Author Topic: The Origins of Thematics  (Read 18925 times)

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Offline Prosit

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2010, 03:11:41 PM »
There are very many coins in this thread that I consider outstanding and maybe some a bit unusual.  However that three legged bison is a coin that will not make it into my collection, unfortunately  ;)
Dale

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2010, 03:22:53 PM »
How about the four-legged one?

Offline Prosit

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2010, 03:26:40 PM »
I have a few with 4 legs and assorted dates around here somewhere....not nearly as well preserved though.  Don't have the early type.
Dale

How about the four-legged one?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2010, 05:19:31 PM »
Here's another early one for you: the earliest coins (1616-1624) of Bermuda. They show pork (politicians had already been invented) and a ship. Here's the story: The British called Bermuda Somers Island, after George Somers who was shipwrecked there in 1612 on his way to Jamestown. They found a whole colony of wild pigs on the island, apparently left there by Juan Bermudez and his party, who had paid a visit 100 years earlier. The pigs saved the crew of the ship. The crew managed to build a new ship with what remained of their vessel and stuff found on the island. This explains the wild boar and the ship.

Side thought: the part of the crew that sailed to Jamestown in the self-made ship found that there was a famine going on. Those who had been left behind on Bermuda fared quite a bit better.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 05:30:22 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2010, 06:07:47 PM »
By far not as early, but interesting.

For a long time, Australia was considered worthless. Its only use was as a penal colony. All this changed when coal was found at Newcastle. An economy started to develop and there were not enough coins for the colonists. The result was a series of copper tokens. It is clear from the series that a coat of arms would have been welcome, but Australia had no coat of arms either. A number of tokens have self-designed arms. This one (sorry for the b/w pic, my scanner will apparently only work with the broken computer) shows an emu and a kangaroo. What are they? Surely, the intention was to draw them naturally. They are also symbols of Australia and if the colonists had had their way, they would have figured on the Australian CoA...

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

Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2010, 06:29:26 PM »
Yet another one, thinking of building and architecture now. This is a medieval (1235-1280) denarius struck by the city of Brussels. The side on the right shows a bridge.

The origin of the city was a shallow place in the river. Cattle could cross here, so it attracted settlers and eventually a bridge over the river Zenne was built and the place was called bridge across the Zenne: Bruoc-Sele. There is no intention to draw a bridge naturally here, not the least because the technology to do so did not yet exist. The bridge is a symbol for the city, a pun on its name.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 11:25:12 PM by Figleaf »
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 #36 on: August 04, 2010, 09:14:30 PM »
...This explains the wild boar and the ship...

It also explains the boar on Bermuda's modern one cent coin. Whether that coin still circulates, I don't know.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2010, 09:19:13 PM »
This one shows an emu and a kangaroo. What are they? Surely, the intention was to draw them naturally. They are also symbols of Australia and if the colonists had had their way, they would have figured on the Australian CoA...

Peter

Whatever gave you that idea? Incidentally, coins bearing coats of arms with animal supporters is another of one my collection themes. I may produce a topic on that one day.

akona20

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2010, 11:40:50 PM »
and if both are prepared properly they are very nice to eat.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2010, 11:57:02 PM »
Here's more food for thought. A medieval coin with a castle from Brussels, now (1312-1355) capital of the duchy of Brabant. You would be forgiven to think that the castle is there as a symbol of feudal power (it's got nothing to do with the Brussels or Brabant CoA), but the truth is that duke John III (the legend on the coin is Iohannvs DVX Dei Gratia BRABANTIAe - John duke by the grace of god of Brabant) had a French royal coin in mind: the denarius of Tours. However, the castle on these coins is highly stylized and the coin improves on the original by adding detail and making the picture as lifelike as could be done at the time.

To recapitulate, not a heraldic element, not a symbol, as lifelike as possible. What is it?

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 #40 on: August 05, 2010, 12:02:04 AM »
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so they say. But the most realistic depictions on coins don't really appear until after the invention of the camera.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2010, 12:39:05 AM »
Here's one that is sure to amuse you a double duit 1679 for Surinam, the erstwhile British colony of Surreyham. They were privately produced by governor Heinsius and declared valid by governor Van Aerssen by decree of 6th April 1688, after they'd been forbidden by the Estates General (federal government) of the Republic. The parrot is not a heraldic element or a symbol. There's no obvious reason for putting a parrot on the coin. So why is it there?

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 #42 on: August 05, 2010, 04:24:40 AM »
Maybe it was the Governor's pet.

Dale

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #43 on: August 05, 2010, 09:40:15 AM »
Here's one that is sure to amuse you a double duit 1679 for Surinam.

Peter

I don't find it amusing. Attractive, yes. Interesting that there was controversy as to whether it was a coin or a token. I have restricted myself to coins in this topic; thematic designs on tokens were much more common, and much earlier, so I couldn't really attempt an overview of that subject in a single topic.


Offline Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2010, 10:30:12 AM »
Misunderstanding. There's no doubt that it is a coin, since the document that declare it valid has been preserved and since they are usually found circulated. This is an exceptionally nice copy. The puzzling part is "why a parrot?" Dale's answer is as good as any. So here's a coin that has much in common with a modern pseudo coin (privately minted and issued, irrelevant design, the powers that be disavow it when push comes to shove) except for one important detail: it circulated.

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