5 Franc Belgium Bronze

Issue year(s):

Catalog reference:

1880, Belgium, Leopold II. Medallic Bronze 5 Francs Coin

Mint Year: 1880

Reference: Bruce/KM-X#M8a.

Engraver/Designer: Leopold Wiener & E. Devaux.

Denomination: 5 Francs - 50th Independence Anniversary of Belgium.

Material: Bronze

Diameter: 37mm

Weight: 25gm

Obverse: Jugate heads of Leopold I and Leopold II right. Engraver’s name (“LEOP WIENER”) below.


Reverse: Togate female allegoric figure beneath a seated lion, holding inscribed table (the Constitution of Belgium) and olive- and palmbranch in left. Sun rising behind Column of Congress in left and the Courthouse of Brussels in right background. Anniversary dates (1830-1930) at sides. Designer´s signature (E.DEVAUX. INV.) near ground below. Engraver´s (CH.WIENER.FEC.) in exergue.

The Belgian Constitution of 1831 was created in the aftermath of the secession of Belgium from the United Netherlands in the Belgian Revolution. After the revolution’s initial success, an elected National Congress was convened in November 1830 to create a devise a political order for the new state. The members of the National Congress reflected a variety of political ideals, but the vast majority supported the “Union of Oppositions” which had emerged before the revolution. This brought together moderate liberals with liberally inclined Catholics. As three modern historians describe:

The 1831 constitution was [...] a compromise between the landowners and clergy on the one hand and the liberal middle class on the other. The conservative forces were willing to adapt to the inevitable changes in society but this willingness was aimed at retaining the organic link with the past and preventing radical change. The liberal middle class, in spite of their desire for systematic, radical reform with a view to its expansion, showed restraint, a typical reaction of early liberalism.

The result was a “carefully balanced compromise” that mixed some radical liberal aspects with a firmly conservative ethos. It was inspired by the precedents of the French constitutions of 1791, 1814 and 1830, the Dutch constitution of 1814 and English constitutional principles. Belgium was established as a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral legislature. Powers were separated between the executive, legislative, and judiciary. The Constitution guaranteed the freedoms of expression, education, religion and of the press, though the franchise was severely limited by a property tax qualification. Though liberal in many respects, the constitution also placed the Catholic Church in a privileged position. Despite mandating the separation of Church and State, the Church was given a favoured position while maintaining its independence. The draft document was completed on 7 February 1831.

Leopold II (French: Leopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor, Dutch: Leopold Lodewijk Filips Maria Victor) (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was King of the Belgians. Born the second (but eldest surviving) son of Leopold I, he succeeded his father to the throne in 1865 and remained king until his death. He was the brother of Empress Carlota of Mexico and first cousin to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. The regime of the Leopold’s African colony, the Congo Free State, became one of the more infamous international scandals of the turn of the century. The famous 1904 report by the British Consul Roger Casement led to the arrest and punishment of white officials who had been responsible for cold-blooded killings during a rubber-collecting expedition in 1903 (including one Belgian national for causing the shooting of at least 122 Congolese people). Outside Belgium, he is chiefly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken by the King. The state included the entire area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He ran the Congo as his personal fiefdom; for him it was a business venture. A friend of Henry Morton Stanley, he used Stanley to help him lay claim to the territory he called Congo. Leopold thought of himself as an astute businessman and he once spent a week in Seville studying Spanish records of their trade with their Latin American colonies.

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Posted by: anonymous  2023-10-29
1880, Belgium, Leopold II. Medallic Bronze 5 Francs Coin. Pop 7/1! NGC MS-65 BN! Mint Year: 1880 Reference: Bruce/KM-X#M8a. Engraver/Designer: Leopold Wiener & E. Devaux. Condition: Certified and graded by NGC as MS-65 BN! - Population 7/1! Denomination: 5 Francs - 50th Independe ...

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