2 Lev Bulgaria Silver Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (1861 -1948)

2 Lev
Issue year(s):

Ferdinand I of Bulgaria (1861 -1948)             
Catalog reference:

1913, Kingdom of Bulgaria, Ferdinand I. Nice Silver 2 Leva Coin.

Mint Year: 1913
Reference: KM-32.
Denomination: 2 Leva
Material: Silver (.900)
Weight: 10gm

Obverse: Head of Ferdinand I as King of Bulgaria left. Engraver´s signature (R. MARSCHALL) below bust´s base.

Translated Legend: "Ferdinand I. King of the Bulgarians"

Reverse: Value (2) above denomination (LEVA) and date (1913). All within wreath.

Legend: 20 LEVA 1913

The lev was introduced as Bulgaria’s currency in 1881 with a value equal to the French franc. The gold standard was suspended between 1899 and 1906 before being suspended again in 1912. Until 1916, Bulgaria’s silver and gold coins were issued to the same specifications as those of the Latin Monetary Union.

Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria (February 26, 1861 – September 10, 1948), born Prince Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was the Knjaz (Prince Regnant) and later Tsar of Bulgaria as well as an author, botanist, entomologist and philatelist.

Bulgaria replaced its first Knjaz (Prince), Alexander     of Battenberg in 1886, only seven years after he had been installed.     Ferdinand was proclaimed Knjaz (Prince Regnant) of autonomous Bulgaria     on 7 July 1887 in the Gregorian calendar (the “New Style” used     hereinafter). The throne had been previously offered, before Ferdinand’s     acceptance, from Denmark to the Caucasus and even to the King of     Romania. His accession was greeted with disbelief in many of the royal     houses of Europe. Queen Victoria, his father’s first cousin, stated to     her Prime Minister, “He is totally unfit, ... delicate, eccentric and     effeminate .. Should be stopped at once.” To the amazement of his     initial detractors, Ferdinand generally made a success of his reign.

Bulgaria’s domestic political life was dominated     during the early years of Ferdinand’s reign by liberal party leader     Stefan Stambolov, whose foreign policy saw a marked cooling in relations     with Russia, formerly seen as Bulgaria’s protector.

Ferdinand became Tsar of Bulgaria upon that country’s     declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire on 5 October 1908     (celebrated on 22 September). The Declaration of Independence was     proclaimed at the Saint Forty Martyrs Church in Turnovo. It was accepted     by Turkey and the other European powers.

Ferdinand was known for being quite a character. On a     visit to German Emperor Wilhelm II, his second cousin once removed,   in   1909, Ferdinand was leaning out of a window of the New Palace in   Potsdam   when the Emperor came up behind him and slapped him on the   bottom.   Ferdinand was affronted by the gesture and the Emperor   apologised.   Ferdinand however exacted his revenge by awarding a   valuable arms   contract he had intended to give to the Krupps factory   in Essen to   French arms manufacturer Schneider-Cruseot. Another   incident   particularly occurred on his journey to the funeral of his   second   cousin, British King Edward VII in 1910. A tussle broke out on   where his   private railway carriage would be positioned in relation to   the heir to   the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The   Archduke won   out, having his carriage positioned directly behind the   engine.   Ferdinand’s was placed directly behind. Realising the dining   car of the   train was behind his own carriage, Ferdinand obtained his   revenge on the   Archduke by refusing him entry through his own carriage   to the dining   car.

Like many a ruler of an Orthodox land before him,     Ferdinand had a “dream of a new Byzantium”. In 1912, Ferdinand joined     the other Balkan states in an assault on the Ottoman Empire to free     occupied territories. He saw this war as a new crusade declaring it, “a     just, great and sacred struggle of the Cross against the Crescent.”     Bulgaria contributed the most and also lost the greatest number of     soldiers. The great powers insisted on the creation of an independent     Albania. Soon after, Bulgaria attacked its recent allies Serbia and     Greece and itself was attacked by Romania and the Ottoman Empire and was     defeated. The Treaty of Bucharest in 1913 gave little territorial   gains   to Bulgaria. A tiny area of land giving access to the Aegean Sea   was   secured.

On 11 October 1915, the Bulgarian army attacked     Serbia after signing a treaty with Austria-Hungary and Germany which     stated that Bulgaria would gain the territory she sought at the expense     of Serbia. See Serbian Campaign (World War I) for details. Ferdinand   was   not an admirer of German Emperor Wilhelm II (his second cousin   once   removed) or Emperor of Austria Franz Josef I who he described as   “that   idiot, that old dotard of a Francis Joseph”. But Ferdinand   wanted extra   territorial gains after the humiliation of the Balkan   Wars. This did   however mean forming an alliance with his former enemy,   the Ottoman   Empire.

At first the war went well, Serbia was defeated and     Bulgaria took possession of most of the disputed territory of   Macedonia.   For the next two years, the Bulgarian army fought a   defensive war   against the Allied army based in Greece. A small part of   the Bulgarian   army was involved in the conquest of Romania in 1916.

Then, in the fall of 1918, the Bulgarian army was     badly beaten by an attack from the Allied forces in Greece. With his     army shattered, Tsar Ferdinand abdicated to save the Bulgarian throne in     favour of his eldest son who became Tsar Boris III on 3 October 1918.     Under new leadership, Bulgaria surrendered to the Allies and as a     consequence, lost not only the additional territory it had fought for in     the major conflict, but also the territory it had won after the   Balkan   Wars giving access to the Aegean Sea.

After his abdication, Ferdinand returned to live in     Coburg, Germany. He had managed to salvage much of his fortune and was     able to live in some style. He saw his being in exile simply as one of     the hazards of kingship. He commented, “Kings in exile are more     philosophic under reverses than ordinary individuals; but our philosophy     is primarily the result of tradition and breeding, and do not forget     that pride is an important item in the making of a monarch. We are     disciplined from the day of our birth and taught the avoidance of all     outward signs of emotion. The skeleton sits forever with us at the     feast. It may mean murder, it may mean abdication, but it serves always     to remind us of the unexpected. Therefore we are prepared and nothing     comes in the nature of a catastrophe. The main thing in life is to     support any condition of bodily or spiritual exile with dignity. If one     sups with sorrow, one need not invite the world to see you eat.” He   was   pleased that the throne could pass to his son. Ferdinand was not     displeased with exile and spent most of his time devoted to artistic     endeavours, gardening, travel and natural history. However, he would     live to see the collapse of everything he had held to be precious in     life. His eldest son and successor, Boris III, died under mysterious     circumstances after returning from a visit to Hitler in Germany in 1943.     Boris III’s son, Simeon II, succeeded him only to be deposed in 1946,     ending the Bulgarian monarchy. The Kingdom of Bulgaria was succeeded   by   the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, under which his sole surviving   son,   Kyril, was executed. On hearing of his son’s death he said,   “Everything   is collapsing around me.” He died a broken man in   Bürglaß-Schlösschen on   September 10, 1948 in Coburg, Germany, cradle   of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha   dynasty. Ferdinand I is buried there in St.   Augustin’s Roman Catholic   Church.

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Posted by: anonymous  2023-10-30
1913, Kingdom of Bulgaria, Ferdinand I. Nice Silver 2 Leva Coin. NGC MS-61! Mint Year: 1913Reference: KM-32.Denomination: 2 LevaCondition: Certified and graded by NGC as MS-63!Material: Silver (.900)Weight: 10gm Obverse: Head of Ferdinand I as King of Bulgaria left. Engraver´s signatu ...

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