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mmarotta

Numismatics Honoring Writing

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(Examples to be posted later.)

 

Writers, authors, and poets are popular on banknotes and sometimes coins. Commemorative coins are nice enough, but when a nation puts a poet on their paper money, you know that they are serious.

 

Measured in books published per capita in the native language, I believe that Estonia is second to Iceland in literacy. Estonia has several writers (a grammarian, etc.) on its notes. Slovenia joined in by celebrating the inventor of the native "ABCDarium." The Bank of England replaced Charles Dickens with Charles Darwin in 2003, but since Darwin wrote several books, perhaps we can nod with faint approval.

 

And I guess that brings up a point: what is an "author"? Why is it Dickens, but not Darwin? Why do we have a word for "fiction" but only the anti-concept for non-fiction? (We do not call day non-night.)

 

Iceland used to have a note with a printing press scene on it. Bulgaria honored its first printing press on its first issue after the fall of communism.

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Shakespeare was on the £20 note too. 

You mean the glovemaker's son, rather than Edward deVere, the Earl of Oxford.

 

Mike

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Writers, authors, and poets are popular on banknotes and sometimes coins.  Commemorative coins are nice enough, but when a nation puts a poet on their paper money, you know that they are serious.

Some examples from around here ... older ones since the euro notes do not show any "famous people" and thus no writers either.

 

Germany had (1) Bettina von Arnim, a writer from the Romantic period, and (2) Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, a poet from roughly the same time. And on the 1000 DM note there were the (3) Grimm brothers - not really writers but rather linguists, and of course collectors of fairy tales ...

 

(1) http://aes.iupui.edu/rwise/banknotes/Germa...donatedth_f.jpg

(2) http://aes.iupui.edu/rwise/banknotes/Germa...donatedth_f.jpg

(3) http://aes.iupui.edu/rwise/banknotes/Germa...donatedth_f.jpg

 

The GDR - East Germany - had (4) Johann Wolfgang Goethe ...

(4) http://aes.iupui.edu/rwise/banknotes/germa...5-donated_f.jpg

 

... and the French note I like best shows (5) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

(5) http://aes.iupui.edu/rwise/banknotes/franc...9-donated_f.jpg

 

As for fiction vs non-fiction, that would be Belletristik and Sachliteratur in German. :ninja:

 

Christian

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Slovenia joined in by celebrating the inventor of the native "ABCDarium."

By the way, Slovenia will put Primoz Trubar on the €1 coin (1); he is on the 10 tolar note (2). And the poet France Preseren, who will be on the €2 piece (3), is depicted on the 1000 tolar note (4).

 

(1) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/67/Si1eur.jpg

(2) http://www.bsi.si/images/bankovci/10sit-l.jpg

 

(3) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e1/Si2eur.jpg

(4) http://www.bsi.si/images/bankovci/1000sit-sl.jpg

 

Christian

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Shakespeare was on the £20 note too. 

You mean the glovemaker's son, rather than Edward deVere, the Earl of Oxford.

 

Mike

 

Whichever one was William and wrote the Merchant of Venice... i never cared for the man. I dunno why but in England if you want to be an English scholar you've got to love Shakespeare... all i can say to that is give me Dickens anyday! David Copperfield what a book, i thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Johann Nestroy is on the 2001 20 Schilling of Austria.

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Robert Louis Stevenson on Scottish 1 Pound note 1994.

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Robert Louis Stevenson on Scottish 1 Pound note 1994.

 

 

I love his stories (i.e the ideas and the plot), but i never was keen on his writing style.

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Okay, its not a coin or bank note, but I put this medal up for auction on Ebay yesterday. It commemorates the 150 anniversary of the birth of Friedrich von Schiller. The medal shows him at his writing desk.

 

Schiller_medal.jpg

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Nice medal. Too bad you put it up on eBay. How much are you expecting for it? Schiller memorabilia is always interesting. There is so much of it, of course, but still...

 

When you get into medals, then you expand the field considerably. I think of the Franklin Mint material, for example. The essential point with government money is that they tend not to change banknotes very often. As assets of the central bank, they are serious media. Commemorative coins come and go, of course, but are not consumables, as are postage stamps. So, an author on a government coin or national banknote is unusual.

 

Politics being what it is, I look at Hungary, or the UK. Both honor(ed) writers on their paper money, but both also nod to other "heroes." Hungary's current series of paper commemorates medieval kings. Of course, we have no idea what they really looked like and most of them were not really Hungarian. On the other hand, the poets, authors, and others tend to be better documented.

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I put an opening bid of $25 on it. I have no idea of actual worth. Its something from odds and ends that I've acquired over the years. I've decided to clean out much of this stuff and let others enjoy the odds and ends. At present, I have stuff thats been sitting in boxes in the closet for 20 years. So far, no bids and 4 watching. If it doesn't sell, I might offer it here. If not, it is a nice medal and will go back in the collection until someone expresses an interest one day.

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November 10 is my birthday.

 

Schiller wrote "An die Freude" (The Ode to Joy).

 

He also wrote Die Raeuber (The Robbers) an early pro-democratic play perhaps not entirely appreciated by the aristocracy of his time and place.

 

The inscription at the bottom reads (if I am correct)

... der hat gelert

fuer allen Zeiten...

 

who has taught

for all times.

 

Is there anything along the edges that we cannot see?

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The inscription at the bottom reads (if I am correct)

... der hat gelert

fuer allen Zeiten...

Almost - it says "der hat gelebt für alle Zeiten". That is from the prologue to Schiller's Wallenstein and means: He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.

 

In a book about anti-nazi jokes back in the 1930s, there is a nice one about Schiller, by the way. Hope I translated the book titles right, but you get the idea anyway.

 

Schiller was not a German author but a truly European one. He wrote:

for the British: Mary Stuart,

for the French: The Maid of Orléans,

for the Dutch and Belgians: The Revolt of the Netherlands,

for the Spaniards: Don Carlos,

for the Italians: The Bride of Messina,

for the Swiss: William Tell,

... and ...

for the Germans: The Robbers.

 

Christian

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