Several numismatic relics of World War II coming to auction on April
12 are examples of Dutch resistance against the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Queen Wilhelmina and the royal family fled to safety aboard a
British destroyer to the United Kingdom after German forces swept
across the border on May 10, 1940.
Nazis tried to remove the image of Wilhelmina from public life but,
as a small act of defiance, Dutch residents turned coins depicting the
exiled ruler into jewelry and, in some cases, created numismatic folk
art: silver circulation coins from the era feature carvings from an
unknown artist or artists.
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In those days, silver was scarce and expensive, according to auction
firm Karel de Geus, which offers multiple examples of such pieces in
its April auction.
These objets d’art usually were carved to show the queen wearing a
Dutch army helmet, with the normal legend on the coin modified.
Instead of WILHELMINA KONINGIN DER NEDERLANDEN (or Wilhelmina, Queen
of the Netherlands) — they usually read WILHELMINA IN LONDEN, or
sometimes LONDON, a reference to the English hosting the Dutch royal family.
One such example, a 2.5-guilder or Rijksdaalder host coin dated
1930, shows the queen wearing a helmet. In Very Fine condition, the
piece has an opening bid of €50 (about $57).
For more information about the auction, visit the firm's website.