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Belgium Brussels Exposition 50 Francs 1935 Robot Coins

Started by WillieBoyd2, August 29, 2022, 05:23:40 AM

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WillieBoyd2

I began collecting modern foreign coins in the mid 1960's and I bought a 1966 world coins catalog titled A Catalog of Modern World Coins By R. S. Yeoman.

One of the illustrations was for a Belgian silver 50 franc coin commemorating the "Brussels Exposition 1935". There was no other description for the coin and the value for one in very-fine (VF) condition was $12.00.

The coin had an interesting design. The obverse had a figure which looked like a robot and the reverse had a building which looked like something from a science-fiction movie.

I wanted one of these coins but at the time (1966) I did not have much money.

As an adult I learned that the "robot" was the angel St. Michael slaying a dragon and the building was the Palace of Expositions which is still standing.

I must have walked by the Palace of Expositions during my visit to Brussels in 1971 because I remember visiting the futuristic "Atomium" from the 1958 World's Fair which was built nearby.


Belgium Brussels World's Fair "Atomium" in 1971

Belgium issued this coin in a French language version and a Dutch language version.

Besides commemorating the Brussels Exposition it also commemorated the centennial of the Belgian railroad system.

The French version of the coin:


Belgium 50 Francs 1935 - French
Silver, 35.0 mm, 22.03 gm

Obverse:
Saint Michael standing on slain dragon
ROYAUME DE BELGIQUE EXPOSITION DE BRUXELLES 50 FR
Reverse:
Palace of Expositions building
CENTENAIRE DES CHEMINS DE FER BELGES 1835-1935

The Dutch version of the coin:


Belgium 50 Francs 1935 - Dutch
Silver, 35.0 mm, 21.96 gm

Obverse:
Saint Michael standing on slain dragon
KONINKRIJK BELGIE BRUSSELSCHE TENTOONSTELLING 50 FR
Reverse:
Palace of Expositions building
EEUWGETIJDE DER BELGISCHE SPOORWEGEN 1835-1935

The 1958 World's Fair also had commemorative coins issued.

The French version of the coin:


Belgium 50 Francs 1958 - French
Silver, 30.0 mm, 12.55 gm

Obverse:
Head of King Baudouin facing left
BAUDOUIN ROI DES BELGES
Reverse:
Brussels Grand Place and Town Hall with emblem of World's Fair at left
1958 50 F

The Dutch version of the coin:


Belgium 50 Francs 1958 - Dutch
Silver, 30.0 mm, 12.40 gm

Obverse:
Head of King Baudouin facing left
BOUDEWIJN KONING DER BELGEN
Reverse:
Brussels Grand Place and Town Hall with emblem of World's Fair at left
1958 50 F

:)

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Figleaf

I can see how you can view St.Michael (from the arms of Brussels) as a robot on this coin, but that's not how it's meant. It is in fact just a guy in a medieval harness trying to make kebab of cloud with his sword. The main oddity is the helmet with the oversize cross, but perhaps the cross is a dragon repellent. His ears are pretty weird also, though.

I think that you were thrown off by the style, which was fashionable in the twenties and thirties: art deco. Compare the image below in the same style. It had a similar effect on the Britishers, being known as the rocking horse crown.

Peter

Rocking horse.jpg
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.