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Jean Paul Laenen deceased (1931-2012)

Started by bart, April 17, 2012, 08:09:14 AM

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Jean-Paul Laenen, famous sculptor and designer of the "science-fiction" effigy of king Baudouin on the Belgian 5 francs coin, died on Saturday 14/4/2012.
(link is in Dutch)

His design with king Baudouin "in 3 pieces" was a great innovation in Belgium and often criticised. Still it stands as one of the most renewing designs in Belgian numismatics.
(Pictures from



I have these coins in my collection.  Yes, a truly innovative design, instantly recognisable. Here's to Jean-Paul Laenen.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Quite an interesting portrait, yes. Maybe not "naturalistic" but still characteristic. I guess that Laenen found Albert's portraits on the later 5 fr and euro coins a little dull. ;)



I remember encountering these 5-franc pieces new in pocket change, and was immediately taken with them. So much so that they very quickly changed my opinion of the Belgian circulating coinage of those days. "Renewing" is a terrific word choice, I think.

:) v.


Making a portrait on a coin of a well-known face is difficult enough (try finding a good portrait of princess Diana), but Laenen got it quite right and added a dimension by his layered design, going from realistic to simplified/semi-abstract. I am reminded of the Luxembourg euro series, less daring, but loyal to the Laenen concept by using several styles for the portrait of the same person.

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