Author Topic: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935  (Read 2231 times)

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Offline <k>

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Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:44:29 PM »
After World War 1, the Ottoman Empire was dismembered by the Western powers, but Mustafa Kemal Atatürk managed to create a strong and unified Turkey from its ruins. He modernised the country, gave it a Latinised alphabet, turned it secular, and regarded the fez as "old hat" and accordingly banned it.

Percy Metcalfe, an artist and sculptor employed by the Royal Mint in the UK, had produced modern designs for Egypt and Iraq. Atatürk had seen these designs and wanted something similarly modern. Metcalfe was therefore invited to the Turkish Mint, where he produced some designs in typical art deco style. The Royal Mint was keen to persuade the Turks to have these coins produced at the Royal Mint, but they refused, and the Turks minted them themselves.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 06:47:22 PM »
The reverse of the 1 and 5 kurus showed a typically stylised Metcalfe design of olive leaves. The design also sported the very angular numerals that seemed to be his trademark. The 5 kurus design was last minted in 1943.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 06:50:24 PM »
The 10 kurus carried a delightful design of oak leaves with heavily stylised acorns and acorn cups.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 06:52:31 PM »
An ear of wheat appeared on the 25 and 50 kurus coins.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 07:00:29 PM »
The first 1 lira of the series did not appear until 1937. This one is dated 1939. The portrait of Atatürk was also Metcalfe's work. It looks rather similar to previous portraits of him, but the very straight line of the neck shows Metcalfe's trademark angularity once more. The same portrait also appeared on the reverse of the 25 and 50 kurus of the series, but the lower denominations all carried the same obverse of the star and crescent that you can see illustrated on the image of the 1 kurus, upthread. The reverse of the 1 lira coin differs from that design in that it includes two stylised wheat ears.

To our modern eyes, these designs may now look rather old-fashioned, but compared to the old designs, with wreaths and ribbons, they look refreshingly pristine and uncluttered.
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 11:44:21 PM »
To our modern eyes, these designs may now look rather old-fashioned, but compared to the old designs, with wreaths and ribbons, they look refreshingly pristine and uncluttered.

Indeed. Good designs in my opinion - I like the way he used "classical" elements such as the oak leaves but in an almost abstract way. Metcalfe also went away from strict symmetry. The digits look characteristic too, especially the 5 ...

Christian

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Offline <k>

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 03:55:14 PM »


Turkey, 1 lira, 1935.  Pattern.

Image copyright of The Royal Mint Museum.



Metcalfe's wonderful design above did not ultimately find its way into Turkey's coinage.

See: Percy Metcalfe: unrealised designs.
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 06:15:04 PM »
Interesting design indeed, but it would have "broken" the series of plant-based coins. This dog design does not look particularly Turkish to me, but that also applies to the leaves and ears ...

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2020, 07:35:01 PM »
It's actually supposed to be a wolf, which is a national symbol of Turkey. Admittedly it's hardly a realistic wolf. It looked like a jackal to me when I first saw it and made me think of the Egyptian god Anubis. It's a fine example of art deco, nonetheless.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2020, 08:22:21 PM »
It's a fine example of art deco, nonetheless.

Very much agreed. Art deco works wonderfully on coins and Metcalfe is really good at it. Denmark continued with art deco designs after it had lost its popularity and their coins look great.

Funnily, that same art fashion didn't do so well in architecture. To the contemporary eye, they look overdecorated, chaotic or generally weird. The generic haunted mansion of cartoons is either a wooden shed falling apart or an art deco ("gothic") mansion whose windows and front door make it resemble a skull.

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

Offline andyg

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2020, 08:39:02 PM »
The generic haunted mansion of cartoons is either a wooden shed falling apart or an art deco ("gothic") mansion whose windows and front door make it resemble a skull.

Peter

Or occasionally a skyscraper ;D

always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

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Re: Turkey's modernised coinage of 1935
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2020, 05:40:23 PM »
I saw one of these Art Deco Turkish Republic coins in the Istanbul Museum and had to get one.


Turkey 100 Kurush 1934
Silver, 30 mm, 11.88 gm

100 Kurush (piastres) was a Turkish Lira or Pound

:)
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