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Inspiration: The coins which accompany our favorite historical TV series

Inspiration: The coins which accompany our favorite historical TV series

Daniel Maclise - Première rencontre d'Henry VIII avec Anne Boleyn

Painting: “Henry VIII’s First Interview with Anne Boleyn” by Daniel Maclise (1836)




Epic historical dramas have been gracing our screens with success for a number of years now.

What a perfect opportunity to treat your eyes, your ears, and your collector’s instinct all at once with this little exercise to hone your skills. An anthology connecting each of these series of historical coins periods or linked directly to one in particular. From Ancient Rome to the reign of Elizabeth II, here are nine recent series to discover or rediscover...

ROME

The Birth of an Empire




Period: Ancient Rome


The series explores the final years of the Republic and the dawn of the Empire with vigor and flamboyance. In it we encounter famous figures including Julius Caesar, Pompey Magnus, Mark Antony, Brutus, Cicero, Cato the Younger, and none other than Cleopatra herself!


Coins from the period





JULIUS CAESAR

Julius Caesar, Denarius, MS(60-62), Silver, Cohen #12, 3.58

 




Brutus

Marcus Junius Brutus, Denarius, Rome, EF(40-45), Silver, Crawford:433/2




MARK ANTONY

Coin, Marcus Antonius, Denarius, 32-31 BC, Uncertain Mint, EF(40-45), Silver




MARK ANTONY AND OCTAVIAN

Coin, Mark Antony and Octavian, Denarius, 39 BC, AU(50-53), Crawford 528/2b

GAME OF THRONES

The Bloody War of Succession




Period: Late 15th century (Renaissance)


It’s true, we can’t really class Game of Thrones as a historical drama...at first glance. However, if you take a closer look, there are definitely links to actual historical events which were most certainly real and clearly inspired the novelist and scriptwriter, George R.R. Martin.

Notably, the War of the Roses in England. This war of succession fought between 1455 and 1487 saw two branches of the House of Plantagenet, the Houses of York and Lancaster, clash heads.

It is not difficult to recognize the association between the House of York and House Stark as well as the House of Lancaster and House Lannister. Cersei Lannister appears to have been directly inspired by Queen Margaret of Anjou, a queen with a sinister reputation and incidentally married to Henry VI.


Coins from the period





HENRY VI

Coin, France, Henri VI de Lancastre, Salut d'or, Paris, EF(40-45), Gold




HENRY VI

France, Henri VI, Blanc aux Écus, Amiens, AU(50-53), Billon, Duplessy:445



Main character: Henri VI (1422-1453). Coin rarity : rare, rare in this quality. Our coin condition comments : good quality.

THE TUDORS

The Waltz of the Queens




Period: First half of 16th century (Renaissance)


Following directly on from the War of the Roses mentioned above, Henry VIII was the son of Henry VII, who finally brought an end to the dispute by uniting the two warring factions through his marriage. All that doesn’t make the history of the British monarchy any less extraordinary and bloody though.

In fact, Henry VIII, well known for his short temper, has also gone down in history for having married no fewer than six women over the course of his reign. He had two of them beheaded and was the inspiration for Charles Perrault’s Bluebeard – although Henry’s was actually a fiery red. We also have him to thank for the birth of Anglicanism, the Christian tradition which resulted from the schism with Rome in 1534.

The four series of the show cover almost the entirety of his reign, from his divorce from Catherine of Aragon until his death. Among other historical figures, we encounter King Francis I of France, Charles V the Holy Roman Emperor, and even Pope Clement VII.

Even if the series isn’t completely loyal to the character from a historical perspective, the impeccable casting and marvelous filming make up for these minimal flaws delightfully.


Coins from the period





Henry VIII

Coin, Great Britain, Henry VIII, Groat, London, AU(50-53), Silver, Spink:2337E




FRANCIS I OF FRANCE

Coin, France, François Ier, Ecu d'or, Toulouse, AU(50-53), Gold, Sombart:4860




FRANCIS I OF FRANCE

Coin, France, François Ier, Teston, 1541-1547, Paris, EF(40-45), Silver



Teston of 10th Type Coin struck in high relief, with a fine portrait of the King. Coin rarity : rare in this quality. Our coin condition comments : superb quality, high relief.




CHARLES V, HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR

Spanish Netherlands, BRABANT, Charles Quint, Ecu d'or, 1543, Anvers, VF(30-35)




POPE CLEMENT VII

Italy, Medal, Etats Pontificaux, Clément VII, 1525, MS(60-62), Bronze

REIGN

Scotland with a sprinkling of sugar




Period: Second half of 16th century


This series, which employs a little too much poetic license to be qualified as historical strictly speaking, portrays Mary Stuart as a starry-eyed girl. Our story begins in the French royal court of Henry II and then whisks us away to Scotland.

It is a world far away from the somber universe depicted in The Tudors and, as usual, CW sugarcoats history to the point where it becomes sickeningly sweet.

We’ll therefore let you decide for yourself about the quality of this particular series. Nevertheless, it does not cast any doubt on the intrinsic authenticity of the coins presented below associated with it.


Coins from the period





FRANCIS II & MARY STUART

Coin, Scotland, Gros, 1558, Edinburgh, EF(40-45), Billon




FRANCIS II

Coin, France, François II, Double Henri d'or 1st type, 1560, Poitiers, EF(40-45)

VERSAILLES

Chandeliers, windows and mirrors




Period: 17th century


We now leave the Anglo-French struggles and the British wars of succession behind us to rejoin the sunniest of kings: Louis XIV. A Belgo-French-Canadian superproduction, the series begins just after the Fronde and explains against backdrops of sumptuous decor the origins of the construction of the Palace of Versailles and the reign of Louis XIV.


Coins from the period





Louis XIV

Coin, France, Louis XIV, 1/2 Écu à la mèche courte, 1644, Paris, AU(55-58)




Louis XIV

Coin, France, Louis XIV, Louis d'or aux 8 L et aux insignes, 1701, Montpellier

TURN: WASHINGTON'S SPIES

The war of the two Georges




Period: Late 18th century (American Revolutionary War)


Inspired by the novel Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose, the series is set at the time of the American War of Independence and tells the story of the first “organized” spies. The series is a work of fiction, albeit inspired by historical facts and events. Following the two roses, now we have the two Georges (George Washington and George III). And the English are being hauled over the coals again.


Coins from the period or associated with the series





George III

Coin, Great Britain, George III, Guinea, 1774, MS(60-62), Gold, KM:604




GEORGE WASHINGTON (COMMEMORATIVE COIN)

United States, Half Dollar, 1926, Philadelphia, MS(60-62), Silver, KM 160

THE ALIENIST

A crazy end to the century




Period: End of the 19th century


The series is an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Caleb Carr. Dark, dense, and intense, it takes the viewer deep into the most perilous neighborhoods of the city of New York. The alienist in question attempts to apply a form of profiling while there is a serial killer on the loose. If you’re not a fan of series, we seriously recommend you check out the book – it’s awesome!


Coins associated with the series





GROVER CLEVELAND

United States of America, Medal, Les Présidents des Etats-Unis, G. Cleveland

DOWNTON ABBEY

Between two worlds




Period: Start of the 20th century


This series is one of the greatest successes of British television in recent years, and it’s a joy to see the English back to their former glory. The series begins in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic and continues until the interwar period. With a wealth of finesse and in a truly luxurious setting, it depicts the far-reaching changes in British society at the time on the example of a prism of a “so British” aristocratic family and their servants. The casting is perfect, the decor simply splendid. A movie following on from the series is currently in production.


Coins from the period





George V

Coin, Great Britain, George V, 1/2 Sovereign, 1912, London, EF(40-45), Gold




The Titanic

France, Medal, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, Titanic, C. Gondard

THE CROWN

Frome one century to another




Period: Second half of 20th century.


This interminable series tells the life story of Queen Elizabeth II from 1947 to the present day. It is intended to run for exactly six seasons, with each one covering a decade of the monarch’s reign. Math, my dear Watson.


Coins from the period





Elizabeth II

Coin, Great Britain, Elizabeth II, Sovereign, 1965, AU(55-58), Gold, KM:908




Elizabeth II

Great Britain, Elizabeth II, 100 Pounds, 1 Oz, 2007, MS(63), Gold, KM:1094



 

SEE ALL THE LISTED COINS



Have we forgotten a series? Then please leave us a comment with your suggestions and recommendations!



Article composed in collaboration with Julien Deboucq, a NumisCorner expert.

Article translated by Michael Wright.


Written by Alice Girard - 26.11.18 - 16h37.
Keywords : Antiquity France GreatBritain History Inspiration
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