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New Dutch euro coin design is published


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I have always wondered what the Dutch monarchs, ie Queen Beatrix and now King Willem, really think of their portraits on the coins? There were times when Queen Beatrix looked almost cartoonish.

 

The Netherlands got about as far into "modern art" type portraiture as one can get, back before the Euro, so I don't imagine cartoonish was all that novel.

 

But you ask an interesting question, that could be applied to almost any monarch.

 

It's easy to assume monarchs must be egomaniacs, putting their pictures all over the place. However, in 1796 Paul I, on the death of his mother Catherine the Great, was dissatisfied with the portraits produced (understandable, he was not what anyone would call handsome), and refused to be portrayed on the coinage. Once that precedent was actually set, Alexander I, Nicholas I, and Alexander II all refused to be portrayed on Russian coins (though Alexander I appeared on Polish coinage after he became the king of Poland). I suspect Paul had liberated them from the "need" to put up with having their mug struck into a coin. In the case of the two Alexanders and Nicholas, they eventually were portrayed on coins issued after their deaths, Alexander I (d. 1825) shown on commemoratives in 1834 and 1839, Nicholas I (d. 1855) on a coin in 1859, and Alexander II (d. 1881) in 1898. (I am going from memory on those dates, so please don't rely on them.) Only partway through the reign of Alexander III, in 1886, did portraiture of the reigning monarch resume--after a 90 year gap spanning four and a half monarchs. (And if you want to collect Paul's picture on a coin, it's *tough* as those pattern pieces are expensive as hell. When I put my Romanov Portrait Ruble set together, I "cheated" and used a clearly-labeled coronation medal that used the same or similar die.)

 

This suggests to me that probably many monarchs detest their portraits on coinage.

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