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Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"

Started by <k>, April 01, 2017, 06:28:39 PM

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<k>

Quote from: 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.

Belgium had a similar two francs liberation issue - see here

As for modern commemoratives, lots of countries have issued some, of course, including Gibraltar - see  here.
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chrisild

Quote from: <k> on April 04, 2017, 10:42:52 AM
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

<k>

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.
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chrisild

Quote from: <k> on April 04, 2017, 06:12:22 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

Dave M

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





<k>

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?
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Dave M

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.

<k>

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.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Figleaf

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

<k>

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.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#25





You will know that the Vichy France 20 centimes came in two varieties: '20' and 'VINGT'.





Meanwhile, the issued 10 centimes coin came with numerals only.


Vichy France DIX centimes 1941-ptn.jpg

However, the numista site recently found a version with the word 'DIX'.

The image comes from CGB Numismatique Paris.

The piece was minted as a pattern in 1941.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Guillaume Hermann

Hello,

Quote from: <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?
Sorry but wht I see on the link is Renaissance coins, there is a problem somewhere.


Guillaume Hermann

Quote from: 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.
I think no. It circulated in some former Vichy territories only after they left Vichy domination, as they arrived in GI's boats.

Neither is it a Free French issue. It is an American issue for invaded France, as they did for Italy, Germany, Japan, and other countries, about both coins, banknotes and stamps, and there has been a controversy in France, precisely under the de Gaulle/communists government, about the fact that this coin was not legal in France.
I think it only circulated in South of France. I bought mine and never saw none in my family belongings (North of France and Lyon on that period), despite hundreds coins from this period. I think I only bought 2 French coins from the 20th century in my life, 2 francs Philadelphie is one of these ! All others are from family.

Guillaume Hermann

#29
Quote from: 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 "Buste de la République à gauche" etc.

Christian
Yes, and Napoleon III issues still circulated after WWI, and my father at the beginning of the 70s still used Vichy coins, like all French...

Petain stamps have been forbidden quite soon I think (but it would need to be checked). In 2020 I bought an envelope with 2 Petain stamps not counterstamped that circulated after the city was freed, and it is not rare.