Author Topic: Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836  (Read 2953 times)

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Offline Overlord

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Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836
« on: May 15, 2010, 07:39:25 AM »
Mass=4.0 g

Only headless chickens manage to find nice dates these days  :(  :D

Observe Gallic cock; one foot on globe. Date 1836 below


Reverse Tamil legend Pudu/chhe/(ri)
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 03:23:28 PM by Quant.Geek »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010, 12:19:14 PM »
Pondicherry was a modest possession, with a population of 70 000. The head office and three sub-offices (trust the French to make a hierarchical government structure) produced tobacco, betel and arak, but it got about as much income from the tax levied on the goods imported for the French.

The trading post and the overseas power of its political masters in Paris were weak. It was repeatedly taken by other European powers. The Dutch even produced their own coins there. In 1770, Voltaire wrote: J'ai peur que la Compagnie Anglaise ne regarde nos petits négociants comme de petits interlopes qui viennent se glisser entre ses jambes (I fear that the English Company sees our small merchants as small interlopers that slipped between their legs). Voltaire conveniently overlooked that the French would have reacted the same way as other European powers, had they had the chance. However, France lost its comptoir not to any European power, but to India, after a popular vote in 1954 that was overwhelmingly in favor of unification with India. India's indulgence with the small enclave may have been due to the fact that the French enjoyed opening it as a safe haven for Indian patriots wanted by the British. Quite a few people now on coins spent some time in Pondicherry.

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

Offline Salvete

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Re: Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 07:13:17 PM »
That's a great piece of information, Peter.

  Your posted image of the coin makes the activities of the poor old French at Pondichery even more poignant - the phrase 'like a headless chicken' springs to mind.  It's very true, Sir, that whenever Providence gave oportunity to the French and the English to 'spike each others' guns, there was never a moment's hesitation  ;D .  The only time any of the European colonists or traders cooperated willingly was when one was attacked by an 'outside force' by which I mean Indian force. Until both sides got allies among the Indian powers, that is. Why is there an attitude that wanted to 'do down' any other European state, unless a non-European power was trying to 'do it down'?  How much more could have been achieved, with how much less bloodshed and loss of valuable property, had the home governments encouraged cooperation and not rivalry?  Or is rivalry the basis of the free market, and a requirement for progress?  Maybe hostility was the only language known to the late, great Napoleon Bonaparte?

Anyway, Peter, at least your headless chicken has a visible date   ::) !

Salvete
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.

Offline Overlord

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Re: Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2010, 10:01:49 AM »
This chicken retains its head and plume, a nice date, and the complete reverse legend. Somebody please tell him there is no reason to lose heart!

Mass=4.0 g

Obverse


Reverse
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 03:23:38 PM by Quant.Geek »

Offline Salvete

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Re: Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2010, 10:08:13 AM »
That's a nice coin, Overlord, but maybe it is the chicken that has 'lodt its heart' on this example?   ::)

Salvete
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2010, 01:05:13 PM »
Good grief. You actually found two copies :o! Unfair. ;)

The Gallic rooster is quite a complicated symbol. It originally stood for pride. His enemies said that king Philippe Auguste was as proud as a rooster on a dung heap. This turned a simple pun (rooster and Gaul are pronounced the same in latin) into a national symbol. This story shows an element of French national character still going strong: the French take pride in what their detractors see as their weak points. "La différence française" may be a negative (French silliness, stubbornness, unwillingness to adapt or compromise) for the non-French, it is a positive (French willingness to fight for its principles and values, even under heavy pressure) for the French themselves. As a French diplomat once put it to me: we may be isolated (the only country having an opinion contrary to the rest), but we are in good company. At the same time, the rooster may be one of the most popular symbols among French cartoonists poking fun at the French. Complicated.

Maybe it is no coincidence that the coins of Pondicherry use the rooster as symbol of France. As Voltaire expressed it so wonderfully, the French at Pondicherry felt like the underdog, that John Bull could step upon at any time and so they reacted in a very French way, not by making themselves as invisible as possible, but by sticking out their French tongues.

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

Offline Salvete

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Re: Indo-French Doudou (Gallic cock type), Pondicherry, 1836
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2010, 04:15:33 PM »
That is very enlightening, Peter.  This is an old symbol, and a proud one.  Still carried on the strips of the French national sports teams of many kinds.  My personal favourite would be Rugby football, at which 'the old enemy' excels in most years.

And during this fortnight of unceasing coverage of Association football on the telly (groan!), we shall see the French cock being displayed many times - perhaps all the way to the final. 

Salvete
Ultimately, our coins are only comprehensible against the background of their historical context.