Author Topic: Haiti, 1 gourde, 1881  (Read 117 times)

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Online <k>

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Haiti, 1 gourde, 1881
« on: August 01, 2020, 03:40:25 PM »
Nice design. Is that Liberty or a local lady?
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Haiti, 1 gourde, 1881
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2020, 12:48:12 PM »
That's a headscarf, so it's not liberty.

The coins of this type were struck in Paris between 1880 and 1882 and carry the marks of the minting service (Régie de la Monnaie), a cornucopia and the fasces for its director, Jean Lagrange. However, it is signed by Oscar Roty and Louis Laforesterie. Roty is a known quantity. He designed the iconic sower, still in use on French euro coins.

Louis Edmond Laforesterie is a Haitian sculptor. He was born in Port-au-Prince in 1827. His parents must have been well connected. Young Louis was sent to Paris to attend the Lycée Louis le Grand. This school is considered the best of its level in the country as well as the ideal prep-school for a Grande Ecole, the obligatory stepping stone for the top official and political positions in the country. Not bad at all for the son of an immigrant merchant from Cuba.

Louis decided otherwise. Having finished the lycée, he chose the Académie des Beaux Arts, studying under François Jouffroy. He participated in exhibitions, won prizes and got himself a reputation and a workshop on 21 Boulevard des Batignolles in Paris. His style was neo-classical, his favourite subject busts and portraits on medallions.

In November 1879, his brother Charles became the Haitian State secretary of Finance, Trade and Foreign relations, succeeding Lysius Salomon, who had become president for life. Charles got his brother an income. The state bought some his work and he got to design a stamp and the head on the coin above, so it is safe to assume that his model was Haitian. However, there was no demand for his work otherwise. In 1888, Salomon was deposed, Charles lost his post and Louis returned to Paris, where he died in 1894.

Although Louis got the project by nepotism, he was undoubtedly qualified for the job.

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

Online <k>

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Re: Haiti, 1 gourde, 1881
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2020, 12:59:22 PM »
Intriguing story. Thank you.
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