Author Topic: Belgian Coin  (Read 237408 times)

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Galapagos

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Belgian Coin
« on: September 22, 2009, 07:29:27 PM »
When I went youth-hostelling in Europe in the 1970s, I picked up some Belgian coins, amongst others. (No, this picture isn't mine). The leaves on the obverse of this coin are very stylised, and I wonder what kind of leaves they are meant to be. Also, the squiggle under the King's portrait on the obverse - what is it?

Would a3v1 know anything about this? I get confused - is he a Belgian living in France?

Offline chrisild

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 09:35:24 PM »
Let me answer the easier bits. :) The king is Baudouin (French) or Boudewijn (Dutch), Albert's predecessor. The leaves are those of a laurel twig.

(Edit) Underneath the portrait there should be the mintmaster's sign and the mintmark. The designer was Harry Elstrom, I think, so the text in the middle could be his name ...

Christian
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 09:43:21 PM by chrisild »

Galapagos

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 09:42:41 PM »
I do like this coin. It's a reasonably good design. And it reminds me of my youth and of the variety of pre-euro coinage - now lost forever.   :-\

Offline chrisild

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 09:46:22 PM »
If you were older, you would probably regret having "lost" the dozens of different currencies in what in 1871 became the German Empire. You cannot have "it all", and people who do not like the euro are free to collect other coins.

As for the design, I think it is interesting that they left the king's name out here. But I remember those 20 F pieces, and I always thought that something was missing on that side. Now the portrait on the 5 F coin ...

Christian
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 09:49:10 PM by chrisild »

Galapagos

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 09:50:43 PM »
>If you were older, you would probably regret having "lost" the dozens of different currencies...

No, I wouldn't, because I'm a thematic collector of representational designs. There weren't many around, pre the 1920s. (Anyway, if you look at my profile, you'll see I'm 304). And many euro-countries use only either one or three different designs. And never before have so many countries (because of the euro) used the same specifications for their coins.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2009, 10:03:07 PM »
My plantologist side ventures that they're stylized olive branches. You will find few olive trees in Belgium, so I'd say they refer to peace.

Chrisild is quite right. The three squiggles are (left) unknown to me, (middle) the signature of Harry ElstrÝm, the designer and (right) what looks like the head of Saint Michael, the mark of the Brussels Mint since the early 1500's.

Wikipedia (Dutch version) says: ElstrÝm's father was a Danish industrialist, his mother a British author. In 1913, the family moved to Dresden, where young Mr. ElstrÝm studied art at the technical university from 1918 to 1924. Immediately thereafter, he registered at the Academia Brittanica in Rome, Italy, where he participated in the excavation of Pompei. In 1928, he joined the Academy of Arts in Brussels. In 1934 he started his career as independent artist. Among his best known work is the crucifiction in the basilica of Koekelberg. He made over 300 statutes and plaquettes. ElstrÝm also designed numerous medals, stamps and coins. He was renowned for his innovative work in the area of religious art. In 1940 he became sculpting teacher at the Sint Luke institute in Brussels and in 1952 he was appointed teacher in the architecture department of the royal university of Leuven.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 11:06:25 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Galapagos

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2009, 10:09:13 PM »
Thanks for the explanation, Figleaf. The left-hand mintmark looks like a stylised flower of some kind, now that you've enlarged it. I'll have to Google some more of that designer. I do enjoy learning about designers.

I also like the spelling "crucifiction" - very pleasing to atheists.  ;)

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2009, 10:11:51 PM »
And never before have so many countries (because of the euro) used the same specifications for their coins.

That can't be true. The German unification process slowly imposed two standards where there had been many, bringing it to a single standard at unification. Another example are the British reforms of 1816, which (in theory) imposed British standard coins on all its colonies. Yet another is the Latin Monetary Union, when a large number of countries used the Franc de Germinal and the Napolťon d'or as standard. However, you are right insofar as none of these examples came about because of the euro. ;)

Maybe Steve Jobs is an atheist? I probably typed some gibberish that was auto-corrected. Mmm. Tried to reconstruct the effect, but couldn't. I must have typed that. How Freudian.

a3v1 is Dutch, though he might be an honorary Belgian. His present specialty is euro coins. To un-confuse yourself about what members like, click on the confusing name and look at the person's stats.

Peter
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 11:03:27 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2009, 10:32:13 PM »
Here is that 5 francs/frank coin I mentioned. Quite an "innovative" design, but I wonder whether the king really liked it. :)


(From Wikipedia)

Christian

Galapagos

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2009, 10:37:36 PM »
Yes, I have that one too, along with quite a few Belgian coins, in Flemish and cheese-eating-surrender-monkey-language versions. It's a strong design. The Swedish (1970s/80s) and Dutch have also been quite keen on modernistic portrayals of their monarchs.

Offline bart

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Re: Belgian Coin
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2010, 09:37:24 PM »
My plantologist side ventures that they're stylized olive branches. You will find few olive trees in Belgium, so I'd say they refer to peace.

Chrisild is quite right. The three squiggles are (left) unknown to me, (middle) the signature of Harry ElstrÝm, the designer and (right) what looks like the head of Saint Michael, the mark of the Brussels Mint since the early 1500's.

Peter

The mintmark on the left is the mark of mintmaster De Vogelaer, who was the predecessor of Romain Coenen.

Bart
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 10:01:25 AM by bart »