Animals: known individuals and models

Started by <k>, September 29, 2012, 06:06:23 PM

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<k>

There have been many wildlife designs on coins, but normally we think of the animals depicted on them as anonymous, generic, or mere archetypes. However, a few designs have been modelled on known individuals. I intend to show some of them here, and I invite our members to post other examples that they know about.
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<k>

#1


Jonathan the giant tortoise, photographed in 2010.





Jonathan on St Helena in 1900. One of the men present is an Afrikaner prisoner from the Boer war.




Jonathan the giant tortoise, as depicted on the St Helena-Ascension five pence coin of 1998.

The design is by Robert Elderton.

This is the only case known to me where an individual animal has been named on a coin.

Jonathan the giant tortoise is a real inhabitant of St Helena, a kind of mascot.

He is thought to be over 170 years old.
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<k>

#2
The Buffalo nickel or Indian Head nickel was a copper-nickel five cent piece struck by the United States Mint from 1913 to 1938. It was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser.






Buffalo nickel. The animal depicted is more properly known as an American bison.






The animal depicted on the nickel is thought to have been modelled on Black Diamond, pictured above.

From Wikipedia:

Black Diamond was a buffalo or North American bison, housed at Central Park Menagerie (Central Park Zoo); according to legend, he was the model for the US buffalo nickel coin introduced in 1913, designed and sculpted by American sculptor James Earle Fraser in 1911.

Black Diamond was born in 1893 of a bull and cow given to the zoo by Barnum and Bailey. He weighed 1550 pounds (ultimately yielding 750 pounds of usable meat). He was a popular attraction at the zoo.

Sick and disabled at age 22, Black Diamond was put up for auction June 28, 1915. However, no bids were received. He was purchased for slaughter in a private sale for $300 by A. Silz, inc., a game and poultry dealer. He was slaughtered November 17 and "Black Diamond Steaks" were sold for $2 a pound. Fred Santer, a New York taxidermist, mounted Black Diamond's head and turned his hide into a then-fashionable 13-foot automobile robe.

In the April 1952 issue of Natural History Magazine, George S. Goodwin, the Associate Curator of Mammals at the Museum of Natural History, wrote "(Black Diamond) was an excellent object for the artistic brush. ... Despite his size, he was quite docile. This virtue made him the perfect model." However, James Fraser never said that Black Diamond had been his model, and the Bureau of the Mint has doubts as to whether any specific bison was Fraser's model, their argument being that Fraser would have been well familiar with the species already.

He is also reported to have been the model for the back of the 1901 series $10 note.


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chrisild

#3
This one only shows the skeleton of an animal, but it is an individual one. Below the building (a former monastery in Stralsund which later became a maritime museum) you see the skeleton of a fin whale. That big whale was stranded on the coast of Rügen, a nearby island, in 1825. (Image: Honscha/emuenzen.de) Here is the whale as it looks today: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/Stralsund_Meeresmuseum_Walskelett.jpg

Christian

<k>

So there we have a third category: an unknown individual.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Prosit

If you consider "known" to include "a specific un-named individual" then that skeleton is a model of an individual rather than a species image.

It is your catagory, however you want to define "known" is of course entirely up to you.

Dale




Quote from: <k> on September 29, 2012, 07:42:27 PM
So there we have a third category: an unknown individual.

<k>

OK, let's include known unnamed individuals too. They must be real individuals and not fictional. Perhaps a skeleton of an individual is pushing it a bit, but I won't quibble.
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Prosit

I think it is going to be a short catagory as is but I have been wrong before.  I know you find that hard to believe but it is true.  ;)
Dale

Quote from: <k> on September 29, 2012, 08:44:18 PM
OK, let's include known unnamed individuals too. They must be real individuals and not fictional. Perhaps a skeleton of an individual is pushing it a bit, but I won't quibble.

<k>

#8


An Australian shilling dated 1938.

In 1938 Australia introduced a new design series of circulation coins. A merino breed of ram appeared on the shilling, and remained there until 1966, when Australia adopted decimal currency.





The ram on the shilling was modelled on an individual known as Uardry 0.1, shown above.  After the ram won the Sydney Show Grand Champion award of 1932, he was known as Hallmark. He came from a stud farm known as Uardry. Originally the farm was named Wardry, but another nearby farm shared the name, so it was changed to Uardry, the Aboriginal word for the yellow box tree. The new name was still pronounced in the same way: "WOR-dree". After the release of the new shilling in 1938, Hallmark was nicknamed "The Shilling Ram". He became quite a local celebrity, and schoolchildren and others would visit him at his farm.


Douglas Annand 1942.jpeg

Douglas Annand.

The initials that appear on the design, K.G., suggest that it was the work of Englishman George Kruger-Gray, an engraver at the Royal Mint, then located in London. However, the evidence shows that the main design was provided by the Australian artist Douglas Annand, and that George Kruger-Gray merely amended this and altered the accompanying text.

The original artwork, seen below, was produced by Douglas Annand. His initials DA can also be seen. His design was later amended somewhat by George Kruger-Gray.

 
DouglasAnnandshilling.jpg
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<k>

Quote from: Prosit on September 29, 2012, 08:51:20 PM
I think it is going to be a short catagory as is

Brilliance and brevity go very well together, I think.  8)

> but I have been wrong before.  I know you find that hard to believe but it is true.  ;)

;D  Well, a little BIRD tells me we are not finished yet.
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villa66

Quote from: <k> on September 29, 2012, 06:16:38 PM
The Buffalo nickel or Indian Head nickel was a copper-nickel five cent piece struck by the United States Mint from 1913 to 1938. It was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser.






Buffalo nickel. The animal depicted is more properly known as an American bison.




A 1937d three-legged Buffalo nickel! Always looked for these things, but with no luck.

:) v.

villa66

#11
The American Flying Eagle cent of 1856-58 was another coin that pictured a specific animal. The flying eagle on the coin is said to be a likeness of "Peter the Mint Bird," who took up residence in the pressroom of the first Philadelphia Mint and lived there amid the coining machinery until he was killed some years later in an accident. (He was perched on a flywheel and was slammed to the floor when the machine was started.) A collection was taken up and Peter was stuffed by a taxidermist. Today he sits in a glass case in the mint cabinet room, the model for the eagles on many of our coins, and much of our paper money.

A well-used "Peter the Mint Bird" cent:

villa66

(And now, to take care of that whole brevity thing. ;) )

The Flying Eagle cent was America's first "small cent." Many of these coins—which were often called "nickels" or "nicks" because of their 88% copper, 12% nickel alloy—entered circulation through exchanges for the small, badly worn Spanish and Mexican silver coins that were legal tender in the U.S. until being outlawed in 1857 (although their withdrawal from circulation wasn't completed until 1859).

The new Flying Eagle cents circulated in massive (even bothersome) quantities before the Civil War, but by 1862 had mostly disappeared because of wartime hoarding. The copper-nickel "white cents" (1856-58 Flying Eagles and 1859-64 Indian Heads) reappeared in circulation at the end of the war in early 1865, and Flying Eagle cents could be found in pocket change into the early 20th century.

Their "nickel" nickname was much shorter-lived, however, being transferred to the new copper-nickel 3-cent piece introduced in 1865, and then ultimately fastened on the new (and very popular) copper-nickel 5-cent piece introduced in 1866, which, by the early 1870s,  had displaced the old silver half-dime.

The coin that the new Flying Eagle cents had replaced—the American large cent—disappeared with the Civil War, and except for some scattered, occasional use, particularly outside the country, never reentered circulation (despite retaining its status as legal tender up to the present day).

The retired large cents of 1793-1857 quickly became one of Americans' favorite collectibles. In fact, it might be fair to say that the American coin collecting hobby began with the introduction of the Flying Eagle cent, because it was the Flying Eagle—aka Peter the Mint Bird—that retired the large cent.

:) v.

<k>

#13
peter_phlMint.jpg

peter.jpg

Peter the eagle lived at the first Philadelphia Mint building.

Here he is in death, as he appears at the current Philadelphia Mint.
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villa66

#14
On the 1953 Coronation crown the Queen is riding her horse "Winston." The animal had been born in 1937, the year Elizabeth's father was crowned king. The horse, which had been acquired in 1944, was retired in 1956 and died in 1957. It seems, then, that the Churchill crown of 1965 was not the first time Elizabeth and Winston had appeared on a coin together.

And ditto for the American 1925 Stone Mountain commemorative half dollar--Robert E. Lee would be mounted on "Traveller" I'll bet.

;) v.




UK 5 shillings, 1953.



UK 25 pence, 1977.