Author Topic: The Origins of Thematics  (Read 21111 times)

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Offline andyg

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2010, 12:23:36 AM »
Here's some early pictorial designs from Nurnburg,

We have a city view (1773), some personification with an olive branch (1797) and old father time (1799)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2010, 12:28:56 AM »
That panoramic city view does look rather ahead of its time.

Offline andyg

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2010, 12:48:36 AM »
There are lots of spectacular city view thalers out there of a similar age, but I have so many things to spend my meagre amount of money on :'(
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Online Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2010, 01:05:16 AM »
Those Schauthalers may be spectacular, but, as the name says, they are for looking at, not for paying with. Doesn't make them any uglier, but it's a good excuse not to collect them. That "father time" design is pretty suitable for one of Dale's new year tokens. A real discovery for me. :)

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

Offline andyg

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2010, 01:16:01 AM »
I've never found out who the female Britannia lookalike is supposed to be, Krause just says 'A woman holding an olive branch'
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Online Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2010, 02:44:44 AM »
In Roman times, women with olive branches were the personification of peace...

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

Offline chrisild

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2010, 11:34:17 AM »
Minerva, it seems. :) "Britannia was soon personified as a goddess, looking fairly similar to the goddess Minerva. Early portraits of the goddess depict Britannia as a beautiful young woman, wearing the helmet of a centurion, and wrapped in a white garment with her right breast exposed. She is usually shown seated on a rock, holding a spear, and with a spiked shield propped beside her." That refers to ancient Roman depictions of Britannia though, not to the "modern" one which is a little different.

By the way, the name of that place is Northern Bavaria is spelled Nürnberg in German. The "-berg" means mountain (well, a site that is significantly higher than the surrounding area) while "-burg" is a fortified castle. Ironically one of Nürnberg's landmarks is the Burg ...

Christian
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 11:42:14 AM by chrisild »

Online Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2010, 01:18:53 PM »
Problem being that while Minerva is armed and helmeted, the woman on this coin is crowned and extending a branch. Early Britannias were unarmed, bare-headed and in the possession of a branch (presumably of olive). The Minervan attributes were added later.

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

Online Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2010, 03:41:47 PM »
Would it help if I'd try to sum up the "origins of thematics" discussion? Let's find out. Please add/expand where you wish.

Ever since Pisanello formulated rules for medal-making, most coins had a portrait on one side (or a fancy denomination) and heraldics on the other. However, in the course of time, special occasions arose in which a de facto ruler didn't want too much prominence on coins, in order not to incur the wrath of the de jure ruler. In other cases, starting in the middle ages, areas of issue were represented by some sort of national symbol that was not a ruler's head. In at least two cases, symbols were used to avoid making a double portrait on a small coin.

In each of these cases, animals, plants, ships and architecture appeared on coins. As medallic art progressed, more complicated subjects, like a whole city skyline appeared, also on circulating coins. This movement grew out in our own times to a veritable bestiary, plant catalogue and an overview of the history of architecture and shipbuilding.

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 #54 on: August 08, 2010, 03:47:06 PM »
In at least two cases, symbols were used to avoid making a double portrait on a small coin.

Excellent summary, Figleaf, but you might want to allude to the cases you had in mind.

Offline <k>

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #55 on: August 08, 2010, 03:57:05 PM »
Here is a list of the themes I have created for myself in my Access coin database. Some of them overlap, and in fact some designs can be assigned to more than one theme.

The only theme name I'm dissatisfied with is Primitive.

Can anybody suggest a better description? Perhaps it is just a subset of Native Culture.

Offline Prosit

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2010, 04:01:28 PM »
I have three themes not on that list that I collect.
Good Luck
Happy New Year
B.U.E.K.

Of course not going to find those on coins but there are a lot of them on tokens/medals

My favorite from your list would be mythology.

Dale

Online Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2010, 04:43:19 PM »
Excellent summary, Figleaf, but you might want to allude to the cases you had in mind.

The first case is the peacock mentioned here. The second case I can think of is pictured below.

The unification of Spain is a complicated history starting on 19th October 1496 with the marriage of Ferdinand V of Aragon to Isabella, queen of Castilia and Léon. They brought the unification project forward with the conquest of Navarra, but couldn't finish it. Their son in law, Philip of Austria lost, rather than gained ground during his very short rule, o which no coins are known. He left a son behind and a wife, who acted strangely at times. For a number of years, Charles V of Spain reigned together with his mother, Juana la loca. Charles was trying to forge Spain into one country, while his mother was plotting against him. However, Charles needed her for the legitimacy of his reign over Castilia.

Ferdinand and Isabella, as well as Charles and Johanna issued small silver reales using a remarkable symbol: a yoke for two oxen. Two strong creatures pulling a heavy load. Gottit? The bundle of arrows is of course a symbol for co-operation between the feudal Spanish entities under one king.

The coin was found in the Netherlands by our metal detectorist member Bubba. It is an exceptional quality real 1497-1516 Toledo for Ferdinand and Isabella.

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

Online Figleaf

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Re: The Origins of Thematics
« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2011, 04:24:52 PM »
Here is yet another early coin with an animal, a gold aureus from Augustus 27-15 BC from the collection of the Geldmuseum. If I remember correctly, the statue of the bull was a war trophy.

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 #59 on: March 29, 2011, 04:55:43 PM »
A beautiful image, that looks surprisingly modern. Animals were commonly portrayed on the coins of the ancients, but over the centuries they gradually seemed to drop out, to be replaced by heraldry and state symbols. The collapse of the European empires as a result of the First World War gave a boost to modernity, and heraldry was more and more replaced by modern thematic designs.