Author Topic: The Coinage of Fascist Italy  (Read 1424 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2018, 05:02:05 PM »



A new silver circulation 5 lire was issued in 1926, through to 1935. The reverse depicted an eagle, perching on the fasces. Such fierce eagles were portrayed on the military standards of ancient Rome, whose martial qualities Fascism aspired to emulate. Fascist propaganda made constant allusions to ancient Rome.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2018, 05:03:53 PM »

Unadopted trial design of the 5 lire.



Compare the coin in the previous post to this unadopted 5 lire design.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2018, 05:05:06 PM »



Compare the 5 lire to the Albanian 2 franga ari of 1926, also a product of the Rome Mint.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2018, 05:07:22 PM »

Italy, 20 lire, 1927.



Yet like the Jacobins of the French Revolution, the Fascists also claimed to have inaugurated a new era, which required its own calendar: Year 1 of the Fascist Era accordingly began with the march on Rome in 1922.

A new silver 20 lire, issued in 1927, was the first coin to give the year in both the Christian era and the so called Fascist era. However, the commonly issued version of this coin shows the letters “A.VI” next to the fasces, an abbreviation of “Anno VI”. Only 100 pieces were minted with the correct Fascist Year 5, “A.V”.  A 1928 version of the coin was issued with the Fascist year correctly shown as “A.VI”.

The reverse design shows a standing nude male holding the fasces before a seated Italia, perhaps symbolising Fascism protecting Mother Italy. The Roman numerals on this coin and later ones overtly allude to the Fascists’ identification with ancient Rome.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2018, 05:11:41 PM »

Italy, 20 lire, 1928.



Also in 1928, a blatantly triumphalist 20 lire silver coin was issued to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the World War. The reverse design showed a fasces, on whose axe blade was written the boastful motto: “Better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep”. The obverse design continued the war-like theme by portraying the King in a military helmet.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2018, 05:20:45 PM »

Mussolini and the King.



By 1928, Mussolini, aided by his skilful propaganda, was admired by many in the West as a moderate and effective dictator, who provided strong government after Italy’s years of strife. In 1870 the Kingdom of Italy had annexed the last of the Papal States, earning the enmity of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1929 Mussolini negotiated the Lateran Pacts with the Holy See, whereby the Vatican City was given its own small sovereign state and financial compensation for its territorial losses. Mussolini, the former socialist, atheist and anti-clerical republican, had now made his peace with both the Pope and the King – to the disgust of many early Fascists, who had long since left the Party. This acted as a restraint on his regime, which, though repressive, was far less brutal than some of its contemporaries.

Fascism claimed to transcend class conflict, and this sense of idealism appealed to many Italians. Its emphasis on action particularly appealed to young people and students. Its reverence of the state appealed to people who worked in the public sector, but generally not to front line workers in private industries, such as miners and factory workers. In practice, the banning of strikes and the state’s need to favour productivity over consumerism meant that the Fascist regime was right-wing. It took care, however, to give some concessions to workers, and its Dopolavoro (“After work” organisation) provided the public with various free and subsidised leisure activities, so that Fascism seemed to penetrate much of public and private life. But by now, most Fascist party members were mere opportunists, since membership could help advance their career.

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2018, 05:26:07 PM »

Italy, 50 lire (gold), 1931.   Image courtesy of Varesi Numismatica.



Fascist Italy issued a gold 50 lire collector coin in 1931, whose legend, as was now standard practice, referenced both the Christian and Fascist era years: “1931-IX”. The reverse design shows a Roman lictor with fasces. A lictor was a Roman civil servant who acted as a bodyguard to magistrates.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2018, 05:29:37 PM »

Italy, 100 lire (gold), 1931.   Image courtesy of Varesi Numismatica.



A companion gold 100 lire coin was also issued. Its reverse design features the fasces superimposed on the prow of a galley, on which an allegorical Italia is standing. The legend “IX.E.F” refers to Year 9 of the Fascist era (“Era Fascista”).  The 50 and 100 lire coins were also issued in 1932 and 1933, bearing the appropriate dates.

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2018, 05:31:47 PM »
After the Great Depression hit, extremist politics became vogue and Fascism was much imitated across Europe by new extremist parties. Hitler came to power in 1933 as an avowed admirer of Mussolini, but the Duce, who had a Jewish mistress at that time, was unimpressed by Hitler’s bizarre racist theories. When Austrian Nazis murdered Austrian chancellor Dollfuss in a failed coup attempt in July 1934, Mussolini rushed troops to the Austrian border to warn Hitler off.

See: Austrofascism.

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2018, 05:35:55 PM »

Mussolini in characteristic pose.



Yet Mussolini harboured his own ambitions and now that he had consolidated his rule, he was looking for opportunities for glory. At home, he was increasingly stung by criticisms that he was presiding over a stagnant regime that lacked direction. In 1935 Mussolini decided to invade Ethiopia, Africa’s only remaining independent state, as a response to its border skirmishes with Italian Somaliland. After its conquest in 1936, Mussolini merged it, with Italian Eritrea and Somaliland, into Italian East Africa, and King Vittorio Emanuele was made Emperor of Ethiopia. Mussolini’s popularity in Italy was now at its height.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2018, 05:42:59 PM »
In that same year, 1936, a new design series was released to celebrate the newly extended Italian Empire. The obverse legends now incorporated a reference to the King’s new status of Emperor. The Italian coinage had now become fully Fascist.

Four different designs of an eagle perched on the fasces appeared on the 5 and 50 centesimi coins and on the 1 lira and 2 lire coins. These superb eagle designs echoed a similar 5 lire design of 1926. All the reverse designs showed the fasces and the crowned shield of the House of Savoy.

Some images of the coins now follow.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2018, 05:43:59 PM »




Italy, 5 centesimi, 1936.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2018, 05:45:18 PM »

Italy, 10 centesimi, 1936.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2018, 05:48:20 PM »

Italy, 20 centesimi, 1936.   Image courtesy of DeaMoneta.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Coinage of Fascist Italy
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2018, 05:49:17 PM »

Italy, 50 centesimi, 1936.   Image courtesy of DeaMoneta.