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Started by <k>, August 01, 2010, 11:47:11 PM
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Quote from: Figleaf on August 02, 2010, 01:14:39 AMThis peacock on a coin predates your Ceylonese elephant by almost two centuries.
Quote from: E.M.U. on August 01, 2010, 11:47:11 PM It is noteworthy that it is an animal and not a native of Ceylon that is being depicted, probably because Europeans tended to look down on their foreign subjects. But why is an elephant in particular being shown? Is it meant to represent the exotic nature of Britain's far-flung empire? Or to appeal to Europeans, who presumably will already have started visiting zoos to inspect these intriguing creatures from overseas?
Quote from: Figleaf on August 02, 2010, 10:56:43 AMHere, the peacock stands for nobility and beauty. The small arms on the chest are Austria and Burgundy, clarifying that the peacock symbolizes the ruling pair. It is a symbol, but not a heraldic beastie.Peter
Quote from: constanius on August 02, 2010, 03:56:01 AMThe elephant was the the perfect image for the coins of Ceylon. There was 10s of thousands of them, they were used for logging, fording rivers, as war-machines(think animal tanks before the tank was invented), they carried hunters, royalty, they even scared tigers. they were in fact the "ultimate machine" of the sub-continent, the ultimate in power & usefulness.
Quote from: Figleaf on August 02, 2010, 02:28:25 PMEvery coin you show in this thread has symbols. The elephant is a symbol for the country, the ships symbolize trade or military success, the peacocks beauty and grace. The peacock on the Southern Netherlands coin is in no way different from the peacock on the Burmese coin. Both are symbols. On a different tack, the distinction between heraldic and what you call "natural" animals is vague. Things are clear as far as griffons and unicorns are concerned, but how about eagles? There are US coin with pretty natural eagles. The bald eagle (btw, never saw a hairy eagle) is both a symbol of the country and, as a heraldic eagle, the central device on the US CoA (as well as the logo of many government services.)