Author Topic: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty  (Read 4121 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 601
S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« on: April 05, 2009, 12:20:07 AM »
The head, signed G. CASTIGLIONI, looks familiar, but the legend is a bit odd. Only by looking it the reverse, it becomes clear that this is not an official coin. The reverse text Lire DVE VALEVOLE NELL'INTERNO DELLA FIERA ESPOSIZIONE DE MILANO E CONVERTIBILE DALLA FIERA IN VALVTA LEGALE SINO AL 19 GIVGNO A •VI• makes it clear that this coin is worth 2 lire only inside the (old) Milan fair and only until 19th June 1928 and that it can be exchanged for official coins.

The reverse legend is striking because it mentions Benito Mussolini as head of government. The flamboyant neo-classical style would have met with il duce's approval, as would the use of the fasces in the hand of the rider, exactly in the style of the contemporary official 2 lire coins. It seems likely that A •VI• means year (anno) 6, which, counting back from 1928 would refer to 1922, the year of the March on Rome, the fascist takeover of Italy. This is a medal with clear fascist sympathies. That's why the signature on the reverse surprises: S. Johnson. Not really an Italian name. Who was he? Just an artist? A fascist sympathizer?

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

translateltd

  • Guest
Re: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 01:04:46 AM »
It seems likely that A •VI• means year (anno) 6, which, counting back from 1928 would refer to 1922, the year of the March on Rome, the fascist takeover of Italy.

Regular Italian coins of the 1930s and early 1940s were double-dated in this way, with both the Christian and Fascist era dates.



Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 601
Re: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 01:10:50 AM »
There are remarkable dissimilarities between this piece (KM X2 or X2a) and the one above. The most important is that this piece is not a token but a propaganda piece to promote neo-nazism. Mussolini's National Fascist Party was banned after the second world war, but it was succeeded immediately by similar parties, notably Alleanza Nazionale, which long had the support of Alessandra Mussolini, the dictator's granddaughter. Neo-fascists had this medal struck in the 1960's. In spite of the R mintmark it is highly unlikely to have been struck at the Rome mint.

The medal was clearly inspired by the 20 lire 1928, replacing the head of king Victor Emanuel III, who appears on other coins with a helmet, by Mussolini, who was usually shown in a military cap, not a helmet. Note that the first world war helmet on the coin was replaced by a second world war helmet on the medal. The legend MUSSOLINI MCMXLIII refers to Mussolini's capture and death in 1943.

The reverse seems the same as that of the coin (MEGLIO.VIVERE.VN.GIORNO.DA.LEONE.CHE CENTO.ANNI DA.PECORA means it is better to live one day like a lion than 100 years like a sheep), though the execution is slightly cruder. Note that on Mussolini's crypt, there are two fasces like the one on the coin. Note also that to an Italian fascist, the legend, originally referring to Italian participation in the first world war, would seem appropriate for Mussolini.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 01:17:01 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Galapagos

  • Guest
Re: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 04:33:20 PM »
I've looked at my designer references, Figleaf, and can't find any S Johnson. The closest match was an Einar Johnsson (two S's), an Icelander, but there were no Johnsons.

Mussolini was never portrayed on a Fascist era Italian coin, because he was not the head of state - the king was. Hitler never had that problem, once President Hindenburg died, but old Adolf never appeared on a German coin, though he was portrayed on plenty of stamps.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 601
Re: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 04:41:54 PM »
The S is oddly shaped. It looks a bit like a mirror image 2 or it may be a cypher of two letters.

Thanks for trying, smallpox (what's in a disease?)

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

Offline malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7 036
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Re: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 02:01:26 PM »
A search found Stefano Johnson here

and:

...When the medal firm in Milan Italy, Stefano Johnson, first placed their Janvier in production.... see here
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 02:13:05 PM by malj1 »
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline bagerap

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 272
Re: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 02:13:44 PM »
The Johnson family, originally from Birmingham I believe, have produced medals in Milan since the mid 1800s . Still going as far as I know.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 29 601
Re: S & T Token of misplaced loyalty
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 02:41:19 PM »
Thank you, gentlemen. I am shocked by the auction price of this piece. I paid 1 gulden (about 45 eurocents).

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