National personifications in female form have a long history with the numismatic world. Marianne in France, Liberty in the USA, Helvetia in Switzerland, Hibernia in Scotland and, of course, the ancient Britannia in the UK, have all come to encapsulate the popular image of a country by using the striking imagery of a woman in classic pose. Now it’s the turn of ancient era Germania to have its past encapsulated by a lady in a dress.
Germania has a long history in various forms, the female personification gaining much popularity in ancient times, tied to the proliferation of gods and goddesses. She first appeared in Roman times, but rose to increased importance around 1500 CE, with the birth of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, under Emperor Maximilian I, who, with his humanists, morphed her into the Mother of the Nation. Lady Germania was particular popular in the early 19th century, and was a popular subject in the art scene of the time.
Germania is a Latin word, long since supplanted by ‘Deutschland’, although a variant of it is firmly rooted in the English name for the region. However, Germania encompassed a far greater area than the modern country, with only a fraction of it incorporated into the Roman Empire. Magna Germania remained a thorn in the side of the Romans, eventually overrunning the Western Empire. Germania’s personification was usually depicted as a reddish-blonde woman, wearing armour, and wielding a Reichsschwert (imperial sword), along with a medieval-style shield sometimes bearing a black eagle crest on a gold field.
In 2019, Kurowski Metals introduced its first bullion round, Germania, to much acclaim, and the producer has expanded its range to include many other facets of the concept of this ancient land, including Allegories, Mythical Forests, and Germania beasts. The series here remains the heart of the range, and Kurowski are now called Germania Mint. All depict Lady Germania in various poses, and the selection of bullion sizes, and numismatic variants remains popular today, with each new annual issue seeming to increase in detail and artistic flair.
Below, you will see the various designs and formats in this series laid out, and soon we’ll finally get some of our own real-world images of some of them up as well. A very pretty series, technically rounds (the denomination is fictitious), but bearing all the hallmarks of classic national numismatics. A series concept around which a talented producer has built a whole range of first-class bullion offerings. We’ll have a similar profile of Allegories up shortly.