Author Topic: The Origins of Thematics  (Read 18474 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2010, 08:01:09 PM »
In 1923 South Africa released a new set of circulation designs, of which two are classic thematic designs: the d depicting sparrows; and the d and 1d, both of which carry the same ship design.


Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2010, 08:07:38 PM »
That last coin is an excellent illustration of your problem. The elephant here is entirely symbolic.

During the first world war, Great Britain went colony snatching again. One of its targets was German East Africa. The defenders knew they couldn't stop the invaders, but they had the loyalty of the local population, so they went into the hinterland, well armed and supplied and with the national gold reserve. They held out until the end of 1917, despite being short of everything. As usual, the real losers turned out to be the locals.

The coin you show was not designed and produced by professionals. It is a latter-day camp coin. It shows an angry elefant, symbol of the colony. Its message is: even if you have a gun, an angry elefant is to be reckoned with.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2010, 08:11:00 PM »
That last coin is an excellent illustration of your problem. The elephant here is entirely symbolic.

Nice potted history, Peter - I have learnt something. The problem is more for you than for me, though, as I've admitted that my categories are largely subjective, but I have given some indications as to how I make my choices.  ;)

Here's a nice elephant design from Thailand: baht, 1929.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 04:17:16 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2010, 08:12:35 PM »
Next comes the Free City of Danzig, and those highly stylised but very charming fish designs from 1932. Who could resist including them in their collection?





Danzig, 5 Pfennig, 1932.  Turbot.




Danzig, 10 Pfennig, 1932.  Cod.

 
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 09:41:22 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2010, 09:33:43 PM »
But I am running ahead of myself. This 5 piastres design from Lebanon was first released in 1925 and depicts an ancient ship.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2010, 09:39:29 PM »


And in 1928, the daddy of all modern thematic sets was released by the Irish Free State: the Barnyard Set. Though it was denounced as paganistic by Irish priests, the population took it to its heart. Nevertheless, it is hardly perfect in design terms. The animals depicted vary in their treatment: some look more or less realistic; the hen and chicks design, found on the penny, always looks to me as if it has been based on a child's tin toys.

 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 02:58:38 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2010, 09:58:08 PM »
Backtracking slightly, because I appear to have ignored the Latin countries, Italy issued a fine design of a bee on a flower on the 10 centesimi coin dated 1919.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2010, 10:24:30 PM »
In the 1930s, the thematic floodgates opened in the British Empire. Thematic or semi-thematic sets were begun in Southern Rhodesia in 1932; 1933 in New Zealand; 1937 in Canada; and 1938 in Australia. Most of these designs were created by George Kruger-Gray.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 11:54:02 AM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2010, 10:28:24 PM »
Starting in 1939, the Nazi satellite state of Slovakia began issuing a circulation set that includes two fine thematic designs depicting national landmarks.

These themes are echoed somewhat in the circulation set issued by Slovakia in the 1990s.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2010, 10:33:52 PM »
If I have missed out any particularly fine examples of thematic coins from the French or Latin American spheres, please feel free to post them up.

After the war, and into the 1950s, and most especially the 1960s, thematic designs were even more in evidence.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 04:46:56 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2010, 10:37:24 PM »
I shall now backtrack slightly and include one of the Greenland polar bear designs of the 1920s, also to be found in my collection. Otherwise you might have wondered why I left it out.

And while I'm at it, one of the well known Belgian Congo elephant designs from the 1940s too.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 04:47:13 PM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2010, 10:45:21 PM »
For anyone interested in thematics, I would suggest two topics in particular on this forum:

East Asian architecture on coins

and My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design




Offline chrisild

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2010, 08:59:18 AM »
The elephant is depicted in natural surroundings, and the apparent aim is to depict the animal realistically too; however, the artist was not quite skilful enough to achieve this.

Keep in mind that these coins, even though they are gold pieces, were basically notgeld, designed during a war and produced in an "emergency" mint which lasted less than a year. The 15 rupee gold coins were designed by somebody named Vogt, apparently a cashier who worked there. The dies were made by a Singhalese goldsmith who, according to a report that the director of the "mint" wrote after he got back to Germany, worked best when he was under the influence of alcohol. Could be true, could be the arrogance of a colonial officer, dunno.

As for why Bald Eagles are not actually bald, have a look here. 8)
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=bald

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2010, 09:38:24 AM »
Wholeheartedly agreed. The design of real coins is a function of taste in a framework of time, place, culture, and above all circumstances. I marvel at two-dimensional heads, silhouetted with a single line on early medieval coin and find a detailed copy of a painted portrait of Henry VIII on a modern coin exceptionally boring. I think the peacock on the Flemish coin I showed is creative and elegant, but the Franklin Mint zoo on coins will not get a second look from me. OK, quite personal, your mileage will vary etc., but I think interesting coins have a message and a background: a story to tell that doesn't end with the coin itself and may involve a drunk Singhalese, an ancient pyramid in a forlorn landscape (once I'd climbed the pyramid, the coin took on another dimension) or a prize buffalo in a zoo.

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

Offline Prosit

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2010, 01:56:33 PM »
If I applied that criteria to my collection very stricty, then my coin collection would be....well, it mostly wouldn't be.
While I do find coins with a story to tell the most facinating, I also appreciate a pretty design.  I can also admire a complete date run of mundane coins simply for its completeness.  The longer I collect, the more I am attracted to what I would call the unusual coins (either design, shape, size or subject matter)....of course, unusual is defined by my own personal viewpoint.

Dale

OK, quite personal, your mileage will vary etc., but I think interesting coins have a message and a background: a story to tell that doesn't end with the coin itself and may involve a drunk Singhalese, an ancient pyramid in a forlorn landscape (once I'd climbed the pyramid, the coin took on another dimension) or a prize buffalo in a zoo.
Peter