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Napoleon coin 1856 with hidden compartment and pic of Queen Victoria inside..Any info on history and value

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Hi, i have a 1856 Napoleon III coin. The centre has been carefully cut and Hinged and inside there is a picture of Queen Victoria. Any help with the history and value of this coin would be greatly appreciated.

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I've never seen one of these --pretty nifty! There are lots of Napoleon III 10 and 20 centimes pieces that have been stamped with advertising slogans, or which have had Napoleon transformed into a Prussian with spiked helmet to blame him (rightly so) for the debacle of the 1870 war. But I've never seen Victoria hidden inside one...

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I've never seen one of these --pretty nifty! There are lots of Napoleon III 10 and 20 centimes pieces that have been stamped with advertising slogans, or which have had Napoleon transformed into a Prussian with spiked helmet to blame him (rightly so) for the debacle of the 1870 war. But I've never seen Victoria hidden inside one...

It does seem rare, only come across one other on the net and they were searching for the same info. Does seem a mystery as to why the coin was altered and has a picture of victoria inside. Hoping someone out there will know something about it.

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I've never seen one of these --pretty nifty! There are lots of Napoleon III 10 and 20 centimes pieces that have been stamped with advertising slogans, or which have had Napoleon transformed into a Prussian with spiked helmet to blame him (rightly so) for the debacle of the 1870 war. But I've never seen Victoria hidden inside one...

 

I have one of these Nap III pieces (10 centimes + aged photo of Queen Vic). It's an example of `trench' art and actually made from two ten centimes pieces. The first has the centre of the coin milled down to create the `space' for the photo. The second has everything removed but the bit that forms the `lid'. The two are then married very neatly together to give the impression that it has been made from one piece, which of course would be an impossibility. It, and no doubt others of the same ilk, were created by soldiers as a way of whiling away their time during various conflicts. I also have examples of the defaced 5c's and 10c's which were originally created by French prisoners of war post `battle' of Sedan. They were generally exchanged for food from their German captors. some are quite artistic some are very crude indeed. A bit like `hobo' nickels. Some are outstanding examples of `art' others are coin butchery personified.

 

I also have a pretty good example of a smugglers piece made from two US trade dollars. Again, `trench' art where a sophisticated hinged piece contains a scented photograph of an elderly female. To all intents and purposes it looks and feels just like one normal trade dollar.

 

In Europe there has been a fairly lengthy history of transforming silver talers into jewelery pieces by spooning the edges and transforming two pieces into a casket (almost like a giant locket) I have one half of such a `box' taler in the form of a 1700;s taler from Schwartzburg Sondersheim. The taler is itself quite rare and to all intents and purposes, to the hardened collector, it has been well and truly goosed. To me however, it's just another element of it's history and `collectable'.

 

Original poster: why not post an image of the piece you are querying?

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I have one of these Nap III pieces (10 centimes + aged photo of Queen Vic). It's an example of `trench' art and actually made from two ten centimes pieces. The first has the centre of the coin milled down to create the `space' for the photo. The second has everything removed but the bit that forms the `lid'. The two are then married very neatly together to give the impression that it has been made from one piece, which of course would be an impossibility. It, and no doubt others of the same ilk, were created by soldiers as a way of whiling away their time during various conflicts. I also have examples of the defaced 5c's and 10c's which were originally created by French prisoners of war post `battle' of Sedan. They were generally exchanged for food from their German captors. some are quite artistic some are very crude indeed. A bit like `hobo' nickels. Some are outstanding examples of `art' others are coin butchery personified.

 

I also have a pretty good example of a smugglers piece made from two US trade dollars. Again, `trench' art where a sophisticated hinged piece contains a scented photograph of an elderly female. To all intents and purposes it looks and feels just like one normal trade dollar.

 

In Europe there has been a fairly lengthy history of transforming silver talers into jewelery pieces by spooning the edges and transforming two pieces into a casket (almost like a giant locket) I have one half of such a `box' taler in the form of a 1700;s taler from Schwartzburg Sondersheim. The taler is itself quite rare and to all intents and purposes, to the hardened collector, it has been well and truly goosed. To me however, it's just another element of it's history and `collectable'.

 

Original poster: why not post an image of the piece you are querying?

thanks for your info on my coin, its great to find a bit of history on this coin finally. Do you know what its value maybe?

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Hi, you post got me really excited, as I have a coin very similar to yours & have been searching for info for a VERY long time.
My coin has a roman coin welded(?) to the inside.
Its an 1856 Napoleon III 10 Centimes Coin with a Secret Compartment. I:ve found a second one (I was very excited & bought it straight away) & its cost me $250.00 aus to purchase & be sent to Australia. it has nothing in its centre.
I will attach a photo of the one I have now, as the second one is being shipped lol

Good luck :)

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And on the larger coins (e.g. 5F) you'll often find them made into knives

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I have an Ecuador 5 sucres, 1944 which was made into a spoon. The coin is curved and the creator added a decorated spoon handle with the design of a dog and a person on the top.

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Hi, i have a 1856 Napoleon III coin. The centre has been carefully cut and Hinged and inside there is a picture of Queen Victoria. Any help with the history and value of this coin would be greatly appreciated.

Quite possibly a one of a kind creation and very well done. Definitely has value to the right collector. If you sell it on eBay let us know as some of us may bid.

 

PS - Ian, I love your descriptions.

 

"Some are outstanding examples of `art' others are coin butchery personified."

"The taler is itself quite rare and to all intents and purposes, to the hardened collector, it has been well and truly goosed."

 

Write a book about coins and I will buy it! :yes:

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Very interesting thread. Great information about these wonderful pieces of art.Thanks to everyone for their posts.

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I think some hollowed out coins are called smugglers coins

this trench art is great, congratulations.

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I have also been searching on the internet about one of these coins.  France 5 Centimes Napoléon III -1854 Good to see I finally have found some. I am not a coin collector so if anyone out there is interested in purchasing one, I would be happy to hear from you.

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Hi Sunshine34!

Greetings from the US! I cannot believe I am seeing this coin again! I was in possession of your coin from 1978-1999. I am aware of a few facts about it and would like to share them with you. I know its history from about 1939 but not before that. And I was the person who found the 'secret'. The internet is a miracle! I have always wondered what happened to it. Please email me at the address I gave you. I'll give you my phone number if you'd like. I would love to know how you happened across it (I never knew what happened to it because it was lost) and I can tell you an interesting story about it (where it was between 1939-1999) as well as a couple of things I figured out about it. I realize I'm nine years late seeing, and responding to, your post. But better late than never!

sincerely, and hoping to talk,

Thomas J. Tyson

On 5/25/2010 at 11:16 AM, sunshine34 said:

Hi, i have a 1856 Napoleon III coin. The centre has been carefully cut and Hinged and inside there is a picture of Queen Victoria. Any help with the history and value of this coin would be greatly appreciated.

DSCF1528.JPG

 

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Hi again, Sunshine34

I can also say with certainty that it is not a "photo", as a person above posted. It is an oil miniature. It is impossible for it to be a photo. Examine it with a good magnifying lens and you will see this to be the case; but its provenance alone precludes the notion of a photograph, as I can explain.

hope to talk,

Tom

 

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