World of Coins

Modern European coins except the euro => France => Topic started by: <k> on April 01, 2017, 06:28:39 PM

Title: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 01, 2017, 06:28:39 PM
Parent topic:

Vichy France: Its history and coinage (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,38620.0.html)



I have read a fair amount on the subject of Vichy, but you do not have to agree with my interpretation. You can debate it here, raise any issues, or point out errors.  ;)

 
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Figleaf on April 01, 2017, 08:31:40 PM
The comment the first. Even today, there is a link between royalists and the extremists of the right. Both like to promise to "make the country great again". To a degree, this explains the high level of collaboration of the French in Vichy times: support for Pétain could be constructed as a patriotic move.

The comment the second. A wreath was needed on the Lindauer types because they were holed. There are other French coins with oak wreaths, e.g. the Hercules big silver coins. I haven't checked this, but maybe royalty preferred olive, while the republic liked oak better. In any case, the olive wreath is used here as a symbol for victory, not a symbol of peace. The peace symbol is rather Oudiné's Ceres or Roty's sower.

Peter
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Figleaf on April 01, 2017, 08:37:18 PM
And another one. I disagree with Numista that the portrait on the Morlon coins is Marianne. She is female and wears a Phrygian cap, but on the cap is a wreath with agricultural products, attributes of Ceres. Compare the Oudiné series, sporting a female head with te same wreath, but without the Phrygian cap.

Peter
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 01, 2017, 08:40:08 PM
Even today, there is a link between royalists and the extremists of the right.

That's because some of those extremists are elitist. Fascists were generally more in favour of a mass movement, however artificial. Mussolini had to suffer the King, who eventually dismissed him. I think fascists, being more "revolutionary" and totalitarian in nature, generally prefer to govern without kings, where possible.
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Figleaf on April 01, 2017, 08:45:24 PM
For similar reasons (the olive wreath on the Phrygian cap), the portrait on the Turin coins is not Marianne, but either Eirene, goddess of peace, or Athena Nike, goddess of victory. On classical coins, Nike usually has the wreath in her hand, offering it to Zeus or someone else and she is usually shown as quite small compared to Zeus, so I would favour Eirene, which ties in nicely with the cornucopia on the other side (peace and plenty).

Peter
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Figleaf on April 01, 2017, 08:52:01 PM
Indeed, the political love between royalists and the extreme right doesn't run two ways, but royalism is a fringe movement, seeking a political base. The extreme right is heartily detested by large parts of the population and looking for legitimacy, especially where they came in by force. Hitler expected Q. Wilhelmina to return to the Netherlands and was surprised she opposed him, in spite of being married to a German nobleman. In France, Pétain, a military national hero, was a perfect vehicle to acquire legitimacy.

Peter
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 02, 2017, 10:30:30 PM
At the top of this page, I notice two versions of the two francs coin, dated 1943:

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/france-4.html

However, they are both still in the style of the Third Republic - but in 1943, under the Vichy regime.  :o  Does anybody know anything about these issues?
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Figleaf on April 03, 2017, 12:46:01 AM
Excellent pictures. A first for me to see that the handle of the Francisque is actually Pétain's personal marshal's staff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Marshals_of_France). His name is below and above is the traditional motto TERROR BELLI DECUS PACIS, a terror in war, an ornament in peacetime. The engraver, Lucien Bazor, apparently figured the letters would be too small to be read, so he made them larger. As a consequence, the text fragment (S PACIS) is out of whack with the size of the staff: at this size, it would have been impossible to get the whole text around the staff. Note that the staff has stars, which they had after the French revolution only. Before, they had heraldic lilies.

Peter

photo: By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 03, 2017, 01:08:18 AM
I'd wondered what "S PACIS" was part of. Now I know.

When I saw Pétain's standard, with those colours and those stars, it made me think of Marvel comics: Captain America, Wonder Woman. Yes, it looked very American. Not what I'd expect from France.



(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=38620.0;attach=69848;image)
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 03, 2017, 08:25:37 PM
So, I have finished my topic, at long last. It contains a lot more posts than coins, and I did include stamps too, although they are not strictly relevant to the topic. Here I include a couple more sets from 1943: top - National Aid; bottom - National Aid and Pétain's birthday.
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 03, 2017, 08:27:08 PM
A final stamp. This one is from 1944, and it celebrates Pétain's 84th birthday.
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 03, 2017, 08:29:43 PM
France had an empire, and I didn't deal with how the war changed the overseas coinage, if at all. One day I will deal with that - unless some knowledgeable person wants to volunteer?  ;)

Eventually I intend to link all my "fascism and World War 2" topics together, but I still have a fair way to go, before I do that.  :-\
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Figleaf on April 03, 2017, 11:31:43 PM
One coin you could add at some time is the 2 francs 1944 minted in Philadelphia. It is not a coin issued by Vichy, but it came with operation Torch and therefore circulated in Vichy territory.

There are modern circulating commemoratives relating to the period, such as the 2 euros 2010 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,5744.msg68742.html#msg68742) commemorating De Gaulle's radioed appeal on June 18th, 1940, 2014 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,22329.0.html) on the 70th anniversary of operation Overlord, 2015 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,28000.0.html) on the end of the second wold war and 2016 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,34591.0.html) on the centennial of François Mitterrand's birth.

We have a very interesting medal here (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,5757.0.html). For your future activities, this thread (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,24534.0.html) may be relevant.

Peter
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: chrisild on April 04, 2017, 01:21:24 AM
You wrote that "All Vichy’s coins circulated throughout the whole of France, alongside the old Third Republic issues." In other words, the coins with the "old" motto Liberté - Egalité - Fraternité stayed in circulation. Now that is something that I have always found strange, as the occupation regime probably disliked that motto. Hard to imagine that they did not take those coins out of circulation ...

As for the "Marianne or not" issue, well, cgb.fr has a very diplomatic approach. ;) They simply say (http://www.cgb.fr/1-franc-morlon-1939-paris-f-219-10-sup55,fmd_108676,a.html) "Buste de la République à gauche" etc.

Christian
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 04, 2017, 10:42:52 AM
You wrote that "All Vichy’s coins circulated throughout the whole of France, alongside the old Third Republic issues." In other words, the coins with the "old" motto Liberté - Egalité - Fraternité stayed in circulation. Now that is something that I have always found strange, as the occupation regime probably disliked that motto. Hard to imagine that they did not take those coins out of circulation ...

This is something that others have established elsewhere, when talking about Vichy. In 1940, the population of France was 39 million. According to Wikipedia: "The French had to pay costs for the 300,000-strong German occupation army, amounting to 20 million Reichsmarks per day, paid at the artificial rate of twenty francs to the Reichsmark. This was 50 times the actual costs of the occupation garrison." So, given all this, would it have been worth the time and expense of replacing the old coinage? France also had considerable labour shortages, due to the Nazis keeping prisoners-of-war in Germany.

One thing I learnt, from one of the books I was reading, was that France also had a handful of tiny pro-Nazi movements, in addition to the main collaborationist parties. One of these grouplets was called the French National Socialist Party, and it was led by a man called Christian Message.  ;D
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 04, 2017, 10:49:48 AM
One coin you could add at some time is the 2 francs 1944 minted in Philadelphia. It is not a coin issued by Vichy, but it came with operation Torch and therefore circulated in Vichy territory.

Belgium had a similar two francs liberation issue - see here (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,38440.msg242761.html#msg242761)

As for modern commemoratives, lots of countries have issued some, of course, including Gibraltar - see  here (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,17748.msg123633.html#msg123633).
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: chrisild on April 04, 2017, 02:42:03 PM
So, given all this, would it have been worth the time and expense of replacing the old coinage?

Well, my thoughts were not about money supply - I primarily had the "political message" in mind. I mean, in several occupied countries/territories the nazi regime replaced the old money with new issues. In the Netherlands, for example, the Queen had to "go". And in France they allowed coins to stay in circulation that refer to Liberty and Equality? Tsk tsk tsk. ;)

Christian
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 04, 2017, 06:12:22 PM
The Nazis allowed Vichy some nominal independence, and they evidently had higher priorities than the look of the coinage. Also, the cynical Nazis had plenty of leverage where the most pressing issues (for them) were concerned.
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: chrisild on April 05, 2017, 12:18:20 PM
they evidently had higher priorities than the look of the coinage

Yeah, quite possibly or very likely so. Totalitarian regimes tend to replace "everyday" symbols that do not suit them. But even back home in the Reich the nazis did, for example, never replace the Fraktur characters on the coins with Antiqua, despite Hitler's order from January 1941.

Christian
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Dave M on April 14, 2017, 12:48:59 AM
Thanks very much for this great write-up <k>, it was an enjoyable read. I registered in the forum to read and reply. I don't know if you have or plan to write about the Free French in a similar fashion, but here are a couple images you're welcome to use if you like.

Dave

(http://go-fast.org/FrenchCoins/images/France%201940%201f%20Lorraine%20a.png)

(http://www.frenchbanknotes.com/frprints/images/dj-P-11-a.jpg)
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 14, 2017, 02:14:44 AM
Glad you liked it, Dave. I'm not well up on the Free French - would require a lot of searching and reading first, especially as regards the coins. How about you - how's your knowledge? You could always start a topic and see what response you get. It would be a great counterpart to my topic.

That's a fascinating-looking coin, BTW. Is that a counter mark? What's the story behind it?
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Dave M on April 14, 2017, 03:24:06 AM
Ah, I was hoping you'd say you were an expert in the area and would be writing this next chapter soon :)

I don't know much about them myself. The banknote is quite rare, and "Les Billets de la Banque de l'Indochine" states:
"After the overprint <<BIC>> on the banknotes [earlier issue] ... the Banque de l'Indochine, wishing to show support for the Free French effort, had all the banknotes circulating in Djibouti overprinted with a stamp less anonymous than the first series" (followed by a description of this overprint).

To my understanding the counterstamp on the Morlon coin has the same motivation, to "show support" for the Free French, where the French Colonies were split, some under Vichy, some (including Djibouti) to the Free French.

The banknotes were overprinted from 1943-1945.
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on April 14, 2017, 10:54:33 AM
Thanks, Dave.

The symbols on the French Vichy coins are easy to understand. Beyond that I just gave a relatively detailed overview of the regime, as I've read a lot about that period in European history.  You could try researching your items on the internet and then letting us know what you find. Once you research something, things start to click, and you may be surprised at what you are capable of.
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: Figleaf on April 24, 2017, 10:28:15 PM
@Dave M: very interesting pieces. Thanks for posting.

The Banque d'Indochine was a French colonial banknote issuing bank. Originally, they had offices in Paris and French colonies in Asia only. From 1888, they ventured into French colonies outside Asia also. The following year saw the opening of offices in China, followed by Hong Kong in 1894. In 1908, they got themselves an office in Djibouti (Côte française des Somalis). As Japanese pressure on French Indochina increased, they opened short-lived offices in Japan.

In 1936, Italy invaded and eventually captured Ethiopia. This may have been an important reason why the colonial government in Djibouti chose to support the Vichy government. The allies reacted by blocking the port of Djibouti, which caused a major famine. In December 1942, Djibouti changed sides and the port was re-opened.

It is clear from this timeline that "Banque de l'Indochine" was the issuer and the addition Djibouti was added only to make clear that the note, dated January 1943, was issued by their Djibouti office, without the permission of their Paris HQ but with the authority of the Free French government - hence the Lorraine cross over the N of FRANCS. I presume that during the famine, money had disappeared, so that when the colony joined the allies, it was in dire need of new banknotes and BIC was able to have them produced and secured.

As for the Morlon brass coins, they were replaced by an aluminium equivalent in 1941. There would have been plenty left in drawers and sofas, but they would no longer have circulated much. They were officially withdrawn in September 1949, having become virtually worthless through inflation. However, during the occupation they could be mortally dangerous if found with the counterpunch "croix de Lorraine", as a hard battle developed between the resistance and Vichy loyalists towards the end of the war. The counterpunch is of course not official, so we will never know when they were applied.

Peter
Title: Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
Post by: <k> on October 08, 2020, 06:20:08 PM
A large image of the obverse of the Vichy 1 franc coin of 1942.

Here you can see the name Pétain at the bottom of his personal baton.

See: Marshal Philippe Pétain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_P%C3%A9tain).