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French Pretender Coinage

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New Member
United States
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 Posted 10/22/2020  07:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cjh5801 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The deterioration of the 3-centime reverse die is quite noticeable over the years that the coin was re-struck. The lower left, around the left-most star, begins to rust first, with the rust spreading throughout the area until the star is pretty much no longer visible and the legend starts to deteriorate.




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 Posted 10/27/2020  06:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cjh5801 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not quite sure how to explain the change in die states for the 5-centime coins. Overlaying the images show that the same dies were used for subsequent restrikes, but there are two examples that I've found online where portions of the word "CENTIMES" on the reverse side have become obscured. Is this because the last two were weak strikes? Looking at the rest of the reverse side on both examples seems to rule this out. Is it because of rust build up in the letters of the word CENTIMES? If so, why wasn't it simply brushed away? At any rate, there seems to be a progression. In one example, the "NT" of CENTIMES is nearly missing. In the next, the NT are gone and the surrounding "E" and "I" are getting lighter.

I'd like to hear any opinions on how these changes can be explained.





Edited by cjh5801
10/27/2020 06:14 am
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 Posted 11/06/2020  12:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cjh5801 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The change in die state for the 10-centime piece is also rather apparent. As in previous examples, surface erosion becomes more pervasive over the years.






The changes between the last two is the most significant, but is a bit more subtle. Here are a couple of detail enlargements:




Notice the progression of the erosion following the "S" in "FRANÇAIS", around the "M" in "EMPIRE", and between the wreath and the "C" in "CENTs".

Regarding the second example in the top sequence of comparisons, note that the face of the coin retains impressions from the coin that was overstruck with this die. The original coin was apparently a skilling banco, which comes from a series of coins minted in Sweden between 1835 and 1855, which means that this particular example could not have been struck prior to 1835 (though it could have been struck at any time thereafter).

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476 Posts
 Posted 11/06/2020  04:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The original coin was apparently a skilling banco, which comes from a series of coins minted in Sweden between 1835 and 1855

No doubt, yes, a Swedish 1 skilling banco coin. Unexpected to find a Swedish connection here. Those coins were of course only used in Sweden, so someone has made the effort of collecting and bringing them (I suppose more than one coin was used) out if the country for this purpose. It's an interesting angle to the story.
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 Posted 11/06/2020  11:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cjh5801 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
No doubt, yes, a Swedish 1 skilling banco coin. Unexpected to find a Swedish connection here. Those coins were of course only used in Sweden, so someone has made the effort of collecting and bringing them (I suppose more than one coin was used) out if the country for this purpose. It's an interesting angle to the story.


Interesting indeed. Do you know if the skilling banco coins retained their face value after the series ended in 1855? If they were no longer legal tender after 1855 they may simply have been cheap stock for the Napoleon II propaganda re-strikes made later in the 19th Century. If they retained their face value, there might be a greater chance that they were struck by Bonapartists who were resident in Sweden in the mid-1800s.

Although Bernadotte ended up fighting against Napoleon in 1813 and they never reconciled, their quarrel was personal to a surprising degree. Bernadotte was personally offended when Napoleon invaded Swedish Pomerania as a prelude to his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Despite this personal animosity, however, Bernadotte and his family retained close ties with Napoleon's family. Bernadotte had married Desiree Clary, the sister of Joseph Bonaparte's wife, of course, and their child, Prince Oscar (later Oscar I), was Napoleon's godson. Oscar also married Joséphine, the daughter of Napoleon's step-son, Eugene de Beauharnais, in 1823.

I assume that Bonaparte family members and supporters would probably have been welcome (or at least tolerated) in Sweden in the mid-1800s, so perhaps it served as something of a base for their political pretensions. Perhaps the Napoleon II dies were at least temporarily kept there at the time.
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 Posted 11/06/2020  6:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add erafjel to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The old copper coins with values in skilling could be used until 1876, after that they could only be exchanged for new coins at the Swedish Riksbank (National Bank).

About Bonapartists, I think they could very well have dwelled in Sweden at the time (just like supporters of French royalists and revolutionaries). There has been an appetite for everything French in Sweden since at least the 18th century, and the installment of one of Napoleon's marshals as crown prince and later king didn't diminish that. Napoleon IV apparently visited Sweden (according to Wikipedia), so there must have been active supporters here at least then.
Edited by erafjel
11/06/2020 6:15 pm
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United States
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 Posted 11/06/2020  10:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cjh5801 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. Although this particular example could have been struck later, I think it probably dates from around 1835 to 1840 or so. The reason for this is because the reverse field is still pretty much free from evidence of corrosion on the die. Napoleon II coins would have had little propaganda value after the death of Napoleon IV in 1879, so I think it unlikely that any would have been struck after 1879. The coins struck from the more corroded die probably date from the 1870s, so the coins struck from the die before it corroded must date from an earlier time.
Edited by cjh5801
11/06/2020 10:24 pm
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