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Ionian Islands


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Very nice coins. Since my knowledge of Ionia was thin, I went to Wikipedia to see what I could find. Hopefully you won't mind if I post a bit of it here as others might find it interesting as well.


British ruleMain article: United States of the Ionian Islands


Flag of British Ionian Islands.In 1809, the British defeated the French fleet in Zakynthos (October 2, 1809) captured Kefallonia, Kythera and Zakynthos, and took Lefkada in 1810. The French held out in Kerkyra until 1814. The Treaty of Paris in 1815 turned the islands into the "United States of the Ionian Islands" under British protection (November 5, 1815). In January 1817, the British granted the islands a new constitution. The islanders elected an Assembly of 40 members, who advised the British High Commissioner. The British greatly improved the islands' communications, and introduced modern education and justice systems. The islanders welcomed most of these reforms, and took up afternoon tea, cricket and other English pastimes.


Once Greek independence was established after 1830, however, the islanders began to resent foreign rule and to press for enosis - union with Greece. The British statesman William Ewart Gladstone toured the islands and recommended that they be given to Greece. The British government resisted, since like the Venetians they found the islands made useful naval bases. They also regarded the German-born king of Greece, King Otto, as unfriendly to Britain. However, in 1862, Otto was deposed and a pro-British king, George I, was installed.


Greek ruleIn 1862, Britain decided to transfer the islands to Greece, as a gesture of support intended to bolster the new king's popularity. On May 2, 1864, the British departed and the islands became three provinces of the Kingdom of Greece though Britain retained the use of the port of Corfu. Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark was born in Corfu in 1921 and grew up to become Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.


from Wikipedia

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Thanks Art. I am not posting to boast my own coins but to share them and adding more information is always welcome and in fact needed. Ionian Islands are not rare - mintages for most other than silver, were in millions. But they were also very well used in curculation so high gradecoinage is not frequent. Examples above cover average circulated going from good extra fine 1862 to very fine 1834., about fine 1819 and fine 1830, so these are good sampling.

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