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Post Your Coin Or Medal With Flora

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 Posted 05/25/2021  10:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1938 New Rochelle, NY half dollar was issued to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city.

For this particular thread, attention is turned to the coin's reverse and its iris. Many descriptions of the coin refer to the design's use of a fleur de lis and how it was being adapted from, or based on, the Seal of the City of New Rochelle or that of France's La Rochelle (the source of the name for NY's city). (Fleur de lis is French, it is translated to English as "lily flower." Lilies and Irises are are classified into different plant families - the terms are not interchangeable. Check out The Myth of France's National Flower: Lily or Iris? for a discussion of the potential roots of the confusion.)

Fleur de lis statements re: the coin are inaccurate, however, as the coin presents a real iris flower vs. the stylized image / decorative symbol of one that became common in heraldry and is often used to represent royalty on Seals and Flags, for example. The origin of the symbol has strong origin ties to royalty (i.e., Louis VII) of France.

I guess it can be said that the coin presents a reverse adaptation - from stylized symbol back to its origins in nature.

Here's the City Seal of New Rochelle:


(Image Source: Records of the town of New Rochelle, 1699-1828. Jeanne A. Forbes, compiler, New Rochelle, NY: The Paragraph Press. 1916. Public Domain)

The fleur de lis is seen in the first (upper left) quandrant of the shield; its base/stem is flanked by the "16" and "88" - together denoting the year of the town's founding by Huguenot settlers. It's clear to see the Seal makes use of a stylized fleur de lis vs. a real iris flower.

The reverse design of the commemorative half dollar, in contrast, presents an actual iris flower. Visually, the flower on the coin bears a strong resemblance to an Iris florentina. Gertrude Katherine Lathrop, the coin's designer, chose to continue the realistic or "natural" theme of the obverse on the reverse and presented a realistic iris bloom rather than a symbolic, heraldic representation. The matching obverse/reverse design approach works well on the coin, IMO, and its flat, empty fields provide for a nice contrast vs. the coin's relief elements and inscriptions.

Ms. Lathrop was also responsible for the 1936 Albany Charter half dollar designs. (See link below for bio information.)

1938 New Rochelle, NY Half Dollar




I've written about the New Rochelle half dollar before, you can read the posts here:

- 1938 New Rochelle 250th Anniversary
- 1938 New Rochelle 250th Anniversary - Revisited
- 1938 New Rochelle 250th Anniversary - Coins Designed By A Woman Thread
- 1936 Albany Charter 250th Anniversary - Coins Designed By A Woman Thread

More of my posts about commemorative coins and medals can be found here: Read More: Commems Collection.



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
05/25/2021 10:45 am
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 Posted 05/25/2021  3:26 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Olive branch and ear of wheat on a 1962 French 20-centime coin:
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 Posted 05/25/2021  3:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Olive branch and ear of wheat on a 1962 French 20-centime coin:
Lovely!
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 Posted 05/26/2021  07:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1936 York County, ME Tercentenary half dollar was issued "in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding" of the county. (US Public Law 74-822) York County is the most southwestern county in Maine, with its west border fronting New Hampshire and its south-southeastern border facing the Atlantic Ocean.

When discussing the pine tree on the Main State Seal in my post about the 1920 Maine Statehood Centennial half dollar, I stated : "The white pine is the State Tree and the pine cone and tassel is the official State Floral Emblem. There are lots of pine trees in Maine - nearly 90% of the state's land is covered by forest!" This fact is also, ultimately, the catalyst for the inclusion of a pine tree within the Seal of York County, a version of which is depicted on its commemorative half dollar.

A pine tree is presented in the first, upper-left quadrant of the Seal. It is the only decorative element included on the Seal's Shield other than the cross. The Seal is believed to be rooted in the 17th century unofficial flag of New England. There were multiple versions of the flag, but most incorporated St. George's Cross in the canton along with a small pine tree in the upper left corner (like the York County Seal).

17th Century Flag of New England

Image Credit. Thespoondragon, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

As can be seen, the flag of New England was primarily red. The Seal of York County is green and white.

Seal of York County, Maine

Image Credit. Web site of York County Maine Government, https://www.yorkcountymaine.gov/)

The coin's reverse depicts Brown's Garrison. (See the link below for more information).

The coin was designed by noted wildlife artist Walter Rich of Portland, ME.

1936 York County, ME Tercentenary Half Dollar





For more information about the York County coin and its original holder/mailer, have a look at:

- 1936 York County Tercentenary
- 1936 York County Tercentenary - Revisited
- York County Tercentenary - Quick Bits
- 1936 York County Half Dollar - Coins Depicting Places Thread - Brown's Garrison.

Other of my commemorative coin and medal posts can be found here: Read More: Commems Collection.


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 Posted 05/26/2021  07:25 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...1962 French 20-centime coin:

I genuinely enjoy the artwork of many French and Italian coins - they often make great use of classical allegorical figures (a favorite design approach of mine).


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 Posted 05/26/2021  11:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1956 Republica de Chile.
10 Pesos,Un condor.



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 Posted 05/27/2021  06:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm wrapping up my look at the flora to be found within the designs of the coins of the classic US commemorative series with the 1900 Lafayette Memorial dollar.

The coin's reverse design is where we find the element of flora, as a 14-leaf palm branch is found on the base below the equestrian statue of Lafayette. The statue was sculpted by American artist Paul Wayland Bartlett for the Lafayette Memorial Commission; Bartlett lived in France at the time. The statue on the coin depicts Lafayette with his sword drawn and held in his outstretched right hand. The sword is shown pointing down to symbolize Lafayette offering his sword (and the benefit of his military experience) to the Americans. The coin presents a preliminary version of the statue; a revised statue would ultimately be erected in Paris. (See links below for more information about the statue.) The coin's models were prepared by Charles E. Barber.

The palm branch is included to represent victory and triumph for America in the Revolutionary War and the lasting peace with Great Britain that followed (let's overlook the whole War of 1812 "thing" for now ). Multiple dies were used to strike the Lafayette commemorative dollars and the the palm branch varied among the dies used. There were versions with long leaves, medium leaves and short leaves; the length of the stem also varies. I have two examples of the Lafayette Dollar in my collection, one is an MS-63, the other is an MS-64; both were graded and encapsulated by PCGS. The two coins were struck from the same obverse die ("Obverse 1" of four), but two different dies were used for the reverses. The MS-64 coin is "Reverse B" (14 leaves, tip of lowest leaf between the "1" and "9" in "1900") and the MS-63 is "Reverse C" (14 leaves, tip of lowest leaf over the "9" in "1900"). The five known reverse dies are referred to as A, B, C, D and E. The "1-B" coin is the most common variety of Lafayette dollar; the "1-C" is considered scarce to rare.

1900 Lafayette Memorial Silver Dollar




For more about the Lafayette Dollar coin, check out:

- 1900 Lafayette Memorial (MS-63 coin; shown here)
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial - Revisited (MS-64 coin)
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial - Coins with Hats Thread
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial - Coins with Hands Thread
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial - Coins with a Military Theme Thread
- 1881 Yorktown Medal vs. 1900 Lafayette Dollar


For more posts about commemorative coins and medals, see: Read More: Commems Collection.


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 Posted 05/28/2021  06:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here's a copper-nickel 50 Cents coin of Singapore; it's from the country's Floral Series. It is a minor coin of the Singapore dollar, and was included in the second series of coins released by Singapore after it achieved independence via its separation from Malaysia. The series is referred to as the Floral Series due to a flower being depicted on the reverse of each coin of the series. The Floral Series was active from 1985 to 2013.

The coin's obverse depicts the Singapore Coat of Arms. (See link below to learn more.)

Its reverse presents the Allamanda cathartica flower (aka Golden Trumpet), a perennial flower that was introduced to Singapore (i.e., it is not native to the country; it is native to South and Central America). It has shiny dark green leaves and bright golden yellow flowers. The species in considered invasive due to its ability to overwhelm and eliminate nearby native plants/flowers.

Essentially all of the plant's parts are mildly poisonous - from its roots to stem, leaves to flowers, even its seeds. Though poisonous enough to cause short-term skin and eye irritation, it is only strongly toxic if very large quantities are ingested. Due to its toxic potential (including to pets) it is often recommended as an outdoor plant vs. indoor.

The flower reverse was designed by Christopher Ironside; Mr. Ironside designed the floral reverses of all the coins (1 cent, 5 cents, 10, 20 and 50 cents plus one dollar) in the series.



If you'd like to learn more about the Singapore Coat of Arms on the obverse, check out:

- Singapore 50 Cents Coin - Coins With Stars Thread



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 Posted 05/28/2021  06:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I launched this thread, I stated that I would not be posting coins for which the flora element(s) within their design is(are) insignificant to the purpose of the coin and are merely "Background Vegetation." So, IMO, each of the US commemorative coins I've posted incorporated flora elements in a meaningful/symbolic way.

For the sake of completeness, however, I wanted to make note of coins from the series that feature flora elements in an insignificant manner. Each of the classic-era US commemorative coins on the following list includes one or more elements of flora within their designs, but each occurrence is of essentially no importance to the intent of the coin or its design.

1. 1925 Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial: The grass growing at the base of the Old Belfry Tower has no meaning or purpose within the coin's commemorative design. VERDICT: Background Vegetation.

- See it here: 1925 Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial - Coins Depicting Places Thread

2. 1936 Lynchburg, VA Sesquicentennial: On the reverse, in front of the Courthouse, are two trees flanking the building - they have no symbolic meaning or importance within the design. VERDICT: Background Vegetation.

- See it here: 1936 Lynchburg, VA Sesquicentennial - Coins Depicting Places Thread

3. 1946 Iowa Statehood Centennial: A tree and several bushes are seen growing in front of the Old Stone Capitol building. Once again, they offer no enhancement to the coin's commemorative intentions. VERDICT: Background Vegetation.

- See it here: 1946 Iowa Statehood Centennial - Coins Depicting Places Thread

4. 1946-51 Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial: A pair of small bushes/shrubs flank the Hall of Fame Colonnade on the coin's reverse. They are of no consequence to the coin or its commemorative design; they could have easily been left off without impacting the design. VERDICT: Background Vegetation.

- See it here: 1946-51 Booker T. Washington Memorial - Coins Depicting Places Thread


And that wraps things up regarding flora on coins of the classic US commemorative series. Hope you enjoyed the 20+ posts about them!



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 05/28/2021  09:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
For the sake of completeness, however, I wanted to make note of coins from the series that feature flora elements in an insignificant manner.
A toast to those that missed the cut.
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 Posted 05/28/2021  10:37 am  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1941 Newfoundland 1 cent - Purple pitcher plant:
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 Posted 05/28/2021  12:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
1941 Newfoundland 1 cent - Purple pitcher plant:
Nice example!
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