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Offline <k>

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Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« on: April 01, 2017, 06:28:39 PM »
Parent topic:

Vichy France: Its history and coinage



I have read a fair amount on the subject of Vichy, but you do not have to agree with my interpretation. You can debate it here, raise any issues, or point out errors.  ;)

 
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 08:15:00 PM by <k> »
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2017, 08:31:40 PM »
The comment the first. Even today, there is a link between royalists and the extremists of the right. Both like to promise to "make the country great again". To a degree, this explains the high level of collaboration of the French in Vichy times: support for Pétain could be constructed as a patriotic move.

The comment the second. A wreath was needed on the Lindauer types because they were holed. There are other French coins with oak wreaths, e.g. the Hercules big silver coins. I haven't checked this, but maybe royalty preferred olive, while the republic liked oak better. In any case, the olive wreath is used here as a symbol for victory, not a symbol of peace. The peace symbol is rather Oudiné's Ceres or Roty's sower.

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2017, 08:37:18 PM »
And another one. I disagree with Numista that the portrait on the Morlon coins is Marianne. She is female and wears a Phrygian cap, but on the cap is a wreath with agricultural products, attributes of Ceres. Compare the Oudiné series, sporting a female head with te same wreath, but without the Phrygian cap.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2017, 08:40:08 PM »
Even today, there is a link between royalists and the extremists of the right.

That's because some of those extremists are elitist. Fascists were generally more in favour of a mass movement, however artificial. Mussolini had to suffer the King, who eventually dismissed him. I think fascists, being more "revolutionary" and totalitarian in nature, generally prefer to govern without kings, where possible.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 08:45:24 PM »
For similar reasons (the olive wreath on the Phrygian cap), the portrait on the Turin coins is not Marianne, but either Eirene, goddess of peace, or Athena Nike, goddess of victory. On classical coins, Nike usually has the wreath in her hand, offering it to Zeus or someone else and she is usually shown as quite small compared to Zeus, so I would favour Eirene, which ties in nicely with the cornucopia on the other side (peace and plenty).

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2017, 08:52:01 PM »
Indeed, the political love between royalists and the extreme right doesn't run two ways, but royalism is a fringe movement, seeking a political base. The extreme right is heartily detested by large parts of the population and looking for legitimacy, especially where they came in by force. Hitler expected Q. Wilhelmina to return to the Netherlands and was surprised she opposed him, in spite of being married to a German nobleman. In France, Pétain, a military national hero, was a perfect vehicle to acquire legitimacy.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #6 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?
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 12:46:01 AM »
Excellent pictures. A first for me to see that the handle of the Francisque is actually Pétain's personal marshal's staff. His name is below and above is the traditional motto TERROR BELLI DECUS PACIS, a terror in war, an ornament in peacetime. The engraver, Lucien Bazor, apparently figured the letters would be too small to be read, so he made them larger. As a consequence, the text fragment (S PACIS) is out of whack with the size of the staff: at this size, it would have been impossible to get the whole text around the staff. Note that the staff has stars, which they had after the French revolution only. Before, they had heraldic lilies.

Peter

photo: By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 01:08:18 AM »
I'd wondered what "S PACIS" was part of. Now I know.

When I saw Pétain's standard, with those colours and those stars, it made me think of Marvel comics: Captain America, Wonder Woman. Yes, it looked very American. Not what I'd expect from France.



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Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 08:25:37 PM »
So, I have finished my topic, at long last. It contains a lot more posts than coins, and I did include stamps too, although they are not strictly relevant to the topic. Here I include a couple more sets from 1943: top - National Aid; bottom - National Aid and Pétain's birthday.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 08:27:08 PM »
A final stamp. This one is from 1944, and it celebrates Pétain's 84th birthday.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 08:29:43 PM »
France had an empire, and I didn't deal with how the war changed the overseas coinage, if at all. One day I will deal with that - unless some knowledgeable person wants to volunteer?  ;)

Eventually I intend to link all my "fascism and World War 2" topics together, but I still have a fair way to go, before I do that.  :-\
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #12 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.

There are modern circulating commemoratives relating to the period, such as the 2 euros 2010 commemorating De Gaulle's radioed appeal on June 18th, 1940, 2014 on the 70th anniversary of operation Overlord, 2015 on the end of the second wold war and 2016 on the centennial of François Mitterrand's birth.

We have a very interesting medal here. For your future activities, this thread may be relevant.

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

Offline chrisild

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #13 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

Offline <k>

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Re: Comments on "Vichy France: Its history and coinage"
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 10:42:52 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 ...

This is something that others have established elsewhere, when talking about Vichy. In 1940, the population of France was 39 million. According to Wikipedia: "The French had to pay costs for the 300,000-strong German occupation army, amounting to 20 million Reichsmarks per day, paid at the artificial rate of twenty francs to the Reichsmark. This was 50 times the actual costs of the occupation garrison." So, given all this, would it have been worth the time and expense of replacing the old coinage? France also had considerable labour shortages, due to the Nazis keeping prisoners-of-war in Germany.

One thing I learnt, from one of the books I was reading, was that France also had a handful of tiny pro-Nazi movements, in addition to the main collaborationist parties. One of these grouplets was called the French National Socialist Party, and it was led by a man called Christian Message;D
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