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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Argentina-1899-10 Cent Coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below is the obverse and reverse of the 1899 Argentinian 10 Cent coin. The obverse shows the republic in the emblem of a woman in a cap, modelled on the French republican emblem with the date of issue and country legend. The reverse shows the value surrounded by a wreath. The metal is cupro-nickel. The diameter is19mm. The coin has a milled edge.


Algeria-1949-20 Franc Coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below is the obverse and reverse of the 1949 20 Franc coin issued for Algeria. In 1949 Algeria was still ruled by France, Algerian coins were struck in France with French legends. The obverse shows the legend of the French Republic with the personification of the republic expressed as the head of "Marianne". The reverse shows the value between ears of wheat and the date with the legend of "Algerie" (Algeria). The metal is cupro-nickel and the diameter 23.2 mm.


Canada-1917-George the 5th-1 Cent Coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below are the obverse and reverse of the Canadian 1917 George the 5th 1 Cent coin. The obverse has a portrait of George the 5th, The reverse the country legend and value surrounded by a design of leaves. This type with a diameter of 25 mm was produced between 1912 and 1920 is called the "large type" to distinguish it from the smaller type produced thereafter. The "small type" produced after 1920 was modelled on the American 1 Cent coin with a diameter of 19.3 mm.





Bolivia-1899-10 Cent Coin-Illustrated

Shown below the obverse and reverse of the 1899 10 Cent coin issued in Bolivia. The obverse shows the state arms with stars below and country legend. The reverse, the wand of Hermes with two sprigs, value and date. The metal is cupro-nickel. The diameter 25.5 mm.





Belgium-1916-5 Cent Coin-Illustrated

Shown below is the obverse and reverse of the 1916 Belgian 5 Cent coin. The obverse shows the country legend around the value and date of issue. The reverse a rampant lion. The metal is zinc. The diameter 19 mm. The coin is no longer in circulation.


Cyprus-1934-George the 5th-Half Piastre Scalloped Coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below is the obverse and reverse of the 1934 Half Piastre issued for Cyprus. The obverse shows a portrait of George the 5th. with the legend Imperator (emperor) The reverse, the value in numbers and letters, date and country. The metal is cupro-nickel. The diameter 20mm. Over 1 million were minted.





British West Africa-1939-George the 6th-3 Pence Coin-Illustrated

Shown below is the obverse and reverse of the British West African 3 Pence. Issued in in 1939. The coin is cupro-nickel. The obverse shows a portrait of George the 6th crowned. The reverse, the value surrounded by a wreath. The coin has a diameter of 22 mm. Now no longer in circulation.



British Caribbean-(East Group)-1965 2 cent coin-Illustrated

Shown below is the obverse and reverse of the 2 Cent coin issued for the British Caribbean in 1965.
The obverse shows a portrait of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. The reverse, the value flanked by palm tree fronds. The coin is bronze with a diameter of 31 mm. The coin is no longer in use.




Friday, January 27, 2012

Chile-1933-1 Peso Coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below are the obverse and reverse of the 1933 Chilean 1 Peso coin.The design of the Andean Condor on the obverse with the value surrounded by a spray of branches on the reverse was current from 1933 to 1940. The metal is cupro-nickel with a diameter of 29mm with a milled edge.



Dutch Antilles-Curacao-1947-2 and a half Cent Coin-Illustrated


Illustrated below is the obverse and reverse of the 1947 2 and a half cent coin issue for the Netherlands Antilles. Made of bronze and minted in Utrecht the coin has a diameter of 24mm. The obverse shows the emblem of Dutch Royal House with the value on the reverse within a spray of tree branches.




Ceylon-1914-George the 5th-1 Cent Coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below is the obverse and reverse of the George the 5th issue of 1914 for Ceylon. (See 1892 Queen Victoria and 1912 George the 5th issues this blog).





Ceylon-1912-George the 5th-1 Cent coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below is the obverse and reverse of the 1912 issue of the 1 cent coin. The design, size and metal remained the same as the previous issues of Queen Victoria and Edward the 7th coins, but with the portrait of George the 5th on the obverse (see 1892 Queen Victoria issue, this blog).





Ceylon-1892-Queen Victoria-1 Cent coin-Illustrated

Illustrated below is the obverse and reverse of the 1892 1 cent coin issued for Ceylon. In 1869 the Indian rupee became the official coinage of Ceylon with 100 cents to the rupee. Coins were originally made of copper, however in 1892 silver coins for higher denominations of 10, 25 and 50 cents were introduced. The coin is 22mm in diameter and the obverse shows a portrait of Queen Victoria, the reverse a palm tree.





Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mozambique-The 100 Escudos Banknote-1976-Overprint-Illustrated

Shown below is the obverse and reverse of the 100 Escudos Banknote issued in Mozmabique in 1976.The note had been previously issued by the Portuguese, originally dated from 1961, from the portuguese National Overseas Bank. However on the independence of Mozambique in 1975 the stocks were re-issued by the newly formed Bank of Mozambique, with the overprint "Banco De Mozambique". A large and attractive note at 165mm (wide) by 84mm (wide). The watermark set in the blank circle is the Mozambique emblem from colonial times. The portrait is of the portuguese Antonio de Ornelas. Now a quite collectable banknote.




The Australian 1 Dollar Paper Banknote1976--Knight/Wheeler-Illustrated

Shown below are the obverse and reverse of the Knight/Wheeler issue of the Australian 1 dollar paper banknote. The Knight/Wheeler issue was significant in that, during its production the, security thread set into the note was relocated from the centre of the note to the side of the note. The reason being that notes often were folded at the middle of the note.This caused excessive wear along the security thread. It was therefore decided to reposition the security thread 55mm from the left hand side of the note.

The watermark is visible on the left-hand side of the note.

Obverse Elizabeth II & Coat of Arms
Reverse Aboriginal Art Theme by David Malangi
Signatories H. M. Knight, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia
F. H. Wheeler, Secretary to the Treasury
Size 139.70mm (width), 69.85mm (height)
Composition Paper
Watermark Captain Cook profile in left panel

the centre security thread was current for prefixes BYC to CKE

the side thread used thereafter for prefixes CGB to CPJ


Monday, January 9, 2012

Australia-1937-George the 6th-3 Pence-"White Wattles" Variety-Illustrated

Shown below is an example of the Australian issue from 1937 George the 6th definitive 3 Penny (blue). The first printing of the 3 Penny was fairly light in colour and was subsequently re-issued in a darker variety. The 1937 printing became known as the "white wattles" variety, a reference to the wattle sprigs on either side of the portrait of King George. There are notable printing differences in the the hair of the king, the eppaulettes on the shoulders, the collar, the shading around the eyes and the dot under the "D" of the value among others. Illustrated is an example of the white wattle variety paired with a later issue for comparison. A detail of the variety is shown below the first illustration.


Australia-1914-1920-An Unpostmarked George the 5th 1 Penny Red-Illustrated

Shown below is an unpostmarked example of the 1914 George the 5th Penny red. A detail of the watermark appears below the illustration of the stamp face.




Australia-1995-"Opal" Postage Stamp Set-Illustrated

Shown below are the two postage stamps issued in 1995 to celebrate the Australian Opal. There were only two stamps issued for the set with values of Aus $ 1.20 and Aus $2.50. Details of the two stamps appear below  the first illustration.



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Degas-An Analysis-The Artist and Impressionism

Degas was born on July 19, 1834 in Paris. The Degas family were middle class, his father , a banker, his mother from a family of American cotton traders.


Degas showed an early interest and ability in drawing and painting and was encouraged by his father to develop his talent. After leaving school he began copying in the Louvre works by Raphael, Ingres and Delacroix.

In 1855 he was admitted to the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris. Degas however stayed only one year at the Beaux Arts before leaving to to travel and study in Italy. He spent three years in Italy and is known to have produced copies of works by Michelangelo and da Vinci among others.

Returning to Paris in 1859 Degas began to produce paintings of group family portraits and mythological/historical scenes for submission to the Paris Salon, at that time the largest public exhibition in Paris. Artists would submit their work to be judged by the jury of the Salon. If accepted the work would be hung with the hope of attracting public notice, generating sales and recognition. Degas had work accepted but little success.

During the early 1860's Degas began to meet other young artists similarly lacking success in the Paris Salon. First Manet then Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissaro and others. In 1873 the group formed the Societe Anonyme des Artistes as a way of staging their own exhibitions without submitting work to the Salon jury. Over the next twelve years eight exhibitions were staged with Degas participating in all of them. The group became popularly known as the Impressionists.

Although linked with the Impressionists Degas was never comfortable with the label and by analysing his background and painterly preferences we can perhaps see why. Degas particular individuality, his middle class background, draughtsmanship, study in Italy, and lack of success in the Paris Salon all play their part in his approach to his art. It could perhaps be said that Degas evolution as a painter is a product of his acceptance or rejection of the aesthetic currents of his time.

From the dominant aesthetic of time, the carefully composed dramas from mythological/historical literary sources, he retains a sense of drama and respect for careful composition while rejecting its literary basis. From the Impressionist aesthetic he retains the the subject drawn from life while rejecting its spontaneity and more prosaic elements. (Here perhaps we could contrast Degas with Cezanne. Cezanne accepted the Impressionist aesthetic but ulitmately rejects its methods, with the result that today Cezanne is more highly regarded as an artist than Degas.)

When Degas does paint an outdoor scene the subject is a "gentlemans" subject, the racetrack. Landscape is a backdrop for the drama and movement of horses and jockeys. It is this unwillingness to lose a sense of drama in painting that leads him to the footlights of the stage, circus performers, cafes, ballet classes, in short all the subjects he favours. (see an analysis this blog, 18/02/2012, of Degas' "Spartan Girls Provoking Spartan Boys", a work submitted to the Paris Salon)