chernozemski. His assassin was a Bulgarian member of the Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation, which aimed to unite the Greek and Yugoslav parts of Macedonia with Bulgarian Macedonia. Chernozemski died shortly after the shooting, as a result of being struck with a sword by a French policeman and then being beaten by members of the crowd. Film taken of the King’s visit, immediately before and after the assassination, can be found online.

Below you can see an image of the King (left) shortly before his assassination.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 11:49:30 PM by coffeetime »
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translateltd

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2011, 08:35:37 PM »
and officially changed the name of the country to Yugoslavia.


"Yug" is a Slavic root meaning "South", so Yugoslavia is a Slavic-based pseudo-Latin construction meaning "country of the southern Slavs".  At least it took a bit less space on the coins than "King of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes".


Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 11:55:26 PM »



After King Alexander I of Yugoslavia was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934, his eldest son succeeded to the throne at the age of eleven, becoming King Peter II.  Since he was too young to attend to affairs of state, his father’s cousin, Prince Paul, ruled the country as regent.

The first and only coins to bear the portrait of King Peter II were issued in 1938: the 10, 20 and 50 dinar coins. Frano Menegelo Dincic designed both obverse and reverse of the coins. They are unusual in that the King faces to the left on the 20 dinar obverse but to the right on the other two coins. The legends on the 20 dinar piece are in the Latin alphabet but in Cyrillic on the other denominations. 

The inscriptions on the obverse of the 20 and 50 dinar pieces both read “Peter II of Yugoslavia”, but the inscription on the 10 dinar piece translates as “Kingdom of Yugoslavia”.



10 dinar, 1938;  20 dinar, 1938;  50 dinar, 1938.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 04:10:42 PM by <k> »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 12:01:34 AM »
It is interesting to look at the reverse of the coins and notice the difference in the Cyrillic script used for the word “dinara” on the 10 and 50 dinar denominations. Has a different font been used for each, or is it simply that one legend appears in upper case, whilst the other is in lower case?
 
It is also worth looking at the obverse of the 1938 one dinar coin. While it does not show the King’s portrait, it carries a superb design of the royal crown, which can be seen to be ornamented with the double-headed eagle.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 12:02:24 AM »
Meanwhile, Prince Paul ruled the country. According to Wikipedia:

Prince Paul, far more than Alexander, was Yugoslav rather than Serb in outlook. In its broadest outline his domestic policy was to eliminate the heritage of the Alexandrine dictatorship and to pacify the country by solving the Serb-Croat problem. In August 1939 he set up the Banovina of Croatia, which granted Croatia a certain amount of autonomy.

Paul kept Yugoslavia neutral after the outbreak of World War 2, but by March 1941, though pro-Allied in his sympathies, he felt obliged to sign the Tripartite pact and cooperate with the Nazis. Two days later he was deposed in a military coup by anti-Nazi officers opposed to the pact, and King Peter was installed in power.  The next month Hitler attacked Yugoslavia and dismembered it after its surrender on 17th April. King Peter fled the country with his government, ending up in England in June, where he later joined the RAF.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 11:51:48 PM by coffeetime »
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Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 12:02:46 AM »
The war in Yugoslavia was complicated by the fact that the two main resistance groups, the Royalist Chetniks and the communist Partisans, began to wage a civil war against each other. When the Allies realised that the Chetniks were putting their efforts into defeating the Partisans rather than the Nazis, they switched their support to the Partisans.

The Partisan leader, Josep Broz, known as Tito, stood in elections after the end of the war and was elected prime minister of Yugoslavia. On 29 November 1945, King Peter was formally deposed by the Yugoslav Constituent Assembly. Tito went on to transform Yugoslavia into a communist state. The former king emigrated to the USA, where he died in 1970.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 01:23:19 AM »
Inotice the difference in the Cyrillic script used for the word “dinara” on the 10 and 50 dinar denominations. Has a different font been used for each, or is it simply that one legend appears in upper case, whilst the other is in lower case?

The 10 dinar you are showing has the denomination in latin characters.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 01:26:14 AM »
The 10 dinar you are showing has the denomination in latin characters.

Peter

I thought that might be the case, although the letter "A" looks very odd, as though it is Cyrillic and in lower case, whereas the other characters are Latin and in upper case. Stranger again is the fact that the legends on the other side, the obverse, are all in Cyrillic.
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translateltd

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2011, 01:49:12 AM »

The first and only coins to bear the portrait of King Peter II were issued in 1938: the 10, 20 and 50 dinar coins. Frano Menegelo Dincic designed both obverse and reverse of the coins. They are unusual in that the King faces to the left on the 20 dinar obverse but to the right on the other two coins. The legends on the 20 dinar piece are in the Latin alphabet but in Cyrillic on the other denominations. 


Something else I'd never noticed before - look at the designer's name below the effigy: F. DINCIC in Latin letters (accented, Croatian spelling) on one and again in Cyrillic letters (Serbian spelling) on the other.


Offline <k>

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2011, 01:59:55 AM »
Something else I'd never noticed before - look at the designer's name below the effigy: F. DINCIC in Latin letters (accented, Croatian spelling) on one and again in Cyrillic letters (Serbian spelling) on the other.



That makes sense, as they are in the same script as the other legends on their respective obverses.
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translateltd

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Re: Yugoslavia: Two Kings on Coins
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2011, 08:54:38 PM »
That makes sense, as they are in the same script as the other legends on their respective obverses.

The point of interest for me being that they got the same fellow to do both alphabet versions with the left and right-facing portraits (just coincidence that both the Serbian ones face the same way, and the Croatian one in the opposite direction?)