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Ancient mythology on modern coins

Started by ghipszky, July 09, 2008, 04:19:37 PM

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lusomosa

#15
Here's some other representations of liberty

LP

chrisild

#16
Quote from: lusomosa on July 12, 2008, 10:23:29 AM
I did find one exception.... The last coin on the series is French  5 Francs from 1848 and has a radiated female head. Is this Liberty ?????
This seems to be from a series of patterns made in 1848 which, according to the CGB catalog, mostly feature a personification of the Republic. See http://www.cgb.fr/monnaies/modernes/m09/fr/monnaies8451.html where it says "Buste rayonnant de la République". This one is interesting not only because of the rays but also because it is not the usual profile but a frontal view. Another popular character on French coins is/was Ceres http://www.cgb.fr/monnaies/modernes/m09/fr/monnaiesc831.html ... there you have your goddess. :)

As for the Swiss coin, it shows Helvetia, again a personification of the country. On many Swiss coins, however, she does wear a ribbon with the word "Libertas". Here you can read this a little better; not my picture - Swissmint was kind enough to provide it ...



Three more pieces from Italy which also show female figures/heads that could be ancient deities but probably represent the Republic:


1 lira 1946


500 lire 1957 pattern


500 lire 1988

Christian

ghipszky

I had wondered where they got the idea for the statue of liberty. Alot of very pretty coins. I will have to look through the world coins I have for more examples.
Wouldn't it be awesome to be the person creating these designs for coins?
Ginger

chrisild

Bartholdi designed or modeled the Statue of Liberty after an idea he had for the Suez Canal: a lighthouse with a statue of the Roman goddess Libertas, apparently dressed "Egyptian style". The light headband and the torch would welcome and guide the ships. That lighthouse was never built, and later he used that Libertas, again modified and adapted, for the Statue of Liberty.

Would I want to be a coin designer? Well, I'm not a sculptor, but it sure would be great to see one's own work used by many people, even millions, in everyday life. On the other hand, one would have to make a lot of compromises, deal with government committees and mint technicians who may tell you that what you had in mind won't work etc. etc.  Ah well, that applies to many "creative" people. ;)

Christian

ghipszky

Hi Christian,
I guess I never really thought of that aspect of coin design sculptoring. Maybe I was thinking more of having such a wonderful, creative mind to think of and then be able to design that stuff.
And just think of the ancients with their less sophisticated tools.
Ginger

lusomosa

The lighthouse design of the statue does indeed explain the rays in the head of a liberty.
Thanks for the explanation Christian.

LP

Figleaf

And here's an artist's impression of the Colossos of Rhodos. Note the aura. Note also that the statue will need a sex change operation before it can become Miss Liberty...



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

BC Numismatics

The Indian Princely States also depict deities on some of their coins,especially the 1/20 Anna (Amman Cash) from Pudukkottai,& the some coins from Ratlam (which depicts Hanuman,the Hindu monkey god).

Of course,Quetzalcoatl appears on some Mexican coins.

Aidan.

<k>

#23
Reunion 1896.jpg

A beautiful 1896 one franc coin from Reunion, with a magnificent design of Mercury by Jean Lagrange.

When and why did the French start portraying such deities on their own coins and overseas coins, I wonder?
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

chrisild

Quote from: coffeetime on March 03, 2011, 05:14:10 AM
When and why did the French start portraying such deities on their own coins and overseas coins, I wonder?

Shortly after the 1789 revolution, I think, when the monarchy had been done away with, and new symbols representing the country, or the idea of the republic, were needed . Here for example is one from 1795/96 ("an 4"):


(If the image does not show, click here: http://www.collection-ideale-cgb.net/images/ideal/f287_001_60.jpg.)

It features Hercules protecting Liberty and Equality (see reply #3). That particular design has since been used on many French coins. Ceres can also be found on quite a few pieces after the 1848 revolution ...

Christian

Figleaf

#25
Christian is quite right. After the French revolution, classical styles and influences came to dominate art, influencing coin design in turn. As on the two above coins, the figures were thought of as symbols, rather than deities. Thus Hermes represents France's mercantilistic trading interest as an explanation for having colonies, while Hercules represents a strong state, protecting the core values of the French revolution, freedom equality and brotherhood.

On later French coins, you will fin Ceres, goddess of agriculture, representing France as the agricultural country it was at the time as well as the importance of food security.

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

<k>

#26


Belgium, 20 francs, 1950.  Mercury again.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

bart

#27
Besides Mercury, there was Ceres on the Belgian francs and the 5 francs.

SquareEarth

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