Rare prints by the French artist, £9.99
Weight: 10.040 g
Gift of Miss Sarah Sophia Banks
CM SS Banks 132-65
Coins and Medals
Silver 2 franc coin of Napoleon I
France, AD 1804-5
Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor of France
In the wake of the French Revolution (1789-92), a Republican government became the ruling authority in France, but it remained weak and was eventually undermined by a coup d'état in 1799. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) led French campaigns in Italy and Egypt in 1796-99, and as an ambitious general serving the revolutionary regime won a series of important victories.
Napoleon became First Consul of the French Senate in 1799 and was pronounced Emperor in 1804. This 2 franc piece shows the portrait of the new Emperor. The coin's neo-classical design, based on ancient coins of the Roman emperor Augustus (reigned 31 BC - AD 14) was intended to emphasize Napoleon's power.
J. Cribb, B. Cook and I. Carradice, The coin atlas (London and Sydney, Macdonald Illustrated, 1990)