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Austrian 1946-57 1-schilling: design error?


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For fun, here’s an entry in my coin-notebook….




x: Austria’s first post-WWII 1-schilling design departs the scene with the issue of these 1957-dated pieces (they were withdrawn 2 May 1961 and demonetized 31 December 1961). It was a long run considering the following words from Austrian native Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn in his book The Intelligent American’s Guide to Europe: “The 1-Schilling coin...showed, due to an error, the figure of the devil (instead of the sower) from a painting by Egger-Lienz.” That seemed hard to believe, so [my wife] and I searched the Internet and found the Albin Egger-Lienz painting from 1921 entitled Sämann und Teufel. Sure enough, it is the devil and not the sower who made it onto the 1-schilling in ‘46. Amazing. How could that happen? And how could it go on nearly a dozen years? (93)




Any corrections, comments or answers are most welcome.


:) v.

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That's very interesting. The sower was a favourite subject of Egger-Lienz's production, with a first painting dated 1903 ("Der Sämann") and a second one in 1921 ("Sämann und Teufel"). In the first painting the sower is alone in a field, facing and advancing while sowing seeds. In the second version the sower is walking left, sowing with his right hand, while behind him stands the figure of the Devil, making a similar movement. The 1 schilling coin engraved in 1946 has a figure which seems to be an hybrid of the two, physically more like the Devil, and clearly without the hat.


The second version of the painting (1921)


Obverse of the 1 shilling coin (1946-57)

The figure is inspired by the painting, and not a reproduction of it, especially because in the painting the face of the Devil is not visible. But the hair are exactly as in the painting.

The engraver of the coin is Michael Powolny, but he is credited only for engraving the State eagle on the reverse.

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